I finally found on that I can start posting. ;)
No Greater Love is a story set in the Vietnam war time period of 1961. I was inspired to begin writing this after I went and saw an amazing christian film called Faith Of our Fathers that was set against the backdrop of the Vietnam war. It was then that I realized I had never read/seen a christian young adult book about the Vietnam war.
It was a horrific war killing around 52,000 american troops. Those who did live through it would never quite recover from the shock of what they had seen on the battlefield. I have a grandpa who served in the Vietnam war and he refuses to talk about it. In fact, most of the men I have met who served in that war will not talk about it. It was also very hard on the veterans returning from the war because most Americans were not supportive of the war to begin with and there was no welcome for the returning veterans.
The majority of our soldiers who returned from the Vietnam war also needed medical help. During the Vietnam war, many soldiers came in contact with agent orange, a herbicide concocted by the U.S and Britain. which was sprayed over much of the Vietnamese agricultural land. The effects of this herbicide were very dangerous and many of the men returning home had to deal with the long term affects on their own. Over 39,00 disability claims were submitted to the VA because of the effects of Agent orange, but only 487 of the victims were actually compensated.
So now that I've given a little background on the Vietnam war, here's the first part of the story. Because my grandpa served in the war, I thought it'd be interesting to have the story told be a grandfather to his grandchildren. Here's the first part. . .I hope you enjoy it!
No Greater Love
Eva and Nate propped their bikes up against the side of the garage before opening the screen door and charging into the old house.
“Grandpa, are you home?” Eva called out.
Nate sniffed, “It smells like grandma’s been baking.again.”
Eve rolled her eyes, “Is food all you ever think about?”
He grinned, “Not always. I think about you a lot too, seeing as how you’re always dragging me into one project or another.”
“Nate! This is a school project; you have to help!”
Nate sighed, “The one disadvantage to being homeschooled; your only partner for projects is your sister.”
Eve glared at him, and he put up his hands, “Alright, alright. We’ll interview Grandpa. Who ever heard about doing a report on the Vietnam war anyway? Most kids in school just learn about it and take a test. It wasn’t an important war or anything. Not like WWII. Now that was interesting to research!”
Eve laughed, “That’s only because Mom let you to your whole report on the Battle of Britain. I’ll bet the Vietnam war used airplanes as well.”
Nate shook his head, “Not like WWII did.”
“Well are my grandchildren coming inside to see me or have they decided to stand in the entry and talk all day?”
Both children turned to the older woman who was standing in the doorway, her silver hair hung down to her shoulders in soft waves and her blue eyes were shining, a wooden spoon was in her right hand, proof that she had been cooking.
“Grandma!” Eve ran and gave her a hug, Nate following suit.
“Hey, Grandma, what have you been making? It smells delicious!” Nate asked.
Grandma laughed, “You’re just like your grandfather. Eat, eat, eat!”
“It’s because their boys,” Eva said, “you’d think they’d get tired of eating, but they never do.”
“Well, I have been making some cookies, but I’m sure that's not why you two came all the way out here on a school day.”
Eve brushed back a strand of hair that had come loose from her ponytail, “Mom assigned a school paper on the Vietnam war. She told us the best place to start our research would be to ask grandpa about it. He fought in the Vietnam war, right?”
Grandma sighed, “Yes, he did, but he doesn’t like to talk about it. It can’t hurt to ask him, I suppose. You two sit at the table and I’ll get you a glass of milk and some cookies, then I’ll call your grandpa in." She smiled, “He’s been working out in the garden all morning and he needs a break.”
Eva and Nate didn’t need a second invitation, they hurried into the dining room and sat at the table. Grandma poured the milk and set a plate of cookies on the table before opening the back door, “Richard, the kids are here.”
Richard, “grandpa”, looked up and wiped his forehead, “I’ll be right in.” He stood up and walked towards the house, stopping outside the door to wash his hands in the silver bucket that was full of cool water.
Opening the door he glanced at the two children who sat at the table. Nate, at fifteen, was the older of the two, his unruly brown hair lay plastered on his forehead and his bright blue eyes sparkled with mischief. Eva was thirteen and her brown hair and dark blue eyes matched her brother’s often causing them to be mistaken as twins.
“Well, how are you two doing today?” he pulled out a chair opposite them and sat down at the table, “Isn’t it a school day? I thought your mom would have you both inside working hard on algebra or English grammar.” There was a twinkle in his eye as he spoke.
“We’re actually here on a school project, Grandpa,” Eva explained as she took a drink of milk. “Mom assigned us a paper on the Vietnam war and she said we should talk to you first since you fought in the war.”
Grandpa set down the glass of milk he had been holding and for a moment no one said anything. Finally, Grandpa spoke, “I don’t really like to talk about what happened over there. It was a horrible war. So many men were lost. In fact, I don’t think there was one man in that war that didn’t know at least one person who died or was killed. But, I suppose it’s a part of history, a story that needs to be told,” he sighed, “It still hurts just to think about it.”
“If you’d rather not talk about it, Grandpa, we can find someone else to interview,” Nate quickly added.
“No, no. I’d rather you hear it from my perspective than someone else’s. It started in December, 1961. Well, it actually started long before then, and some may even say it started later, but that was when it started for me. He got a faraway look in his eyes. “I had been in the U.S military for about a year and I had gotten permission with my commanding officer to go home for Christmas. I lived in Texas at the time and my twin sister had picked me up from the airport. We had just returned from fishing. . .”