The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

‘At Sea’ paints a rowdy picture of shipboard life

Yesterday’s post was called New Vietnam War navy novel coming soon.

At Sea was ready sooner than expected. It’s now available on Kindle for $3.99, or free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

AtSeaBookCoverHere’s the book’s description on AmazonEven though he wanted to dodge the draft in Canada or Sweden, David Ward joined the navy during the Vietnam War. He ended up on an aircraft carrier. Unlike the pilots, he couldn’t say he went in harm’s way unless he counted the baggage he carried with him. As it turned out, those back home were more dangerous than enemy fire.

Since some of the events in the book are true, I don’t mention the aircraft carrier’s name in the story. However, old salts will recognize the number of the USS Ranger (CVA-61) on the cover. I served aboard that ship and thought for a while a foundation in Oregon would have the wherewithal to convert the ship into a museum. They ran out of steam and the navy sold the ship for scrap last year.

I didn’t write the novel to celebrate the ship because the primary story for me was the emotional turmoil of a sailor who will ultimately become a conscientious objector being forced by the draft to play a support roll in a war he doesn’t agree with while friends and family at home offer little support. Fortunately, today’s young men and women don’t have to enlist if they don’t believe in life in the military.

Those of you who have read my out-of-print novel The Sailor will be familiar with the story line. However, since the book is no longer part of a trilogy, At Sea is a fresh, and deeper look at a series of events that represented a turning point in my life. Vietnam is long gone. The questions it raised are still with us, and still with those who served in-country or aboard support ships in the South China Sea.




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