A Time to Kill
Reflections on War
Grant P. Skabelund
Ray C. Hillam, editors
This is a book of memories about war. Although it describes both good and bad, overall it portrays war as an arena of horror and tragedy. As one veteran noted, “No one wins a war. Even the victors lose a part of their humanity through the experience of war.” Although all such conflicts involve peculiar sets of circumstances, their worst aspects remain constant. Of the many questions the following reflections raise about war, perhaps the most wrenching is: Is there ever a time to kill?
The oral histories excerpted in what follows are part of an ongoing project on war supervised by Ray C. Hillam. Some of Hillam’s students conducted and transcribed more than one hundred interviews. Those interviewed included combat veterans of the first and second world wars, Korea, and Vietnam.
Denny Roy is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at the University of Chicago; Grant P. Skabelund is a managing editor of publications, David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies, Brigham Young University; and Ray C. Hillam is professor of political science at Brigham Young University and director of the David M. Kennedy Center.