Author and Vietnam Veteran Ray Gleason Uses Humanity and Combat Experience in Latest Novel, The Violent Season

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Author and Vietnam vet, Ray Gleason, uses his own experiences with war to captivate audiences in The Violent Season, which is about young Americans and their involvement with the Vietnam War.

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Despite pop culture, people who participated went to war as innocents, trying to do a good job, and just do the right thing

The Vietnam War was a long and costly armed conflict that pitted the communist regime of North Vietnam and its southern allies against South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States, from 1954 to 1975 (1). While these days, many people learn about a war through the media and pop culture, Vietnam veteran and author Ray Gleason is telling war stories based on his own personal experience and relationships. His second novel, The Violent Season, is to be released in March, 2013, on Amazon.com.

Vietnam remains a controversial subject for Americans. Because the United States failed to win, most books tend toward the dark, angry, ironic and cynical aspects of the war (2). These tenors and attitudes don’t apply to Gleason’s latest novel, The Violent Season. The story invites readers to experience all parts of the war—not just the suffering, but the triumphs and the camaraderie of Americans and their families during the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War novel is the story of a young Americans as told by one who actually experienced and lived to tell about it.

As a retired infantry major in the United States Army, Gleason understands what military personnel go through first-hand. During the Vietnam War, Gleason served as a rifleman and squad leader in Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry. He then served as a long-range reconnaissance patrol (LRRP) and Hawkeye team leader with K Company, 75th Infantry (Ranger). Gleason says that his experiences in Vietnam have allowed him to produce not another war story, but rather a story about the human spirit attempting to create good even when confronted with impossible odds.

“Despite pop culture, people who participated went to war as innocents, trying to do a good job, and just do the right thing,” Gleason commented.

While Gleason’s military record is impressive, his academic résumé is equally stellar. Gleason is a lecturer at Northwestern University’s School of Continuing Studies in Chicago, teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses in medieval literature. He received a Ph.D. (1997) in Medieval Literature and an MA (1989) in English Literature from Northwestern University, as well as a BA (1974) in English Literature and European History from Hunter College in New York. Gleason’s literary writing takes readers through a passionate, yet uplifting, journey through the Vietnam War.

Jimmy Delvecchio never wanted anything to do with the army or the war. Even after he’s drafted, he tries to avoid being sent to Viet Nam, but once there, he decides that he will simply do his duty, survive and return to his family. But, in his last days of combat, he commits an act of selfless courage and compassion that will affect him and his family for the rest of their lives.

“People need to understand what they are asking someone to do when they engage in war,” Gleason added. “Those who survive are changed forever.”

For more information on Ray Gleason, and to pre-order a copy of The Violent Season, visit http://www.raygleason.com.

About Ray Gleason

Ray Gleason is a retired infantry major of the United States Army. He has been awarded several commendations and decorations, including the Combat Infantry Badge (CIB), Bronze Star with V (Valor), and the State of New York Humanitarian Service Medal. Gleason was also granted the State of Ohio Commendation Medal and Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Gold Palm. He is currently a lecturer at Northwestern University’s School of Continuing Studies in Chicago. Gleason received a Ph.D. (1997) in Medieval Literature and an MA (1989) in English Literature from Northwestern University. He also received a BA (1974), Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, in English Literature and European History from Hunter College in New York. He has taught literature and writing at Mundelein College, Lewis University and William Rainy Harper College. Gleason is on the Leadership and English faculties of the Culver Academies in Culver, Indiana. Gleason is the author of A Grunt Speaks and The Violent Season. For more information on this war author, visit http://www.raygleason.com.

(1) History.com. Accessed January 30, 2013. “Vietnam War”. history.com/topics/vietnam-war
(2) Miller, Tom. March 2005. “Top Ten Books: Vietnam War”. military.com/NewContent/0,13190,031405_Top10_Vietnam,00.html

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