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Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite
Wow, what an experience reading Homecoming: A Soldier's Story of Loyalty, Courage, and Redemption. David Arenstam brought me into the war and made me a part of the action. The story follows Russell Warriner and Bobby Connelly as they sign up for the Vietnam War, become flying partners in the Aerial Rocket Artillery Division, and learn to love each other as brothers. Warriner survives the war and goes on to serve as an instructor and then volunteers to go back into the air in Korea. Bobby is not so lucky; he becomes a prisoner of war and suffers all of the inhumanities that a man can suffer. Throughout the story is the feeling of fear and pride and belief in what they are fighting for. They both left family, girlfriends and a life behind that was often the only thing that kept them going from day to day. It is indeed a fictional story of just two brave army men, but it felt real and it kept me reading often with tears in my eyes.
I really enjoyed Homecoming for the truth and honor that David Arenstam brought to the Vietnam War. I felt as though I knew both Russ and Bobby and shared in their joy and pain. I was alive and a young adult during the time that this book was written, but never did I receive such a deep feeling of admiration and appreciation for what our brave soldiers had to endure. Homecoming is a great fictional story in every possible way and should be read as a military fiction book, but it should also make you want to stop each Vietnam veteran you meet and say thank you – job well done. I strongly urge you to read Homecoming; it is wonderful on so many levels.