John Ryan was about to be drafted, so instead of risking punji-stick filled jungles, he joined the Air Force. When his best-laid plans and schemes backfired, he volunteered for the war he tried to avoid – irony he failed to appreciate.
His tour in Nam chronicles so many other boys of that war, The Boy in the Well is a universal memoir for the nine out of ten who served behind the lines in non-combat roles. Except there weren’t any lines and nearly everyone in-country heard exploding mortar shells or rockets close enough to remind them an unseen enemy wanted Americans gone or dead.
Even in the safest city in Vietnam, even working in an air conditioned building, for Christ sakes, Ryan fell into a routine: parties, weed and rock & roll. If you had to fight a war, this was the way to do it.
And then there was the Tet offensive. What a downer. Everything changed.
John Ryan never killed anyone, never even fired a gun.
He just saw things; some funny, others, not so much.
Ryan just wanted to serve his tour and escape back to the real world unharmed.
War leaves no one untouched. No one escapes. All wounds are not from bullets.
“the realization that there is no avoiding war in a war zone.”
“strikes close to home for many veterans.”
“Well written, easy to follow, and a chance for me to revisit another life.”
“A compelling read that provides greater understanding for anyone suffering from PTSD, or anyone with friends or loved ones who suffer from it.”