This book is graphic and violent because that’s what war is. It’s not a romantic adventure. Soldiers do not acquire PTSD and moral injury from participating in peaceful endeavors.
Although this book is centered on the Vietnam War, it is not meant to be a war story. Do you know the difference between a war story and a fairy tale? A fairy tale starts out, “Once upon a time,” while a war story starts out, “No shit, there I was.” That's the only difference. From there on, it is all the same.
This book is about the emotional toll and lasting effects of the horrors of war that afflict combat soldiers. It is the story of the transformation of a young Eagle Scout into a warrior and the lifelong memories and scars that burden him. These types of traumatic events will haunt combat veterans for the rest of their lives.
This is not an antimilitary book. The military itself is made up of brave, loyal, unselfish men and women who leave their homes and risk their lives to make sure we are safe and democracy is preserved. I am proud of my service to this country and of what I did. If there is a fault with the military, it is not with the individual soldier but with the politicians and senior leadership that sometimes take their eye off the ball and the goal of the mission.