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My chapbook Paper Snowflakes is announced in the March issue of Flutter Poetry Journal. The chapbook is avilable from Southern Hum Press.

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Paper Snowflakes

by Helen Losse $9.00

Larry Winters

“The Making and Un-making of a Marine”

One Man’s Struggle for Forgiveness


“What I offer in my book The Making and Un-making of a Marine is my life’s journey, which includes as part of its central theme the Viet Nam War and my search for a role in the world after the War.

My father and my community were where the first makings of a Marine happened. I grew up in the small town of New Paltz during 1950s and ’60s. Dad’s dedication to making me a man through hard work and the local boy scouts planting the seeds of heroism became my boyhood tools.

At 19, the U.S. Marine Corps took over the stripping away and reshaping of my identity. The Marines sent me to Viet Nam where my exposure to violence and inhumanity deeply wounded my being at a level that would take years to recognize and longer yet to start curing.

There was no useful help from our government along this highway. Whatever they offered, my previous experience with the military had alienated me and I did not trust anything official sources provided. I was forced to find people and situations to facilitate my own healing.

No one – neither friends nor family – recognized I was wounded. I felt like I was expected to return to the old me – the one they had raised, married, and befriended. The cliché of lost innocence unfortunately fits.

Growing up in New Paltz did not prepare me for what I was to see and do in Viet Nam. Upon my return I carried grief, shame, disillusionment, and a deep rage for feeling betrayed by my government. All of these powerful emotions I keep under tight wraps for fear of frightening those who love me.”




March 2007
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