Saturday, May 08, 2010
Talked to ***a few days ago, my RTO with Alpha Company.
He spoke highly of your book, Gun Toting Chaplain, which I didn't know existed.
I logged on to Amazon.com and ordered a copy. While on that site, I noticed that someone can start a discussion related to the author or book.
So I wrote about you on the Amazon site. Don't think too many people know that such a discussion group-possibility exists, meaning I doubt if there will be many readers, but I'd like to offer you this suggestion.
There's a book that's often required reading in many high schools; I can't stand the book or the author, Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried. There's no doubt, the guy's a good writer, but I don't respect him or his book, except that it's "well written" in an affected way. O'Brien spent a lot of time including compliments from various REMF critics and has included no comments from real combat veterans. I haven't seen your book, yet; but I suggest that you give the men you served opportunities to make comments about you to be included in a reprinted version of your book(s). When I see a veteran author who only has REMF critics' blurbs about his book, with no real soldiers validating what's been written, I have doubts about the credibility of the author. If you look at what I wrote, I believe you might see that your fellow soldiers's statements about you would be the best recommendation for reading your book.
Greg., you are always thinking. Thanks for your thoughts. The thing about GTC, it reflected my memories and great love for soldiers like yourself. I hope you'll find it that way too.
I've just returned from a Vietvets gathering. It was a platoon gathering, 3d platoon of D Company. Bunch of great guys. We told war stories, watched this great Video that one of our guys put together. It must have taken hundreds of hours, really inspiring. Several of us stayed up almost all night talking. We're getting older, no doubt about it and yet to be honest, suddenly there we were back in the Nam, same ages, same sort of stuff. I am always amazed. As the chaplain, which I always am when I'm with this group, recognize some problems: a couple are recovering alcoholics and one definitely has a drinking problem. Tried to stay away from it but finally had to discuss with him. I do love all you guys.
And, what is absolutely astounding is the fact that health and death have depleted the ranks. What really surprised me too is the degree of agreement we had on the fact that out country had learned nothing from Vietnam. Pretty sad and discouraging. One ventured something we all knew: politicians or government types are far removed from where young soldiers are dying, then in Vietnam and now in Iraq/Afghanistan.
I've tried to call ** a couple of times. I think he's in the "shadows" and definitely needs to be brought out. The last time I talked with him, I thought he was pretty strung out. What can we do to help him?
God bless. Greg, you should write your own memoir. It is in you. Thanks for staying in touch. God bless.