by: Barbara Birchim
AFTER HAVING READ YOUR BOOK, I MUST ASK YOU HOW LONG IT TOOK TO COMPLETE?
It took several years to find a ghostwriter whose personality fit mine. I needed to know that the person I was working with would become emotionally vested, thus keeping the purpose of this book in the forefront. It took us two years to complete the manuscript as we waded through all of my books, documents, videos, journals and newspaper clippings. Without Sue, this never would have come to fruition.
DID SHE WRITE THE ENTIRE BOOK?
Sue organized the material, formulated the layout, wrote the historical part, and guided me through my writing by correcting and suggesting how this enormous volume of information might be better received by the reader.
THE COMBINING OF THE STRICTLY HISTORICAL PART OF YOUR STORY ALONG WITH YOUR JOURNEY WILL HELP THOSE READERS WHO NOT ONLY MAY NOT HAVE KNOWN ALL THE KEY PLAYERS, BUT WHO MIGHT HAVE BEEN BORN AFTER THE VIETNAM WAR. WAS THAT THE PURPOSE OF YOUR BOOK?
That was one reason. I also wanted to get all of this information down for my children so that if they ever want to know the whole story, they’ll have a place to read it. And, if they never want to read it, that’s OK, too. I also wanted to show how good can come out of all this
.HOW HAVE YOU MANAGED TO KEEP YOUR SANITY THROUGH ALL THIS?
That hasn’t been easy. I’ve been blessed with loving parents who gave me a strong grounding in religion; friends who have stood by my side during the rough times; a counselor who, because he is retired military and has dealt with returning prisoners of war, was able to understand my questions and emotions; and a family that at times may have thought I was a little daffy but never gave up on me.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE THE READER TO COME AWAY WITH AFTER READING YOUR BOOK?
The obvious answer is a better understanding of the POW/MIA issue. My latest mantra has been to just be open to the possibilities in dealing with this issue. This is not just about the Vietnam War but about all the wars this country was in and will be in the future. If we as citizens don't demand that our service personnel come home after being deployed, politicians will again start leaving them behind in great numbers. The bottom line is, these men answered the call to duty and they don’t deserve to be left behind at the discretion of our government.