Editor’s note: Wayne’s War author, Wayne Myles Burton, will be signing books at the Maine Authors Publishing booth from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the lawn of the Camden Library on Sunday, October 6th during the Camden Harbor Arts Festival. Available on Amazon, Kindle or Maine Authors Publishing.
MONICA READS, a review by Monica West
Wayne’s War By Wayne Myles Burton of Durham
Do you remember the Vietnam War? I do. I was a young woman in my twenties and living and working as a secretary (G5) at the Naval Facilities Engineering Command in Washington, D.C.
It felt like war to me and I know how a young Captain Wayne Myles Burton felt from reading Wayne’s War written later on in his life exploring the kind of man he became because of the war. We can only guess about the emotions that can still be too close to the moment.
Burton relies on the letters he wrote to his wife Betsy during his time “in country” to tell his story. His emotions sometimes do not reflect the trauma he experienced during battle. Burton’s memories do reflect the times that also involved deep racial division.
The madness of body counts on a daily basis were so calculated. Burton reminds us of the underlying angst we all felt as we learned more about the political power struggles and what was really at stake in Vietnam. It was a time of political craziness and we all kept wondering what to believe.
Captain Burton was a young kid signing up to get a $40 stipend by attending ROTC training at Bowdoin College. He was not a dedicated student at the time but signed on for a tour that would rock his world and change the course of two countries – and his life. Burton served as a staff officer and company commander in the 9th Infantry Division in 1968-69 in the Mekong Delta.
Reading Wayne’s War made me remember how I was struggling to figure out my own life. My grandson wrote a paper for an English class about the Vietnam era and I asked to read it after he interviewed me. I was not ready for his condemnation of America as the boogeyman and rightfully so.
I have also been to the Vietnam Veterans War Memorial showcasing all the names of the 58,000 people killed.
What a waste of time, energy, money and people who should be here enjoying their own grandchildren.
Please read Wayne’s War. It’s wonderfully well-written.
Then examine your own feelings. And say a prayer.
Monica West reviews books for InDepthNH.org. Monica is known for her love of history and her lifelong love for reading. She has a bachelor’s degree in History, with a minor in English. “My years of reading for leisure and pleasure have given me the insight to read a book and analyze the author’s baggage, cargo and ability to write the language of his/her mind and utilize the gift of prose to educate and entertain the reader. Go get a book, read it and enjoy the adventure.” Contact Monica at firstname.lastname@example.org