Peg Mullen


Download Full Text (24.0 MB)


In 1968 Michael Mullen, a graduate student in biochemistry, was drafted; in 1969 he was sent to Vietnam as a foot soldier in Colonel Norman Schwarzkopf's Charlie Company; and in 1970 he was killed by the same “friendly fire” that destroyed thousands of other lives during the Vietnam War.

Back home on the family farm in Iowa, his parents made his death a crusade to awaken all parents to the insanity of war. C. D. B. Bryan's Friendly Fire and the TV movie of the same name documented these dramatic years, and Peg Mullen became a national symbol of grassroots activism. Now Peg Mullen shifts from symbol to reality as she tells her story in print for the first time.

Outspoken, fearless, and wickedly humorous, Peg Mullen had a duel mission in the years after Michael's death: to penetrate the lies and evasions behind the artillery misfire that killed her oldest son and to publicize the senseless horror of the Vietnam War. Unfriendly Fire draws on the many letters sent to the Mullens after Michael's death; in addition, Michael's own bitter, weary letters home are reprinted. In these the voices of parents, brothers, sisters, comrades, teachers, and Michael himself echo Peg Mullen's call for truth and peace.

Series Editor

Stone, Albert E.

Publication Date



University of Iowa Press


Iowa City

Total Pages


ISBN of Print Version



Biography, Vietnam War, 1961-1975, Protest movements, Casualties


Copyright © 1995 by the University of Iowa Press. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Unfriendly Fire: A Mother's Memoir