Time Passed

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
326 Pages
Reviewed on 07/15/2023
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Author Biography

Robert graduated from Murray State University, where he also met his wife, with a bachelor’s degree in occupational safety & health. Following graduation, he moved to Tennessee and had a long career in his chosen profession. He also served 27 years in the Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves, wearing the Army’s Armor insignia, before retiring from the military in 2016.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Steven Robson for Readers' Favorite

Time Passed by Robert Barlow, Jr. is a gut-wrenching reminder that good people are drawn into wars wherever they may occur, and not all conflicts are relatable to the society in which they live. This was particularly so for the Vietnam War, where sentiment for the fighting was always being challenged, and inevitably participation became toxic to a large sector of the population; around forty-seven thousand Americans were killed in combat. Time Passed takes a unique look at this period by spotlighting the lives of five individuals who become drawn together in ways unimaginable to their initial experiences. Their lives are not only catastrophically altered during the conflict but continually impacted, in some cases up to nearly forty years into their futures. Their stories will captivate you, and no one will be left with dry eyes after sharing their journey.

Time Passed by Robert Barlow, Jr. is one of these reads that leaves readers with a sense of disbelief at the depth of the human depravity at one end of the scale and endless love at the other. I am not ashamed to admit it brought tears to my eyes, not just on one occasion. It clearly showed that the heroes in these wars are not only those firing guns, and villains don’t always reside in enemy camps. Looking at someone like Colonel Allan Nevin, who brought this home in spades, I have no doubts things like this occurred; it sickens beyond belief, and missing in action barely covers what is due to this hero. Not only is this story engrossing in its raw honesty, but it is easy to read and very well compiled with a solid plot. There are brutally graphic scenes, which may not be to all readers' liking, but make no mistake; everyone must read this incredible book to honor the memories of all who suffered through this period of history.

Bil Howard

Time Passed by Robert Barlow Jr follows the lives of three men who served their country in Huey helicopters in Vietnam. Two of them, Daniel and Phil, served as pilots and were Prisoners Of War (POW) after their aircraft had been shot down. The third, Benjamin, a crew chief and door gunner, lost his legs below the knees after being pinned under the Huey was shot down. The story recounts their struggles to survive “in the country” and the decades of battling the memories and longing for the lives they might have had if they had never set foot in Vietnam or a Huey. They’ll go to their graves alone as they struggle with life, taking their silent horror with them. Are there brave men in Hueys able to MEDEVAC them from the burdens they bear almost four decades after returning home?

Reading Time Passed evoked inner turmoil I haven’t experienced often in a work of fiction, which is a credit to the craftsmanship of Robert Barlow Jr. I felt the pain of each man's wounds and the torture they endured, but those discomforts paled in comparison to the torture in their minds and the torment in their hearts. Even though I wanted to turn away during various scenes described by Barlow, I was so wrapped up in the lives of each of these three men that I could not stop turning pages. Time Passed takes you on a spiritual journey, not just to the battlefields of Southeast Asia, but inside the troubled minds of those deeply impacted by a war that had no satisfactory end with no hero's welcome and one that has gone down in history as a terrible mistake. Though perhaps in a small way, this book is a step toward healing some of those old wounds that continue to linger nearly fifty years after the fall of Saigon.

Pikasho Deka

Time Passed by Robert Barlow Jr. follows the lives of three Vietnam War veterans who struggle to acclimate to civilian life after their harrowing experiences in the war. While on a mission to rescue a Navy pilot in Cambodia, the enemy brought down Daniel Gardner's Huey helicopter and took him captive. Severely injured, Daniel's next two years became a living nightmare, filled with starvation, torture, and witnessing brutal murders of fellow captives. Huey Pilot Phil Russ's experience as a POW in a Vietcong camp ended similarly, with torture and sexual abuse that led him to a life of isolation. Crew Chief Benjamin Simms lost the use of his legs in the same war. When fate brings these war veterans together three decades later, an extraordinary event offers the aging heroes a chance for closure and catharsis.

Time Passed is an emotionally moving story about three war veterans struggling with mental and physical trauma for decades after serving honorably in a grueling war. Author Robert Barlow Jr. weaves a powerful tale filled with heartbreak and tragedy that perfectly demonstrates the sheer will and resilience of the human heart, which finds a way to hope even in the darkest circumstances. This poignant military drama novel paints a dark, gritty, realistic portrait of war. The author never shies away from showcasing the harsh realities of war and how it continues to affect the lives of soldiers decades later. I cannot emphasize enough how much I enjoyed and appreciated this book—highly recommended.