Prelude to Reveille by S.D. Sawyer
A wounded Vietnam war veteran returns home to a chilling domestic climate in this powerful novel inspired by true events
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Have we made things right with our Vietnam Veterans? It’s been almost one-half century since American involvement in this unpopular war, but after reading Prelude to Reveille: A Vietnam Awakening, readers understand why author S.D.Sawyer has written this novel and asked this question.
Inspired by real-life experiences of the author and her husband, this historical fiction mines the personal histories of protagonist Tom Barrington and other soldiers during this turbulent period.
Tom arrived at his first assignment, The Old Guard, in Arlington, VA, in December, 1967. Months later he was ordered to Ranger School, and finally deployed to Vietnam. His young wife, Meg, juggled her career as a new teacher while adapting to regulations required of an Army wife, before entering the foreboding world of the Waiting Wife.
Wounded half-way through his tour, Tom went from combat on a jungle trail to surgery in Japan, to enrollment at a small college back home. Anti-war demonstrations and protests cordoned off returning veterans from what should have been safe soil. Ignored by institutions and support networks that had offered care to returning soldiers in past decades, these veterans could never have prepared for a peacetime home front that would prove as perilous and haunting as the theater of war they had faced in Southeast Asia.
Sawyer presents a hard contrast between the repeatedly tested valor of such noble heroes, and the chilling response to them from this once-proud country. Prelude to Reveille: A Vietnam Awakening possesses a sense of time and place that foreshadows issues still facing military families. Its tone and details make it resonate with those who lived during this era as well as future generations who will only learn of these conflicts from a history book.
Bravery and commitment to America are not limited to times of triumph and national celebration, but remain steadfast and true in the face of protracted engagement, ambiguous mission and uncertain outcome. In this tribute to our soldiers, S.D. Sawyer invokes a call for the America of today to awaken to what Vietnam War era soldiers have lived through, and realize — many still need to be welcomed back home.
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