The Wounds of War

Gunships suddenly descended, fanning out from a central point around the Iroquois and sending streams of machine-gun fire and rockets into the jungle below. The Iroquois peeled away from the main formation and dipped below the tree line under the cover of the assault, dropping swiftly to a small paddy field. They spilled from the chopper and crouched low to the ground. The machine lifted and was gone . . .

Six allied soldiers on an impossible, secret mission in Vietnam to find and report on the enemyís supply lines on the motor roads in Ďneutralí countries. For Australian Gary Bishop the assignment is one that takes him on a physical and emotional journey into hell.

Back in Australia, Garyís new wife Leanne is facing challenges of her own. Alone, pregnant and fighting an attraction to another man, she finds herself drawn in directions that she never anticipated.

The wounds of war run deep and Leanne and Gary will need all their strength to survive.

In Store Price: $AU23.95 
Online Price:   $AU22.95

Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 243
Genre: Fiction
Second edition

 Also by Gary Blinco 

Down a Country Lane

Under the Harvest Moon

The Mystical Swagman

A Place in Time

Author: Gary Blinco 
Imprint: Zeus
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published: 2005
Language: English




Gary Blinco is a Vietnam Veteran, having completed two tours of duty as an infantry soldier after being conscripted during the National Service era of the sixties and early seventies. This is his second book.

While his work to date has been largely about soldiering and the Vietnam War, his writing shows a deep insight into the human condition and deals with personal relationships, including conflict and romance, which provides a solid balance for the harshness of military combat. 

Gary works in sales and marketing in the financial services industry and lives on the central coast of New South Wales.

The Wounds of War 

Old soldier can you tell me,

Why youíve lost the gentle touch?

That bloomed like desert flowers after rain,

And the dreams you dreamed so sweetly,

While they spurred your heart so much,

Seem broken now and blackened by your pain.


Forget the war they say, the past is over,

The wrongs of yesterday will slip away.

Time heals the deepest wounds, at last forever,

And your pain recedes behind another day.

But Iíll be here beside you,

When you wake up with the dawn

And Iíll hold you if the night becomes too long.


Each day Iím searching deeper,

For the one I knew so well,

When youth was ours and simple pleasures grew,

All the joys of life were sweeter,

Where hopes and dreams could dwell,

And a future free of war was calling through.


Forget the war they say, the past is over,

A world of love and peace is here to stay.

But soldiers know that peace is not forever,

And the futureís just a friend of yesterday.

But Iíll be here beside you,

When you wake up with the dawn

And Iíll hold you if the night becomes too long.   


Now I see the look so haunted,

In your eyes and on your face.

As I hold your sweat-soaked body in the dawn,

And the peace of mind youíve wanted,

Since you left that wicked place,

Now mocks you in a world of silent scorn.


Forget the war they say, the past is over,

The wrongs of yesterday fill hearts with shame.

Old soldiers now, just like a secret lover,

Are best put out to rest without a name.

But Iíll be here beside you,

When you wake up with the dawn,

And Iíll hold you if the night becomes too long.


So the questions go unheeded,

They lie etched upon your face.

As your tired eyes burn feebly in your head,

What you thought your country needed,

Somehow fills you with disgrace,

ĎTil you envy those old soldiers who are dead.


Donít talk about the war, the past is over,

And righteous hearts regret our sinful ways.

Old soldiers are a bitter sad reminder,

Of the follies of our blinded yesterdays.

But Iíll be here beside you,

When you face your final dawn,

And Iíll hold you Ďtill at last the pain has gone. 

Gary Blinco, April 1998


Gary Bishop is on his second tour of duty in Vietnam, revisiting the war that plagues him with bad memories and nightmares. He has returned to find and confront the nightmares in the jungle where it all began.

He becomes part of a top secret Allied Nationís patrol made up of Australian, American, New Zealand and South Vietnamese soldiers. They are inserted into the neutral countries of Laos and Cambodia to report on supposedly non-existent motor roads ó secret roads that are being used by the Vietcong to transport the necessities of war to the south.

To disguise the intent of the mission, if discovered, the patrol is denied the usual maps and support mechanisms, devising instead navigation and communication systems that belong to an earlier, more primitive age of war.

Bishop gains a new insight into the war, and a deeper understanding of himself as the journey unfolds. His life is further complicated by his reservations over his recent, hasty marriage, his emerging feelings for a pretty Vietnamese girl and the malaria that burns through his body.

Back in Australia, Leanne Bishop has battles of her own. Married for a mere three months, pregnant and trying to fit into her husbandís family, with whom she appears to have little in common, the sudden success she enjoys in her career provides some comfort against the emotional turmoil she feels and tempts her in ways she could not have imagined.

They married in haste and never really settled into married life together before Gary chose to return to the war. Leanne goes back to living with her parents. Now there are uncertainties about their future together; uncertainties compounded by new emotions and interests that enter both their lives.

The story moves in turn between the trials of the secret patrol and the internal conflict among its members, and the challenges that the families at home must face. On the battlefield and on the home front they each suffer their own unique wounds of war.



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