Review by MsH2k -- Deadly Waters: The Vietnam Naval War ...

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MsH2k
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Review by MsH2k -- Deadly Waters: The Vietnam Naval War ...

Post by MsH2k » 11 Nov 2019, 17:47

[Following is a volunteer review of "Deadly Waters: The Vietnam Naval War And Its Aftermath" by Randy Miller.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Deadly Waters: The Vietnam Naval War And Its Aftermath is a historical fiction novel by Randy Miller. This book is the story of the life of Zack Martin, but it could easily be about many other young men who fought in the Vietnam War. Zack is a seventeen-year-old country boy from Vermont who loves his farm life but wants to see the world before he settles down with his high school sweetheart, Tally. After boot camp, Zack heads to Vietnam aboard a destroyer, the USS Hawke. Zack would see first-hand the beauty and horror of life as a Blue Water Navy sailor during the Vietnam War.

The author, a U.S. Navy Vietnam veteran, provides an outstanding account of the experiences of his fellow sailors in Vietnam and their return to the United States. The book is divided into three parts. The first part contains Zack’s introduction to naval life on board his first ship. The second part finds Zack heading back to Vietnam on the much larger cruiser, the USS Providence. He has made friends - and enemies - and is excelling in his career. He also remains true to Tally. The third part details Zack’s return home and the devastating lack of medical support the VA would provide to him and his fellow sailors who were exposed to Agent Orange.

Mr. Miller fully develops the characters and vividly portrays landscapes and people from the shores of Vietnam to the Pacific coast of California to the farms in Vermont. The reader, along with the crew of the Hawke, is introduced to Agent Orange, the new chemical defoliant that’s “harmless to human and animal life, but it’s going to wipe out all of the vegetation.” What I liked most about this book was that I learned about the Vietnam War experience alongside a young sailor whom I trusted. Zack was a good kid. He was smart, honest, loyal, and hardworking. He obeyed orders but did not blindly agree with them.

I found it hard to understand the dialogue in the beginning when Zack first boarded the Hawke. The dialogue is displayed phonetically, highlighting the New England and Southern accents. After a while, the accents became less prominent. In retrospect, the accents lessened as Zack became acclimated to his new environment: he even began adding the missing “r” to his pronunciation of words. Expecting this difficulty in understanding the phonetic dialogue, the author provides Glossary A, a translation of words from Vermont to English. He also provides Glossary B, a list of naval terms, which is helpful for readers without a military background.

Without hesitation, I rate Deadly Waters: The Vietnam Naval War And Its Aftermath 4 out of 4 stars. It appeared to be professionally edited - I noticed less than five grammatical errors. The story is filled with plenty of colorful profanity that is primarily found in the service members’ dialogue. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys character-based historical war novels. Even if this is not your genre of choice, I highly recommend this read to anyone who wants to know about the Vietnam War, particularly the Agent Orange issue. I do not recommend this book to those who are not interested in a sailor’s experience in the Vietnam War or those who would be offended by the profanity.

Deadly Waters was published in 2018. In his notes at the end of the book, Mr. Miller cautions the reader that it irritates the Blue Water Navy veterans when we thank them for their service while they are still fighting for the benefits due them. Fittingly, I am submitting this review on Veterans Day 2019. Congress unanimously passed H.R. 299, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, and President Trump signed it into law in June. This legislation will provide benefits to the Blue Water Navy veterans that were affected by Agent Orange. I hope Mr. Miller and his fellow service members will finally receive the benefits they and their families deserve.

******
Deadly Waters: The Vietnam Naval War And Its Aftermath
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AvidBibliophile
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Post by AvidBibliophile » 16 Nov 2019, 02:48

I’ve already got this one queued up in my “plan to read soon” category, and your shining review confirms it. Having worked briefly at a couple of different VA clinics, I have sadly met many recent service men and women who still feel inadequately compensated by the very government they served. It is a morally complicated system for sure. And thank you for including that recent legislative update! I certainly hope the affected families can finally get the apologetic reparations they deserve.

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Post by jeminah28 » 16 Nov 2019, 03:47

I read this book, too. Agent Orange is highly fatal to a loyal and good soldier.😑😥
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Post by rumik » 16 Nov 2019, 09:46

Wow, this is a really well-written and thoughtful review. I especially like how you mention you're submitting it on Veteran's day. I probably won't be reading this one but I'm definitely glad these veterans are finally getting the benefits they should've received a long time ago.

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Post by MsH2k » 16 Nov 2019, 16:41

AvidBibliophile wrote:
16 Nov 2019, 02:48
I’ve already got this one queued up in my “plan to read soon” category, and your shining review confirms it. Having worked briefly at a couple of different VA clinics, I have sadly met many recent service men and women who still feel inadequately compensated by the very government they served. It is a morally complicated system for sure. And thank you for including that recent legislative update! I certainly hope the affected families can finally get the apologetic reparations they deserve.
I must humbly admit I found about the recent legislative changes while checking my capitalization of terms. I must have been predestined to include it in the review. Thank you for your insightful comment.

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Post by MsH2k » 16 Nov 2019, 16:48

jeminah28 wrote:
16 Nov 2019, 03:47
Agent Orange is highly fatal to a loyal and good soldier.😑😥
So true. It is highly unlikely that something that will “wipe out all of the vegetation” would be “harmless to human and animal life.” Thank you for your comment.

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Post by MsH2k » 16 Nov 2019, 16:55

rumik wrote:
16 Nov 2019, 09:46
I especially like how you mention you're submitting it on Veteran's day.
I noticed the timing when I was finishing the book, and I thought about delaying my submission to coincide with Veterans Day, but as it turned out I wasn’t ready until then anyway. It felt good to acknowledge the Vietnam vets in this small way. Thank you for your comment.

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Post by Prisallen » 17 Nov 2019, 09:08

It is so sad that it has taken this long to give the people who laid their lives on the line for our country the benefits that they deserve. I'm glad that it finally has happened. Thank you for a wonderful review!

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Post by MsH2k » 17 Nov 2019, 15:20

Prisallen wrote:
17 Nov 2019, 09:08
It is so sad that it has taken this long to give the people who laid their lives on the line for our country the benefits that they deserve. I'm glad that it finally has happened. Thank you for a wonderful review!
I am glad it’s happening as well. I hope there isn’t too much red tape for them to receive the benefits. Thank you for your comment.

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Post by tristenb » 17 Nov 2019, 20:32

I've been considering reading this. It's not my preferred genre, but it seems interesting enough to hold my attention. Thanks for the review!

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Post by MsH2k » 18 Nov 2019, 00:40

tristenb wrote:
17 Nov 2019, 20:32
I've been considering reading this. It's not my preferred genre, but it seems interesting enough to hold my attention. Thanks for the review!
It is an interesting book, and it was a good way for me to sneak in some important historical information while enjoying a well-written novel. I hope you decide to read it! Thanks for your comment.

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Post by Wyland » 18 Nov 2019, 09:00

I can never have enough of these war novels so this looks like an interesting one to read based on your description. Thanks for the nice review.

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Post by DonnaKay » 18 Nov 2019, 10:10

This is an incredibly written historical fiction and I enjoyed reading it. There is a lot of information on the Vietnam war. Awesome review.

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Post by MsH2k » 18 Nov 2019, 14:26

Wyland wrote:
18 Nov 2019, 09:00
I can never have enough of these war novels so this looks like an interesting one to read based on your description. Thanks for the nice review.
It is a well-written novel. I really enjoyed it. I hope you do too! Thanks for your comment.

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Post by MsH2k » 18 Nov 2019, 14:31

DonnaKay wrote:
18 Nov 2019, 10:10
This is an incredibly written historical fiction and I enjoyed reading it. There is a lot of information on the Vietnam war. Awesome review.
I admired not only the author’s writing ability but also his balanced portrayal of something that is so important to him. Thanks for your comment!

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