||There will be an obvious feeling of recognition from Vietnam veterans when they read the novel "395 and a Wake Up"; because it has all the clarity and nomenclature of what real combat veterans might have felt and experienced in battle. It is written by a veteran and it delivers that "thousand yard" stare at you from each page. It explodes with emotional trauma and mental wounds and it will grab your mind and heart; such as the shooting of several women with their children who were about to blow their base up with bombs. His word descriptions of those events are like a machine gun bust to the soul!
Author Terry Sako is a PTSD combat veteran who has emotionally come in from the boondocks of his own nightmares--now, aggressively "walks point" across the pages of his story. This novel is strong and powerful and it captures some of that frustration that veterans of that war felt. He expresses it well even when he is not talking about it directly. His use of narration and dialog works well to pull his storyline together.
Sako takes us inside the heart and mind of a young Marine as he goes through his "tour of duty". His lead character Bobby Murphy goes from this idealist young man to someone who evolves with each tragic event and death. There is a certain hardness and sadness that underlies this characters in the story. This story is really about how combat makes life altering emotional and spiritual impacts on these young soldiers' lives. It is also about many other things like racism, bigotry, loyalty, friendship, death, courage, killing and fear.
This book tells it like it felt even if the story is made up and fictional. That is a sign of a good writer and Sako certainly has done a great job on his first novel. This is a book worth buying and reading if you are interested in the Vietnam War or how men react in combat situations. It is entertaining but also emotional so be prepared to experience lots of things internally within your own mind.