This first novel by James Milton Smith is available for purchase on Amazon.com in Paperback and Kindle formats.
The Necessary Facing He never realized he had a schism to cross. His wobbly feared bridge.
Secrets Brought Home by James Milton Smith is a vivid story about a young man who discovers what really happens behind the scenes when he is thrust into a secret war in Laos by our government. Owen O’Brien is a newly minted 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. He is involved in an unfortunate incident that leads him into service with the CIA as a paramilitary Case Officer during the years leading up to the Vietnam War.
Owen is sent by the powers that be to British Jungle Warfare School, and from there into Thailand and Laos. Owen is sworn to secrecy with the CIA, and he carries that order into his life.
Owen’s reconnaissance missions and firefights are fearful and memorable. The experiences and horror of war molded Owen into a salty and seasoned combat Marine.
Critically wounded during one of his missions, Owen is medevaced out. Upon his return home to the States, Owen seemingly has it together, but there are dark-side hauntings embedded in his psyche. His dilemma is that he cannot ask for forgiveness from those he has killed and wounded in combat. Owen meets a psychologist he can trust, and dialogues between Owen and his psychologist reveal a story of deep introspection and an understanding into the resultant erratic behavior from a life held hidden. The story will involve the reader, and will simultaneously evoke empathy for PTSD-afflicted veterans. The descriptions of Owen’s life and the dialogues during the counseling sessions are thoughtful, humorous and painful. Even after his attempts at counseling and self-resolution for his guilt-ridden secret war, Owen is still unable to feel the peace of mind he so badly desires.
And then, a surrealistic and seemingly predestined event occurs on a street in San Francisco. It leaves the onlookers stunned. Something incredible happens.
Excerpt from Secrets Brought Home
Have I stayed too long to cross back to sanity’s side of the line? Am I the messenger of death, or the victim? Even if I get out of here, I think I will feel like a curse is upon me for having survived here. It’s too easy to stay on this side now.
I have become what I feared most in my first combat missions. Have I become the enemy I feared at my first meeting with them? I feared and hated them at first, and now I am beginning to hate and fear myself for what I may not be able to change.