The Private War of Corporal Henson

The Private War of Corporal Henson

by E. Michael Helms


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Vietnam didn't stay in Southeast Asia. It followed former U.S. Marine Corporal Nathan Henson back to the World-his hometown in the Florida panhandle. Seventeen years later, specters from 'Nam still haunt the corners of Nathan's life and the recurring nightmarish scenes of carnage won't die. Desperate, he seeks help and joins a support group for Vietnam combat veterans.

Now a new war begins-against Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In a series of gut-wrenching sessions, Nathan faces the ghosts of his past and shares the struggles of others as they confront and relive horrors and dark secrets kept locked inside.

There's Vic Guerino, a former Army helicopter pilot trying to adjust to the boredom of a grounded life, Dan "Doc" Matthews, wrestling with addiction brought home from the battlefields of Vietnam, and Rene Boudreaux, the loner who withdraws from society with paranoia ruling his every waking moment.

Nathan must conquer the demons of PTSD to win peace in his life, but it's a harrowing rollercoaster ride through the valley of healing. The path is strewn with heartbreak and humor, hope and despair and love lost and regained.

This is the comeback story of a heroic young man who saw it all, lived through it, and ultimately emerged from the shadows of war.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780989760553
Publisher: The Armchair Adventurer
Publication date: 06/03/2014
Pages: 276
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.62(d)

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The Private War of Corporal Henson 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Crazy-Cat-Lady1 More than 1 year ago
The Private War of Corporal Henson, written by E. Michael Helms, is an amazing,honest, real, heart filled, and powerful story that takes you into the lives of four Vietnam War vets after the war is over.  The war may be over but not for these soldiers left scarred by the profound loss and hurt they endured and carried home with them.  They left one war only to come home  to a new war all their own.  The soldiers in this story are from various MOS's and branches of service, yet they share the same internal battle of learning how to let go of their guilt, pain, and loss so that they may go on living in this polar opposite world they find themselves only half living in. Their other half is still on the battlefield. Will they come out of this new war alive? This book takes you with them as they try to improvise, adapt, and overcome.  Throughout reading this story, I found myself feeling everything from profound sadness and sorrow  to happiness and everything in between. I cried, laughed, expressed anger out-loud, and often I would drift off in deep thought thinking about the soldiers in this story.  You will also want to read 'The Proud Bastards', which is a memoir of the author's experience in the Vietnam War.  POW/MIA/KIA- you are not forgotten! <3 /salute 
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
Once again, E. Michael Helms has rocked me to my knees with his words. The Private War of Corporal Henson follows a young soldier returning from Vietnam, to the unwelcoming arms of the country he swore to serve with his life. He may no longer be on the battlefield, but the trauma his heart and mind underwent is still burning through him, neatly labled PTSD. How does a man deal with the horrors of war, the loss of friends, and the guilt of surviving when he no longer fits in the civilian world he has returned to? Tortured by nightmares and flashbacks, Nathan Henson finds a common ground and a brotherhood in a group of vets also struggling to find a way to cope. Together they form a bond where brother can lean on brother, where it is okay to cry, to laugh and to remember. Their group is a safe zone for their darkest horrors. But will it be enough to overcome the soul haunting guilt? Years have passed and still Nathan Henson suffers as he refuses to give up on healing. When those he thought were strong falter, where will he find the strength to hang on? Nathan seeks to fill the void in his heart that even his “brothers” can’t fill, giving him hope and terrifying him at the same time. Is Nathan worthy of love? Is he able to give it or will he lose his tenuous hold on his demons and push away a second chance at life and love? E. Michael Helms writes from the heart, from experiences he can relate to and has lived. With each page, the suffering of these men comes to life in an up close way as the brutal truth of their abandonment and lack of understanding from the country they served fails to give them more than a band-aid for their gaping wounds. For me, it was terrifying to be in the mind of Nathan Henson, to know that so many are still prisoners of a war that ended long ago and few are able to find escape. E. Michael Helms reminds us that time cannot always heal all wounds when they become entangled in an evil so vile, despicable and unthinkable. We can read about it, watch someone we know try to “deal” with PTSD, but only one who has come through that hell can truly understand. With his amazing gift for writing, Mr. Helms has once again created characters that come to life with a realism that will clutch at your heart and burrow deep into your soul. He has taken a dark topic, and remembered to light a candle of hope for his main character, as well as those who got to know Nathan, signature Helms writing, powerful magnetic.
Pure_Jonel More than 1 year ago
Once again Helms puts pen to paper to create a work that blew my mind and held me captive throughout. The well-developed plot is backed by solid and inviting narrative as well as poignant descriptions. Helms mixes emotion with some hard hitting realities. He creates a flawless world for readers to loose themselves in. I love the way that Helms developed his characters. He develops his main character physically, emotionally, and psychologically. I found him easy to connect with. His difficulties and hardships come to life through Helms’ writing. He brings PTSD to the forefront in such a manner that you can’t ignore it but that you can definitely understand it. But at the same time, readers can see a light shining at the end of the tunnel, relief from the trials that he’s struggling through. This is one of those hard hitting novels that will stick with you for the long run. Helms captured my heart, my soul, and my mind through this novel that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to others. Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A well written story, so detailed and emotional account of war. War stories are just gut retching but the transition back to civilian life, that's something else. Suffering from PTSD Nathan Henson Vietnam war veteran faces the struggles and while he search his life, we are privileged to see that journey. The author written the story so well, all the characters and the scenes were vividly imbedded in my mind like watching it unfold in front of me. Wonderful and riveting read. I won this book on Goodreads, First Read Giveaway. Thank you, Darlene Cruz
Sheri-A-Wilkinson More than 1 year ago
The Private War of Corporal Henson by E. Michael Helms  U.S Marie Corporal Nathan Henson was in the Vietnam War. But he is haunted by gruesome memories daily, and suffering from PTSD. He decides to join a support group with other Vets. There he meets; Dan "Doc" Matthews facing his problems with addiction, Vic Guerino Army fighter pilot trying to cope with his "grounded" life and Rene Bourdeaux, a paranoid loner rebelling against society. A well written story of life after the war. Vivid details with memories on the battle field, gruesome and heartbreaking. Each person copes in their own self destructive ways, just wanting inner peace and the ghosts of the past to vanish forever. E. Michael Helms knows how to grab your attention and keep you engrossed and wanting to read more. I could not put it down. The Private War of Corporal Henson left an impression that will stay with me for a long time. I strongly recommend to readers of all genres.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago