Book Title: Bury Him: A Memoir of the Viet Nam War by Captain Doug Chamberlain
Category: Non-Fiction (18 +), 348 pages
Genre: Memoir, Biographies of the Marines
Publisher: Love the West Publications LLC
Release date: November 2019
Content Rating: PG + M: Some scenes of the war, no bad language, no sex.
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—John E. Brown, III
Past president of JBU, and former AR State Senator
'Bury him,' that command from many years ago still resonates in his mind even after the war. Chamberlain has written a vivid personal story of his encounters in the battlefields of the Vietnam War. Every veteran soldier has his story to tell and Chamberlain's memory of this particular event is seared deep in his conscience, a reason why it emotionally and mentally troubled him for a long time. For a fact, all soldiers who go to war are motivated by their ideals and appetite for heroism with confidence that the 'ultimate honor they will be given is the return of their remains to their families and their country no matter what and as they hold on to the military principle that no one will be left behind' . But to witness a country's betrayal point blank in the middle of the battlefield is 'most devastating and unthinkable not only for him but also for his fellow marines. Chamberlain makes us understand that horrific situations in war which soldiers have no control or jurisdiction whatsoever leave them helpless and broken. Such is the sad truth about war and the challenges that soldiers must face. These traumatic situations when left unforgiven and untreated can be what Chamberlain referred to as 'psychologically damaging' becoming the so called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that many soldiers have come to experience.
One can't help help feel empathy towards his situation where it is true that only a few can understand the disorder as he admitted that he attempted to confide in one of his daughters but only to be dismissed. Even 'spiritual leaders who helped shaped his religious beliefs shunned him. It made him choose to believe that they did not understand the scope of what he was dealing with.'
He narrates that his 'feelings of inadequacy, sense of failure, and the intense shame that he felt constantly made him struggle with thoughts of how meaningless his life has been because of the burial.' His personal struggle with PTSD and its effects in his life, I believe would be something many veterans can relate to and find some light. As Chamberlain shares that his years of public service helped him deal with PTSD and gave him the courage to continue saying, “It was what it was, and it is what it is.” Tomorrow is yet another day to continue on.
Doug Chamberlain gives us a profound insight into his life experiences so much affected by the memories of war. It also allows us to better understand their humanity in view of their own personal struggles as they come to terms with themselves and the people around them.
by Doug Chamberlain
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