New Vietnam Memoir Explores Journey of Redemption After War with "The Shadow of Death"

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Author Kurt Vomberg's personal account of the Vietnam War gives faces to the fallen.

The Shadow of Death, a Vietnam War memoir
"I believe that each of us has a defining moment. How we respond to that challenge will tell us who and what we are."

There are gunshots, grenades, brutality, and death in the jungles of Vietnam during the war. But there is also an elderly man who wakes up at 4 a.m. each morning to pray for his grandson in Vietnam and a new recruit who spends every spare minute writing letters to his wife. These tender stories of the people behind the war starkly contrast the gritty tales of combat in Kurt Vomberg’s new memoir, “The Shadow of Death.”

Primarily a firsthand account of Vomberg’s year in Vietnam, he vividly describes combat, injuries, and his close encounters. But, at the heart of it all is a man dedicated to telling the stories of the others whose voices were silenced; of the people he met along the way, of the men he fought alongside, and of the people he watched die.

Vomberg introduces us to an attorney-turned-lieutenant who would take out a folding lawn chair every night before sunset and make himself a martini. He also recounts a heartwarming chance encounter 34 years after the war, when Vomberg reunites with a Vietnamese refuge he used to give food to every morning as a child.

“I believe that each of us has a defining moment. How we respond to that challenge will tell us who and what we are,” said author Vomberg. “Every day since Vietnam has been a gift from God. I have felt so fortunate for every minute since coming home.”    

Vomberg’s platoon began with a total of 44 men. Only four survived to complete their one-year tour of duty.

To purchase “The Shadow of Death,” visit The paperback book retails for $14.95 and the hardcover for $24.95, and was published by Peanut Butter Publishing in Seattle.

About the author: Kurt Vomberg was born in Dodge City, Kan. in 1945 and after graduating college, enlisted in the military and served from 1966-1969, with one year in Vietnam. When he returned to the United States, he was decorated by 2-Star Gen. Shae at Fort Hood, Texas. He went on to earn a bachelor’s in business from Marquette University. Vomberg is currently a freelance writer and “The Shadow of Death” is his first published book.

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