Bleeding for the cause
As my new book progresses, I am once again at that juncture of writing where the writer and the person behind the writing must face each other and decide just how much of one's self to put on display before the reader. This new book "Going To War" is non-fiction. My account of Fox Trot company, 2nd Battalion 26th Marines, 3rd Marine Division during the Vietnam war, 1967. I can only accomplish this task by writing what I know, from memory and hindsight, and that of course derives from my experiences therein. A memoir account.
Writing chapter five has left me a bit emotionally drained, reliving in some detail the operations and actions of Fox Trot during that year, the encounters, strategies and losses incurred during that period of time. I do not write in the details of the battles. I speak of them in time and place, as well as losses, the mindset and psychological affect to those who walked away. This has not been an easy book to write. One of the fellow marines with whom I served asked me about writing an accounting of that time. At first I pushed that query away believing it something I would never do, being I tend to write satire.
In the end, after a half-century of keeping that period walled up in a dark corner of my psyche, I came to realize the story needed to be told. As was necessary during times when it seemed the ordeal before me was overwhelming, I followed the Gunny's dictum to put your left foot forward, then the right, keep going! I was proud to bleed for my country forty eight years ago. I am no less inclined to do so once again, to get that story down on paper. As Hemingway noted; "It is not difficult to write. You just sit down and bleed".