Vietnam War Veteran and Prominent Houston Doctor Authors Peaceful Bones Memoir after Returning Arm Bone to Vietnamese Soldier

Book Proceeds Benefit Texas Heroes and Hoa Binh Peace Village

Houston author, retired urologist and Vietnam War veteran Samuel D. Axelrad, M.D. recently published his first memoir titled Peaceful Bones. The book is based on the true story of Dr. Axelrad’s experience as a Vietnam War army surgeon where he finds himself helping not only American soldiers but hundreds of Vietnamese citizens both wounded and ill. Peaceful Bones is about one special patient named Hung Nguyen aka “Charlie” who becomes an unlikely friend on the battlefield. Dr. Axelrad saves Charlie’s life, forging a bond that crosses cultural and enemy lines. Their reunion, 46 years after losing touch in 1967, was a moving and inspiring moment that made history around the world. Peaceful Bones is Dr. Axelrad’s stories of the war, his life, and the uncanny “coincidences” t hat brought him and Charlie together twice in one lifetime over several decades and thousands of miles. Dr. Axelrad’s son, Chris, and Rabbi Ranon Teller co-authored the memoir.

“There are no accidents”, said Dr. Axelrad. “It’s a story the world needs now more than ever and it may inspire some people to stop seeing each other as enemies. I did not intentionally keep those bones; the bones had been given to me as a gesture of appreciation by the medics on my team. It may be difficult for someone who’s never served in a war to understand why the medics did what they did, but we’d saved a life of an enemy soldier and my medics were moved by the gesture of kindness we performed for this badly wounded man who was found alone by one of our helicopters in desperate need of our help.”

The story of this inspirational friendship between two enemy soldiers and their reunion overfour decades later was featured internationally on Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, BBC, Fox News, CBS News and many more. For a video of the reunion, please visit

A portion of the book’s proceeds benefit Texas for Heroes, an organization that sponsors retreats for U.S. veterans, and Hoa Binh Peace Village, which supports children in Vietnam  affected by Agent Orange.

Peaceful Bones is now available for purchase on For media inquiries or to book the author for speaking engagements, call media contact, Kim Padgett at 713-588-4130 or email

Peaceful Bones

ISBN-10: 0692794581

ISBN-13: 978-0692794586


October 10, 2016

6 x 0.5 x 9 inches 206 pp. 39 photographs.