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Tom Keating
Yesterday"s Soldier, A Passage From Prayer to the Vietnam War
Tom Keating, author
“Yesterday’s Soldier, A Passage from Prayer to the Vietnam War” is a Vietnam War memoir of a different flavor. Packed into this tidy book is the story of a young man's coming of age in troubled times. The author, after five years of studying for the priesthood in a Catholic seminary, leaves and is quickly exposed to the Draft. He chooses to enlist rather than be drafted, and proceeds through the Army’s infantry training cycle of weapons and war tactics, which clash with his years of prayer. During his attendance at the Army’s Infantry Officer Candidate School, he makes a moral decision: He will wear the uniform and serve anywhere, but as a conscientious objector, in a non-combat role. He was a highly trained and skilled infantry soldier and officer candidate who suddenly realized he could not kill another person and declares his Conscientious Objection. The Army wanted him in jail, his family was against his decision, and his Catholic Church tried to convince him that killing communists was just. This story is about transformation from infantryman to conscientious objector and his experiences in Vietnam. He shares his joys and trials along the way