This section is for Civilian Friends of the 2/77 Field Artillery, VN. I am using the VN Addendum, because I am distinguishing now...between our past and NOW, Current and FUTURE COMBAT HISTORIES.
Remy Benoit - (That is her pen name, the only name I know for her...Is a Masters in History, and a former Teacher of history in New England. She is also a Published Author of the "Historical Fiction" Category. As a sub, her Historical Fiction Books include, war, romance, and deep insight into inter-personal relationships. She brings her PTSD into it also, from which perspective, she is able to "empathize" with other PTSD people. She has extensively researched all her novels, and PTSD, and also publishes 2 Great Web-Sites. One of them,
WELCOME HOME SOLDIER is dedicated to her love of, and devotion to the cause of Soldiers, Sailors, Marines ---ALL VETERANS, including the formerly UNSUNG VETERANS of the HOMEFRONT, which would in most cases be. the wives, mothers, sisters, nieces, etc. of those who had to suffer in their own particular way, the absence of their loved ones, or the grief of their loss, and in some cases, the ravages inflicted upon families upon their return as wounded, either physically or mentally! Not only stories of veterans are found on her WHS site, but a seminar FREE for budding authors, especially those who think that --
GETTING THEIR STORIES OFF OF THEIR CHEST WOULD BE THERAPEUTIC
It is dedicated to the proposition that writing is or can be good therapy for PTSD
She is a lifelong friend of a former Infantry Company commander of the "Wolfhounds" who operated out of Cu-Chi, and has also become a good friend and confident of mine, and Chuck Boyle, and many other veterans, including many in the 3/22 Inf. Assn. and the 2/22VN Association, I believe, as well as many others.
As an interesting side note, she has also formed a friendship with a man who runs a veteran's booster site from England...a gentleman who started the site as a "Thank you" to all who helped England through some very difficult times in WWII, then expanded the site to include veterans of all wars.
She currently resides in Louisiana, and is the Mother of 2 young Adults in College, which by the way, she home-schooled..and who are making good grades!
While Remy's books are also linked from her site, I am going to put up the covers and synopses of them here, for convenience sake.
One thing about Remy, she researches the characters, and that means that her male characters are all in essence, men she has known and talked to, etc. So, they are real, especially the Veterans of America's Wars, which most of the MAIN male characters are - and they think and act, not like the phonies in those Hokey Romance Novels, but real people, and the historical accuracy of the settings has been painstakingly researched, and the lives of the characters are as in real life ---"woven into" the events, or the events are "Woven into" their lives, as history is ...usually. So, the stories take place in real places instead of Fantasyland,like the others. WWI, WWII, Vietnam Wars, and etc. and they deal with the aftermath lives of the characters, also.
Guess the bottom line I could say is...I see many aspects of me in her vietnam era character, and some of my past wives, hahahaha! Great Reading and/or Great Gifts!
You can follow the links to find out more and/or buy
By Remy Benoit
Letty is a love story. Yet it is much more. It is the story of the time which spans the years between 1873 and l918, when this country faced the loss of innocence.
Letty is the daughter of a rich businessman who seeks power and respectability amidst the robber barons of his time. Yet Stuart loses himself, his beautiful, loving wife, Lydia, and alienates almost all of his offspring.
Jacob and Letty meet when he is six and she is three on the shore of a barrier island where her father replaced his wife's cottage with a double towered house. For Lydia, loss of her cottage is a metaphor for the loss of the husband with whom she can no longer communicate despite her unrelenting efforts.
Jacob and Letty's bond is set there the first day and spans the years when they can only summer together. Despite months of physical separation, they are never apart in their love and thoughts, in their love for words which for them take on lives of their own in the saying.
There are a vast variety of colorful characters, some loveable, some not - including the ghost of an Aztec wife of a Conquistador - who touch the lives of Letty and Jacob and their respective mothers, Lydia Singleworth and Margaret Jordan, the Island librarian and wife of a sea captain. Also, their families.
Meet them all in Letty!
The underlying theme is the characters learning of themselves and each other; of Love in its many forms; and of the wonder of giving of themselves without restraint, to those people and things they love and care for, even through the trials of hunger and hatred, war and pestilence. They find that these shadows serve only to magnify the light.
Letty predates Island Quilts , set in the 1990's, bridging two centuries with this theme.
By Remy Benoit
Tara and Alex Asher arrive at a major mid-life decision having found that the stress of urban life as University professors is denying them the kind of lifestyle they desire.
The couple decides to accept the offer of Tara's maternal grandmother to share her home on a mid-Atlantic barrier island for a year. The Island House is the setting of the previous novel in this companion piece to Letty
Alex will continue his research for publication and teach part time in a small mainland college while Tara begins work on her second historical novel.
Their teenage children, Michael, 17, and Miranda, 13, accompany them
Through Gran's efforts, Tara and her family become involved with a series of family journals. These journals have been kept over several centuries dating back to one of a Spanish Conquistador whose words are still affecting his descendants.
As they become more and more enmeshed in the personal histories of the Islanders, they learn about themselves and their personal quest for meaning in their lives.
The rugged environment of the barrier island acquaints them with the forces of nature and man's relationship to them. The story includes a vivid storm scene, gleaned from personal experience, in which the dividing line between land and water vanishes.
In the course of the story, Tara learns to accept her change of life and life style as her daughter moves into womanhood, and Gran faces the problems of old age and loss.
Alex and Michael support each other as the child becomes a man, and the man begins to fashion a new life for himself.
The Ashers become entangled in questions concerning loving, giving, and balance and the responsibilities of personal freedom, the underlying themes of the book. The Islanders assist the Ashers in learning about the patterns of life that we all quilt for ourselves.
By Remy Benoit
Jesse Irons and Mellie Gratton, like so many others, were walking casualties of a war 13,000 miles from home.
Like the other men who were sent to Vietnam, Jesse was unprepared for what he faced in country, and unprepared for being, so quickly, back in the world.
In the spring of 1973, as US combat troops are leaving Vietnam, Jesse is trying to establish some normalcy in his life while he finishes his hitch as an Army Officer stationed State side.
Having noticed Mellie in night school graduate classes, Jesse arranges to meet her.
When the two meet the fire between them begins to burn. But deep inside Jesse also burns the torment of memories of his experiences as a man in charge of other men in the hot, humid, horror of the boonies: the horror we inflict on our men when we place them in situations where they must do things to stay alive that go against all we have raised them to be.
Peace, Now is their story: the story of their turbulent relationship begun, but never quite ended, in the spring and summer of 1973.
Their story is the tale of how he pulls her to him and pushes her away at the same time, haunted by the memories of so many who were close to him and their ultimate fate.
Jesse leaves Mellie, traveling the world for years, looking for himself, looking for peace.
He develops his talents as a photographer and chronicler of restorations of historic sites and buildings; marries, fathers two daughters, divorces, and keep looking for peace.
Mellie goes on to become Dr. Melanie Gratton, a respected Medievalist, wife of another man, mother of three children, divorcee.
Twenty-six years later, Mellie accepts a grant to restore the Schloss Geisttod, outside of Augsburg, Germany.
Wanting to have the best historic journalistic coverage of the restoration, still wanting Jesse, Mellie contacts him, the top man in the field.
Within the cold halls of the Schloss, the remnants of the savage cruelty of the Baron Geisttod to his French bride, Brianna, echo off the walls. The story of his deliberately inflicted cruelty is juxtaposed against the turbulence in Jesse's heart that came from situations he was forced into Vietnam.
By Remy Benoit
The following excerpt from Loving is the Story of a Vietnam Veteran returned, and going to school to "Get on with" his life and his true love who he meets in the classroom. He is observing the building, the classroom he enters, and the other students. -
The building was old in the way of old buildings; brown stoned, ivy covered walls, dark tiled floors that had long ago lost any image of their original pattern; bulletin boards devoid of any but random announcements of an art show or discounted travel abroad.
Heavy wooden student chairs, all right handed, unmarked with graffiti indicating that these students were long past high school.
For him, high school was already ancient history. Undergraduate work that was completed only a few years ago seemed steeped in mud and spider webs.
One of those years spent in heat, humidity, filth, and fear.
Six more months, they own me six more months, but only body, won't let 'em have what is left of soul, what is left of soul? But at least they had brought the body Statesí side.
He watched them come in, most of them tired from teaching all day, coaching all afternoon, driving long distances to be here because they had to be here, so they were here. Some of them single, some of them married, most of them, he figured, would rather have been home bouncing a baby on a knee, watching the tube with their feet up, or draining a beer.
"Thank God," thought Jesse, "they are not undergrads bubbling and bouncing about cheerleading, football games, or frat beer busts. First time back with the books I couldn't be dealing with that.
ďAt least they are near my chronological age, if not the age of my soul."
Jesse just sat, real quiet, watching while the room filled up, waiting for the Prof.
Jesse just sat real quiet close to the door, away from the windows.
Not my field, not science, history.
Looking for answers for the why of it.