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S. D. Sawyer

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Member Since: Sep, 2011

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Prelude to Reveille: A Vietnam Awakening
by S. D. Sawyer   

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Historical Fiction

Publisher:  Createspace ISBN-10:  1461114853 Type: 


ISBN-13:  9781461114857

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S.D. Sawyer

Inspired by the author's experiences, this compelling historical fiction portrays the impact of the Vietnam War on one combat platoon leader and his family as they struggle to reenter The World.

Lt. Tom Barrington believed fighting in the Vietnam War might be the hardest thing he’d ever be called upon to do. Maybe it wasn't.  Maybe coming home was.   Prelude to Reveille: A Vietnam Awakening, S.D. Sawyer’s emotionally raw novel, mines this country’s chilling response to returning soldiers like Tom. Inspired by real-life experiences of the author and her husband during this turbulent time in American history, Sawyer reveals personal, critical insights into this pervasive phenomenon. 

In December 1967, newlyweds Tom and Meg Barrington reported to his first military station, the Army's ceremonial unit, The Old Guard, at Ft. Myer, Arlington, Virginia. As platoon leader, Tom performed honor burials for fallen soldiers, many killed in Vietnam, most his age or younger. Meg juggled her career as an enthusiastic new teacher with the unfamiliar regulations required of an Army wife.  A few months into his assignment, Tom received new orders—  Ranger School, followed by deployment to Vietnam.  Meg's role quickly transformed into that of a Waiting Wife, soon-to-be mother.

Halfway through his tour, Tom was wounded leading his platoon in a hostile operation. Within weeks, he went from combat on a jungle trail in Vietnam to surgery in Japan, to enrollment at a small college in the States.  As protests and anti-war demonstrations cordoned off Tom and other servicemen from even their peers, many veterans felt harassed and betrayed by their own country.

Prelude to Reveille:  A Vietnam Awakening, is a tribute to our soldiers. The novel expresses hope in our nation's emerging awareness of its obligated duty to respect and revere the selfless men and women who serve our country. 

Professional Reviews

Emotionally charged, well written first novel!, November 16, 2011
By R. Ballister "author and naval officer" (Annapolis, MD) - Military Writers Society of America
S.D. Sawyer's first novel, PRELUDE TO REVEILLE: A VIETNAM AWAKENING is an emotionally charged book about Meg and Tom, a young married couple struggling with the Army, the Vietnam War, and Tom's return as a wounded veteran.

2nd Lt Tom Barrington has a bright future in the Army, a beautiful wife named Meg, and his whole life ahead of him. But when he gets orders to Vietnam as an infantry platoon leader, the young officer and his pregnant wife must deal with separation and the horrors and uncertainty of war. Tom returns, and while his physical wounds have healed, the mental toll of war lingers long after, and jeopardize his life with his bride.

The characters are fictitious, but it's obvious that the author has walked the walk of the young Meg Barrington. Sawyer does an excellent job of developing both Tom and Meg so you feel their joy, their love, and at times their pain. I was particularly struck by how genuine the characters are, in both their speech and emotions. Overall the story does an excellent job of portraying this trying time in any military couple's life.

Vets and spouses alike will relate well to this book, and it could serve as a springboard for discussion for today's generation of warriors preparing to leave their spouses behind for a wartime deployment.

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