Human Interest
Typography

Writing can do as much good for the author as it can for the audience.
Paul Steffy, a Village of Oak Creek resident, is a veteran of the Vietnam War and recently finished a fictional book based on his experiences titled "The Good Soldier."


The book follows a Vietnam veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder who returns to the country to “ease his pain and find the village where, in 1968, an aging woman gave him a gift to give to the American people,” according to a summary in the novel.

Steffy was in the 9th Infantry Division. He landed at his base in Saigon on Oct. 20, 1968. Within two months, his battalion lost 67 men, 27 of whom he knew personally. His battalion had four “bird” colonels within four months. One was promoted, another lost his arm to his helicopter’s rear blade, and another, Col. Frederic Van Deusen — Gen. William Westmoreland’s brother-in-law — commanded his helicopter into enemy fire and was shot down into the Saigon River. He died, along with four other men, two of whom who were close to the end of their tour, Steffy said.

The war was difficult for Steffy to deal with upon his return home. He wanted to be able to share his experience with his family but it was difficult to talk about it. A writer of several other topics outside Vietnam, including aviation and travel stories, he took to telling his story on the page, a process that went quickly, at least for the first draft.

 

To read the full story, see the Friday, May 15, edition of the Sedona Red Rock News.

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