Click to play "Winged Soldiers" sung by the US Army Warrant Officer Rotary Wing Aviator Candidate Choir, Ft. Wolters, Texas, June 1967. The author is one of the voices.
________A Novel of the Vietnam War
James Nathan Post
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A novel of the Viet Nam war and life as a disaffected veteran for a decade thereafter. Though a highly decorated combat hero, Warrant Officer Kevin Harrey comes home in disgrace for smoking marijuana. The combat action takes place in a UH-1C Army helicopter gunship platoon. Though fictionalized, it is thrilling and authentic, and the veteran's post-war drama is thought- provoking and challenging even after so many years, and so much written about the war.
SACRIFICES is a story of three men, and of the social and personal motivations which led them to fight the war, and to abandon it. Though it is a combat action novel, it is also a Vietnam-veteran story, spanning 1964 to 1980. The characters are not just chessman-soldiers in a guts-and-glory gook-shooting adventure, but strong young Americans with hopes and dreams, and also with weaknesses and illusions.
Kevin Harrey left home at 17, and found a secure life as an enlisted boot-camp instructor until he married Carlie Gold, the captain's ambitious only daughter. She could be an officer's wife, if he could survive a year flying into the treacherous A Lan Valley. Kevin was committed to being a professional soldier, but when moral questions began to undermine his sense of purpose, the war became a matter of personal survival. What must he sacrifice to get home, and how would he be received without it?
Eddie Padilla had something to prove. The sensitive little brother in a border-town working family, he only wanted to show them, and his buddy and idol, Roger, that he had the macho too. It was personal. And if he got killed, that would give his devout mother something to cry about in church, how she lost her lamb, just like Mary. Even if he didn't get Marine jets like Roger, helicopter gunships were the next best thing in combat machismo, maybe even better.
Roger Stanton expected to be an astronaut. Strong, bright, handsome, charming, and since high school an alcoholic, he didn't make it through flight school. On the night Carlie Gold agreed to marry Kevin Harrey, they met Roger and his sidekick Eddie in a bar in Juarez. Two years later, Kevin and Eddie met again as gunship pilots in Vietnam. While they were daily facing death in the jungles, Roger stayed home to drink, make money, and to make time with the wives of combat soldiers. When the war took its toll on them, Roger couldn't forgive himself. For them, there was something he had to do, a debt to pay.
Here is a link to a short story you might enjoy reading online (no charge). It was originally written as a chapter in SACRIFICES, but was trimmed for pacing in editing the book.
Bunkers At Bao Long
James's Veterans' Page .
American Reform Movement Blog
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