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November 21, 2016


Steve Banko

This is not a Vietnam Novel,
It's the Vietnam Story.

Military Fiction

 Product Details

In the sixties, simple mistakes could have grave consequences. Josh Duffy makes one such mistake and pays an incredible price.  One unfortunate encounter with the nuances of the higher education realities of that time and he finds himself thrust into an alien world of blood,, death, and fire. It is an upside down world where the usual mores don't function. It is a world where killing is celebrated and compassion scorned. It is a world that Duffy must adapt to if he wishes to survive.
Follow him as he struggles with the enemy, with his leaders, and with conscience as he evolves from reluctant soldier to efficient killer to a committed leader.
If you ever wonder why soldiers come back from combat forever changed and irreversibly damaged...if you wonder what causes this post-traumatic disorder we hear so much about...if you lived in the sixties and walked the razor's edge of conscription, you will want to read this book. It is the journey from sanity to the depths of madness and on to a path towards redemption.
It is a soldier's story told by an award winning writer who  has spoken on issues of war and peace across this country.

(There really is a Josh Duffy and he is a Vietnam vet) 

"In the old days, they wrote that it was sweet and fitting 
to die for one's country.
In modern war, there's nothing sweet nor fitting.
You die like a dog for no good reason."
                                     -Ernest Hemingway
                                                         Notes on the Next War

  • Paperback: 318 pages
  • Publisher: No Frills Buffalo (September 20, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0692716661
  • ISBN-13: 978-0692716663

Steve Banko served 16 months in combat in Vietnam where he was wounded six times. His awards for heroism included the Silver Star, the nation's third highest decoration for valor, and four Purple Hearts.
Steve spent more than two decades as a speechwriter and profession communicator. He has also spoken to audiences across the country on the issues of war and peace. His non-fiction work has been included in several anthologies and periodicals. This is his first novel.
His speech focusing on post-traumatic stress among combat veterans received the Grand Prize Award from the Cicero Foundation for the best speech of 2010.
Steve lives with his wife Shirley, in South Buffalo NY and North Ft. Meyers FL.

Rudyard Kipling wrote of his son’s death in World War I -- 
  “When they question why we died,
Tell them, because our fathers lied.”

There is no way possible, unless you've been there, done that, that you as a reader, can understand what happens to the heroes of war.
The Vietnam War, what was it really about?    Those that evaded the draft, those that voluntarily signed  all had a part in the Vietnam War.  Those that were spared the war on the front, sometimes lost friends, family, and lovers, so they weren't really spared, were they?  They felt a different kind of loss, not the loss of those men (boys) who went into a war, sometimes thinking it was the thing to do, because their fathers and grandfathers had served their country.  Sometimes thinking it would be sort of glamorous, going off to war and becoming a man.  All the wrong reasons.  What is glamorous of war, the blood, the killing, the suffering, etc?  The reader can't possibly imagine what awful sights, what awful living conditions, what awful pain that these heroes went through.   Even when the war is over, it's not really over for them. Some come home, some don't, some live, some don't.    People figure what's the big deal, it's over, get done with it, put it away.  But there is no putting it away, it's never done.  The memories are there and they haunt day and night.   They see the blood, the dead, the horrors, their friends dead and yet, they're still alive.  It's a slow mental death.   There is no way, the man (boy) who left to become a soldier could possibly come back home the same as he left.  War takes prisoners, even if it's not in a prisoner of war camp.   It takes the mind, the body and the heart as prisoners.  I'm sure there are those who escape that imprisonment, but what of the many who don't.  They sometimes just live day to day, just getting by and sometimes they just can't do it.
Is there any way we can justify war?   Why? Who actually gains from it?  But there has been war for years and years, soldiers dying, soldiers living a slow death and there still are wars going on.  We still have many men coming home changed.
 The wars today are not the wars of yesterday.  Are these men actually prepared for what they will face during combat and then when they come home?  NO!

This may be a hard read for those who have had soldiers, are soldiers, were soldiers and have soldiers in war.  We, as the reader, need to understand, or at least try to understand why these men change.  Or better yet, we need to have compassion and understanding that they have, are and will suffer the terrible horrors of WAR!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author, Steve Banko and Word Slinger Publicity and voluntarily decided to review it.

I would give this book 5 STARS. 

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