Monthly Archives: January 2015

Excerpt from “Heirs of Honor” – Caught Off Guard


Waiting in the shadows was strangely confusing. I was trying not to be spotted by standing motionless, but I had to force myself to do what should have been instinctive. I kept catching myself preparing to walk out of the shadows, almost forgetting I was trying not to move. As time went on, I felt more disconnected from the situation, as I struggled to remain still. I was desperate, caught in a surrealistic jungle. I yearned to run in order to get rid of this confusion.

Two steps into the plan and my temper flared, as pain exploded from my foot the instant it touched the ground. I hopped about on one foot, fighting the fire in my other, thinking seriously about shoving a hand into my mouth to prevent my own scream of agony.

Balancing precariously by planting my ass against the tree, I managed to pull a large piece of glass out of the heel of my wounded foot. I almost lost it then by yelling, because I discovered an even greater depth to my stupidity; I was not only barefoot, but wearing only my skivvies.

My reaction was one of furious disbelief. If I waited for the most opportune moment, it would never come, and my rage would soon stun me into inaction. Without another thought, I ran into the darkened jungle and kept moving, anything to prevent the confused anger from catching me, to say nothing about those fucking gooks with flashlights.

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Unbelievable? If you’ve ever had a nightmare you know that NOTHING is unbelievable!

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Excerpt from “Heirs of Honor”


During the Vietnam War, the U.S. Army regularly sent Special Forces sniper teams into Laos and Cambodia, two countries their Government denied entering.  Their assignments took them deep into enemy territory.  Military policy forbade airborne evacuation across an International border, so they were left to rely on each other, and their training and endurance, to get back to South Vietnam.  Many teams never returned.

Although presented as fiction, this book is based on truth, long ago buried by the “official version” of Government and Media, documenting the intensity of that war, and the difficulty for soldiers to simply slip back into civilian life after surviving the chaos of combat.  “Heirs of Honor” documents the lives of men that by virtue of their assignments, were required to swear an oath of silence, and though highly decorated for their actions, they leave no public record of their deeds, or existence.  Their records have been sealed to avoid embarrassment to their government, or contradiction of official policies.  They gave their lives, without hesitation.  They deserve to have their story told, if only in fiction.  It is the only way I know how to honor them.  “Heirs of Honor” is a story of men enduring the horror of war, and their struggle to retain their sanity, as they come of age.

Unlike the soldiers of today’s wars, who are honored and praised by a grateful population; the soldiers of our war in Southeast Asia came home to a population that, for the most part, hated and shunned them, blaming them for losing the war, indeed, for the war itself.  Many combat vets took their own lives, unable to survive ‘back in the world’.  By 1985, more than 80,000 Vietnam veterans had committed suicide.

Even though the veterans of today’s wars come home to a population that professes to appreciate them, today’s veterans encounter the same sense of alienation as the Vietnam veteran.  They still have to fight for their benefits.  To America’s shame, very little seems to have changed.

 

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Excerpt from Heirs of Honor – Forward


It is a law of nature that opposites attract, and I am living proof of that statement.  As an idealistic ‘flower child’ in the late 60’s, the great love of my life turned out to be a soldier, come home after three tours in Special Forces.  His five man team operated out of the Laotian/Cambodian border camps, dropped into countries we never went to, and told pickup would only be possible if they could make it back across the border.  As with most combat veterans, surviving the jungles of Southeast Asia was far easier than coming home.  The wife of every combat vet knows all too well the torture of her husband’s ‘survivor’s guilt’, as well as his sense of alienation from everything; only feeling safety in the company of other vets, able to share the dark humor developed by all for survival’s sake.  I learned about war from the men who lived it, and shared their pain with each other on my living room floor.

“Heirs of Honor” is based on their lives, and is presented as a fictional account of the ‘all too real’ war they lived through.  Most died in Vietnam, and those who came home were never the same.  All are gone, now.  This book is meant to honor them, and to free them from the oath of silence forced upon them by their government, if only for their own protection.
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