BEDFORD, Va. (WFXR) – John Ketwig wrote “…And a Hard Rain Fell” over a decade after he finished his service in Vietnam.

“Sat down with a yellow legal pad and started taking notes, what is important for my wife and kids to know,” he said.

He would later learn those notes resonated. A fellow veteran he met at work read them.

“[He] made his wife sit on the couch and said I want you to read this completely,” said Ketwig, and his wife said until she read it, she’d had no idea what her husband had experienced.

…And a Hard Rain Fell” was released in 1985, becoming a Rosetta Stone for Vietnam Veterans and the families they came home to.

“Nobody understood us and we didn’t know what to say, and there was a huge gap there,” explained Ketwig.

He’s received countless letters over the years, including one from a young woman whose brother came home from Vietnam.

“His mother said you’ve got mud under your fingernails, it was Vietnamese mud,” Ketwig recalled. “He never had a chance to clean it off.”

The woman told Ketwig that her brother left home and his family lost touch with him for years, until she read his book.

“She called him or got in touch with him and said I think I’m beginning to understand,” said Ketwig, and since reunited with her brother.

“You open a letter and it talks about something like that and I get teary-eyed, it’s just incredible,” he said.

After his work showed the true experience of war in Vietnam, Ketwig began working on “Vietnam Reconsidered“, exploring the truths and causes behind the war.

“That put Vietnam to sleep in my mind,” he said.

Ketwig now lives in Bedford, and while he works on two more books, he also meets weekly with veterans in Lynchburg. He’s also part of a group working to protect and support Veteran Affairs as a public resource.