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.