This new memoir details the author’s change from an enthusiastic young soldier into a battle-hardened veteran and how that change affects the next 40 years of his life.
Yorktown, Va. (PRWEB) March 20, 2012
Flying a Huey helicopter during the Vietnam War was a dream come true for a young Army pilot in 1967, but the dangers and disappointments of battle tempered that excitement. This new memoir details the author’s change from an enthusiastic young soldier into a battle-hardened veteran and how that change affects the next 40 years of his life. His diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in 2005 and writing the book help him come to terms with the emotional scars left by the war.
In “Soldier Boy: The Diary of a Soldier in War,” Christopher Valentine opens his life to examination, revealing the good and bad emotions soldiers experience in their profession, performing duties under sometimes atrocious conditions. Drawing on his own memories and letters he wrote to his wife almost daily, Valentine describes the endless missions, difficult living conditions, and how it felt to live with the constant threat of death. Extensive burns on his arm and face and other injuries he received during an attack at the beginning of the TET offensive shorten his time in Vietnam, and he was sent home.
Valentine pulls no punches, describing his first time in a combat situation in graphic detail; he admits that if he could have quit then and there, he would have. He sprinkles light-hearted moments among his stories of the war’s horror, such as an adopted baby bunny, practical jokes the men play on each other, and his feelings of joy on returning home. Photos of soldiers and helicopter pilots portray his life in the combat zone in vivid detail.
Author Christopher Valentine began taking flying lessons after high school. He joined the Army in November 1965 and took basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey, and completed basic flight training school at Fort Wolters, Texas, and later at Fort Rucker, Alabama. He married Penny on Sept. 10, 1966, and served as a Huey helicopter pilot in an assault helicopter company for his first tour of duty from March 1967 to January 1968, accumulating more than 1,200 combat flying hours. He became a first lieutenant in the Army Transportation Corps and completed 20 years of military service, retiring as a major and master aviator in the Army Aviation Corps in 1985. He was inspired to write “Soldier Boy” after struggling on his 60th birthday to answer his youngest son’s questions about the war.
For additional information, please visit http://www.soldierboybook.com.
Soldier Boy: The Diary of a Soldier in War
Dog Ear Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-4575-0643-7 260 pages $15.95 US
Available at Ingram, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and fine bookstores everywhere.
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