Books by W. Tom Gleason

 

W. Tom Gleeson's books, Warriors and Widows, and Indomitable Spirits of 43C bring out the reality of those who fought in the Vietnam War and weaves into the fabric of their lives, the lives of those who inspired hope and assurance to those who, though often broken and wounded, returned home. Out of these pages emerges inspiring and heart-wrenching stories of dedicated tribute to the scores of war wounded soldiers who have physically lost so much, yet remain spiritually undaunted in their quest to overcome adversity.

The author himself is one of these soldiers. Even having lost a leg in the war, he participates in sports fitness and has earned a 4th degree black belt. Though 64 years old Tom can bench press 450 pounds. W. Tom Gleeson wrote these pages with the passion of someone who experienced these things first-hand and has now overcome seemingly insurmountable odds.

Based on his own experience, his book, Warriors and Widows is a war novel. The time is from September of 1965 to February of 1966. The characters are from a platoon of the 1st Battalion, Sixteenth Infantry, 1st Infantry Division assimilated and trained at Fort Riley in Kansas, then sent to Vietnam to search out and destroy the enemy. Search and Destroy is their only mission...As time goes on, both searchers and destroyers realize that they are destroying not only their enemies, but also themselves and their loved ones.

From the Clarion Review: "His book, Indomitable Spirits of 43C, is an inspiring and heart-wrenching tribute to the scores of war wounded who have physically lost so much yet remain spiritually undaunted in their quest to overcome adversity."

Tom's books are fictionalized stories about the soldiers and caregivers who inhabited 43C during his time there.

 
 

Letter to Lisa Lyden, of KOAA-TV News 5 in Colorado Springs.

Dear Lisa,

I am writing to you regarding our local author, W. Tom Gleeson, a Vietnam War Veteran. I believe his works are timeless, relevant, and necessary. They should be required reading for not only every American, but most importantly, should be shared with the many military families living in our community.

His historical-fictional novels, “Warriors and Widows” and “The Indomitable Spirits of 43C” (released last year), were shared with me by my oldest sister, Dianne, who had gone through grade school and high school with Tom. Before reading these two works at the age of 57, I had never read a book about war of any kind. I chose to read these two in particular because I wanted to understand Vietnam from the perspective of someone I would trust.

The insights shared in these pages are invaluable in explaining how and why so many of our veterans come home unable to communicate—at times even marginally—with their loved ones. My hope is that through Tom’s words, loved ones will come to know their veterans, and our veterans will come to know that they are not alone in their anguish. Tom’s story is easily their story. The years of silence and heartache experienced by our veterans—their inability to explain the atrocities they have witnessed—must be better understood by each American. War makes no distinction of time and place in the marks it leaves on the psyche. These stories allow for a greater understanding –a knowing, for everyone—veterans, their loved ones, family and friends…from a voice from deep within.

Part of my email to Tom might better describe their impact on me:

“When Dianne offered to share Warriors and Widows with me, I became interested in knowing about your personal experience of Vietnam. I recalled memories of you from a child's perspective, as I was 9 when you were in Vietnam. Prior to reading your books, my thoughts and memories about Vietnam were related mostly to friends of (my sister) Laurie's in the late 1960's--many of whom were soldiers returning from the war. I remember how stressed they seemed. I also remember receiving letters without stamps, creating a few "care packages" to send with ‘Funny Face’drink mix, and cookies in them, seeing horrible things on the nightly news, and wearing a POW/MIA bracelet for quite a while when I was a bit older.

Reading each of your books, I was conflicted with really wanting to know and understand how you perceived that whole experience, and being saddened by everything that had to be endured. I really believed that the men would be triumphant in their own way--at least I hoped they would, and I found myself anxious to know sooner than later--I could hardly put the books down...

Your story has had a profound effect on me and the way I now understand the very personal parts of that historic event through your eyes. The personal sacrifices were monumental to each of you who served there.

What I thought would be reading a few books and sharing some thoughts with my sister, became a personal journey of acknowledging the reality of what you and so many others experienced, and how it has shaped your lives and the lives of those you have loved. It ultimately taught me that in this life I must look at the hard truths and stark realities that affect each one of us...not just through my eyes, but through theirs. I can't turn a blind eye to the things that I feel are sad or tragic and pretend they don't exist in my world...because they do.

I find it difficult to fully express how deeply your story has impacted my soul. It is a welcome and necessary awareness.”

***************

Lisa, please find a way to share these wonderful books with your viewers. These stories are not only timeless, but also relevant to our Veterans, their families, and to the American people. They are told simply and eloquently, and they truly spare undue trauma to the reader. They had neither sensationalism nor unnecessary violence within them, however, the realities and sentiments were poignantly conveyed.

Tom’s insights bring clearly to the forefront the psychic toll that comes from fighting for our Country. My hope is that the multitudes might not only appreciate our Veterans, but also better understand them and embrace them—helping them heal through our compassion, understanding and gratitude.

You can find more information about Tom and his books at: www.wtomgleeson.com. I have copies of both books that I would gladly lend you if you would like to read them. Your help with this enlightening message would be greatly appreciated.

Leslie