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The VVA Veteran Reviews Prelude

Prelude was recently reviewed by David Wilson, a reviewer from the site “Books in Review II.” Wilson's review eloquently chronicles his reaction to the novel alongside his own experience in Vietnam. "I highly recommend this novel, both as a good read and as a glimpse into the lives of...

SD Sawyer

Prelude to Reveille: A Vietnam Awakening

Prelude to Reveille: A Vietnam Awakening

Lt. Tom Barrington believed fighting in the Vietnam War might be the hardest thing he’d ever be called upon to do.  Maybe it wasn’t.  Maybe coming home was.

Prelude to Reveille: A Vietnam Awakening, S.D. Sawyer’s emotionally raw novel, mines the personal histories of returning soldiers like Tom.  It presents a hard contrast between the repeatedly tested valor of these heroes and the chilling response to them from this once-proud country.

Inspired by real-life experiences of the author and her husband during this turbulent era, the narrative begins in December, 1967, when newlyweds Tom and Meg Barrington reported to his first military station, The Old Guard, the Army’s ceremonial unit, in Arlington, Virginia.  A platoon leader, Tom performed honor burials for fallen soldiers, many killed in Vietnam, most his age or younger.  Meg juggled her career as an enthusiastic new teacher with the unfamiliar regulations required of an Army wife.  Within months, Tom received new orders— Ranger School, then deployment to Vietnam.  Meg’s role transformed into that of a Waiting Wife and a soon-to-be mother.

Wounded half-way through his tour, Tom went from combat on a jungle trail in Vietnam to surgery in Japan, to enrollment at a small college back home. Anti-war demonstrations and protests cordoned off him and other veterans from even their peers. Soldiers’ pride was quickly replaced with feelings of guilt, anger, and betrayal.  Ignored by institutions and support networks that had offered care to returning veterans in past decades, these soldiers 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.

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, Sawyer invokes a wake-up call for the America of today to at long last make things right for Vietnam veterans and their families.

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5.0 out of 5 stars   An informative retrospective., October 19, 2011

“There is a wealth of realism in this novel.  Specific details about the locales, the organizations, the characters and the incidents are accurate; only the names of the individuals have been changed to protect both guilty and innocent.  I was there, I experienced some of the events, pride and frustration, and I came to some of the same conclusions that the author did.  Because this story is written from the point of view of a loving wife, the observations and analysis are more poignant than normal in a war story. For anyone interested in the double-edged effects the Vietnam war had on soldiers and their loved ones, this novel is essential reading.”                                                                                       –Leif A. Aamot (Chautauqua, NY USA)

Book Details
• Pub. Date: October 2011
• Publisher: CreateSpace
• Format: Paperback, 398 pages
• ISBN-13: 978-1461114857
• ISBN: 1461114853


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One Response to Prelude to Reveille: A Vietnam Awakening

  1. I really like your writing style, great info , thankyou for posting : D.

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