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John E. Siipola pens a harrowing journey of Vietnam veterans in Tears of a Patriot.

“He jests at scars that never felt a wound…”

Romeo and Juliet, Act 2 Scene 2, William Shakespeare

The characters in this novel are fictional. This novel is based on stories that I heard from my brothers, friends, and classmates. Thirty years ago, I couldn’t recount these stories without personal distress. Now, it is a different lifetime, but the hurt still lingers.

2,594,000 men and women served within the borders of Vietnam and 58,148 were KIA (killed in action) and another 75,000 were disabled. Two-thirds of those who served in Vietnam were volunteers. Most say that they are glad to have served their country and would serve again.

Some of our veterans were flown home after their tour of duty and arrived stateside some 36 hours from combat. They were very happy to have survived and were going home. They had done their job. Done their duty for God, honor, and country. Proud to have served their country, but were met with disdain, taunts, and worse when they arrived in the good old USA. Their peers who were deferred for college or grad school or those who went to Canada, or elsewhere to avoid service, derided them and many later have gone on to be successful teachers, professors, and politicians.

Only about 2% of our population now has had military experience. They haven’t seen the elephant as the combat veterans say. Combat is intense with terrifying explosions so close that you lose your wind and water. A dead body in the heat will be crawling with maggots within hours and within a day it will be black and bloated. The sights and smells in the aftermath of combat will never be forgotten by those who have lived through it and neither will the hurt of our veterans that have been disrespected by the very people enjoying the freedoms that they fought to preserve.

To all who were there, thank you for your service.

John E. Siipola

ISBN 13 (SOFT): 9781524557546
ISBN 13 (HARD): 9781524557553
ISBN 13 (eBook): 9781524557539

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Tears of a Patriot – John E. Siipola