A Boy at War

Fiction - Military
440 Pages
Reviewed on 03/18/2024
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Author Biography

Writing this book was my latest attempt to help my fellow combat veterans understand their distress by clarifying my own. In the 13 months of writing the first draft, my purpose morphed to being more about illuminating young people and their loved ones to know the costs of choosing to kill people for a living.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

A Boy at War is a work of non-fiction in the historical, action, and military subgenres. The book is best suited to mature readers as it contains explicit language, sexual situations, and graphic violence. Penned by author Bill Maier, this work recounts his experiences as a Marine during the Vietnam War. Fifty years after his return in 1968, Maier dedicates 90 minutes each morning to documenting his memories of the 13-month combat tour. Through his writing, he grapples with the moral complexities and compromises he faced during the war, confronting the lingering effects of his experiences. Initially hesitant due to fear of reactivating wartime trauma, Maier finds solace and purpose in honoring the Vietnam veterans he treated for PTSD. Inspired by their courage in sharing their stories and seeking healing, Maier discovers a newfound sense of duty and strength in his own journey of reflection and reconciliation.

Author Bill Maier has crafted a deeply moving book that offers many profound insights into the human cost of war and the enduring impact of trauma. Maier's candid reflections on his wartime experiences and his subsequent struggle with PTSD are well-penned and astutely reflected upon, shedding light on the complex moral and emotional challenges faced by soldiers everywhere. I found the narrative both honest and considerate, delivering straight-talking and graphic moments only where they were needed and tempering this with emotional detail and contextual history. His dedication to documenting his memories as a form of healing and reconciliation was both poignant and inspiring, underscoring the importance of confronting and processing traumatic experiences. Overall, A Boy at War serves as a powerful reminder of the healing power of storytelling in overcoming adversity, and I would recommend it to fans of true-life tales everywhere.