Why I wrote this book
Gretchen and I were in Hawaii trying to stay warm during the Minnesota winter. I had joined a writing club in Waimea and been trying to learn the craft of putting words on paper. At the start of the third year with the club, it occurred to me that this offered the perfect venue to capture my thoughts about the Vietnam War. Did I want to reopen that box and let the evil spirits escape? This was it; it was really now or never.
The book Letters Never Written tells the story of my tour in Vietnam with the Marine Corps. During the forty plus years that had passed since that time, I have never talked about the experience. This was an opportunity to let my wife, children, grandchildren, and other friends and relatives see the Vietnam I saw. Suddenly, I was compelled to record this little slice of the history of our country and our family.
I was excited about completing the book. I am constantly asked, "Was it cathartic? Did it finally set you free of lingering bad memories?" At first, I felt the joy about the completing the book was cathartic. After a little time passed, those evil spirits came back to visit and I now feel the joy was associate more with completing a task than satisfying some lingering inner need.
Occasionally the spirits still visit. Some are finding their way back into the box. I'm sure it will close again one day.