Earlier this week I had lunch with a friend who recently read "Ways of War". We had not been sitting at the table long when he asked me what made me write the book. At first I thought it was a bad sign; one that meant it wasn't good, but after just minutes of conversation relative to the book I was informed otherwise. My greatest fear as a writer is that though I think a story is good, it may not hold the interest of the reader who anticipates and desires to be entertained.
In this case I was told the story was very good. I will not go into great detail about the personal conversation because of the topic. I will however expand upon the initial question asked, "What made you write this book? Why this topic?"
We as human beings struggle with conflict every day. We desire to be good, caring, loving individuals. Somehow we fall short of our own expectations almost daily. When we fail to live up to our own ideals, we become weak. We begin to lose hope and then patience. When this happens, we often times lose sight of our original goal and lash out. I believe this is the beginning of what become wars between nations.
Disconnect between the ideal we hold up to ourselves and that which the world sees causes dissention among the people of many countries. The nations of the world are all guilty of ignorance to one degree or another, the United States is no exception. We think because something works for us that it will work for the world. A nation; a people may desire freedom from poverty and persecution, but they may not be ready for the responsibility that comes with it. We as a nation became what we are over time; over centuries. We did it in increments and with great loss of life and ultimately compromise. We can't go into other countries and force our system on those people when they are not ready.
I wrote "Ways of War" because I had a story to tell. I may have been a child during the Vietnam Struggle, but I do remember. I remember two uncles going off to fight and being very scared for them. I remember seeing the fighting and riots on T.V. and listening to the conversation that always seemed to return to the same topic. In one way or another, the Vietnam War was brought up in conversation.
Today we hear some of those men and women referring to our present day wars as "another Vietnam". If we can't learn from our history, we are doomed to repeat it. Maybe time and distance has caused our Government to forget about Vietnam and the conflict within our country during that time in history. In writing "Ways of War" it is my hope to refresh the memories of people that may not remember that time in history or were too young to remember. We should never forget any war least we repeat the error of our ways.
The Vietnam War is long past. But the mistakes have not been learned. "Ways of War" is just another way to revisit the past and remember. It is not my desire to open old wounds and cause pain to anyone. It is my desire however to cause people to respond differently. I have great respect for those that gave so much and were respected so little. "Ways of War" is my small contribution to their sacrifice. I have dedicated it to those that have served as well as those who serve today.
The story always continues. The names change, time passes, the sun rises and sets and the seasons continue to change, yet the one consistency remains. The desire for peace is the ultimate goal. Sometimes I think it’s a mirage. We will never see it if we can't even learn from the past.