4 out of 4 stars
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Deadly Waters: The Vietnam Naval War and Its Aftermath is a fictional tale of
the experiences of a Vermont farm boy who had never been out of his home
state until he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, during America's involvement in Vietnam.
Zachariah Martin, a patriot in the true sense, is suddenly exposed to the real world
horrors of war and is inevitably a changed young man. Upon completion of his
enlistment, he returns home hoping to leave all that horror behind only to find out
that he has become one of the many thousands of sailors who are suffering from the
effects of exposure to Agent Orange. When seeking aid from the Veteran's
Administration he finds that the VA is unwilling to render that aid.
It is also a poignant story of true, undying love between two young people whose
hopes and aspirations are dashed by an unrelenting bureaucracy.
Randy Miller has done a terrific job of speaking out about the plight of Vietnam
veterans, specifically those who did their duty willingly in the U.S.Navy, who, after
coming home to find that they had been severely damaged health wise because of the
indiscriminate use of the defoliating chemical "Agent Orange".
His depiction of the day to day life at sea and on liberty of a boatswain's mate
striker can hardly have been more captivating. Zachariah, the Vermont farm boy
faces a lot of the maturation process thrown at him all at once and handles it
well enough including the bullying chiefs and petty officers and their somewhat
colorful language to the physical bar action in the Philippines. Randy does this
quite well, it is almost as if it were from first hand experience.
However, when Zach views the horrors of war first hand and the subsequent
treatment he receives when back in the states on leave, changes the boy. When
discharged from the Navy his future suddenly looks bright with his one true love and
being back home in Vermont again. Unfortunately, the black cloud that is the Vietnam
War comes back to haunt him. Will he ever be able to shake loose from it?
Though there is profanity throughout the story it is used to bring out the
environment that Zach is exposed and portrays the real life world of a deck hand on
the decks of a U.S. Navy destroyer. This portraying of this life is done accurately
and with good detail by Randy. Having spent eight years in the Navy myself, I found
that the story brought back some pretty vivid memories.
I recommend Deadly Waters: The Vietnam Naval and Its Aftermath to
anyone who served or is serving in our Navy, especially those who were there inactive
during the Vietnam War, and anyone else who wishes to learn of our government's
ability to turn its back on its warriors with ease.
I give this book Four Stars, Four out of Four . because of Randy's expertise in story telling
and for giving the reader a good, accurate depiction of those trying times.
Deadly Waters: The Vietnam Naval War And Its Aftermath
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