4 out of 4 stars
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Based on true historical events, Randy Miller’s Deadly Waters: The Vietnam Naval War and Its Aftermath, follows the life of a fictional character, a young man from a rural part of Vermont. Zachariah Martin is barely out of high school when he enlists to serve as a Blue Water Navy sailor. With little experience and close to no imagination what war is like, he arrives with his friends in Vietnam. The war horrors they face are haunting but worse challenges are yet to come. Back home, Zack and many of his colleagues suffer from illnesses related to the Agent Orange chemical and the Veterans Affairs department shockingly refuses them well-deserved compensation.
Randy Miller’s characters are as real as can be. It was easy for me to paint a picture in my mind of the war heroes and their opponents. The impact each of them has is further accentuated by an adept description of the background. The unforgiving terrain, the unfamiliar climates and cuisine all compound together to show what the sailors had to face in the surreal land.
There is no doubt that Miller is a gifted author. His way with words is truly engaging for any reader. He is able to balance the heart-wrenching experiences of war while still inserting aspects of humor into the storyline. As the book begins, a terrifying yet humorous character is introduced. His terrible temper yet down to earth character adds a fascinating twist right from the beginning. Funnier still are his remarks which send the boys in spells of laughter while being very careful to do this away from his presence.
The plot is very emotionally evoking and highlights the plight of 229,000 navy sailors. The young men left everything behind, their loved ones, their dreams of a normal life and the comfort of their homes so as to give themselves fully and wholeheartedly to their call of duty and to the honor of their nation. Anyone would expect them to be received with the honor that they deserved, the recognition advanced to a hero. The opposite happened and they had to fight their administration to receive compensation for the illnesses they suffered from their contact with the lethal Agent Orange.
Deadly Waters: The Vietnam Naval War and Its Aftermath by Randy Miller is a book on love, friendship, devotion to duty, the history of a nation and the aftermath of war. It is keenly written and skilfully presented. An enlightening book that inspires thought for every fan of historical books that reflect on war and its after-effects. I rate it 4 out of 4 stars.
Deadly Waters: The Vietnam Naval War And Its Aftermath
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