Conquering The Power Of Death details the journey of one Marine radioman through 1970-71 Vietnam in the face of ubiquitous death. Whether using radio skills to call in air strikes and artillery or to help Marines contact their loved ones through the Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS), the young Marine’s encounter with death as a seemingly unstoppable force provides a glimpse into the horrors of war. Ambushes, daring rescues, poignant relationships, and civilian deaths compete with survival, maturity, and rites of passage to reveal life and death in a combat zone and afterwards.
The intricacies of a Tactical Recovery of Aircraft Personnel (TRAP) unit’s day to day efforts to rescue downed pilots and the sometimes mundane routine of MARS personnel plying their skills to keep Marines in touch with the “world” only highlight death’s ever present threat to mind, body, and soul. Death’s presence on the battlefield, in the “rear”, and in the ongoing lives of the Marines long after the war, however, begins to identity death’s ”Achilles’ Heel”; unwavering faith, love, and humility prove potent antidotes to death’s destructive prowess.
Enmeshed within the obvious need for the warrior Marine’s physical survival lies the need of the Marine war veteran to cope with a life scarred by trauma and loss; a timeless quest for any veteran and one examined in depth by Conquering The Power Of Death. Death, mythological death, romantic death, and death defined by the artist’s keen insight into the human condition provide the yardstick for the author’s measurement of death’s power while faith, scripture, discipline and love afford the author invaluable insights into the human ability to deal with a preordained force.
A highly personal plumbing of the depths where death resides and reigns in war provides a unique context for Conquering The Power of Death as well as an opportunity to unpack the emotions which travel with every combat warrior. It also provides a glimpse into Death stripped of its mystique, its presumed power, and its claimed finality.