Vietnam - for a generation of Americans it is a country and a name that holds a certain fascination and a host of baggage - much of it negative and full of remorse. It is the name of a war that the U.S. experienced from 1955-75 that energized a generation of Americans and led to nearly 60,000 American deaths plus the wounding and damage to hundreds of thousands more. For the rest of the region, the damage was even worse. Some 200-300,000 Cambodians, possibly 200,000 Laotians and from nearly 800,000 to over 3 million Vietnamese died and even greater numbers were wounded, declared missing or affected by the violence. Chris Runckel experienced the war and the aftermath and then nearly 20 years later was chosen to open U.S. diplomatic relations with Vietnam. The story of his involvement with Vietnam is a true modern American history of the U.S. relationship with Vietnam both for good and for bad. The difference in his story was that he always looked forward and always looked to make his experience with Vietnam positive and something both he and his country could be proud of. Assignment Vietnam: Coming Full Circle as a Soldier, Diplomat and Businessman tells this unique story. A story that starts in the U.S. West and takes Runckel to Vietnam, the White House, the U.S. Department of State, to multiple U.S. Embassies and ultimately back to Vietnam time and again as Runckel helps the U.S. to build a new relationship with its former adversary. In Vietnam, Runckel builds bridges and works with U.S. and Vietnamese diplomats, businessmen and others to build a new path for both countries. This is a great read and a great story, one all Americans, Vietnamese and many others need to read and to appreciate.