By What is Sure to Follow, A PTSD Odyssey by Don Burton – Review

By What is Sure to Follow by [Burton, Donald N.]


Ex-Marine Force Recon Luke Sims is a veteran of two wars: Vietnam and the one inside his head. He’s spent the last fourteen years attending self-help group sessions at a local Veterans’ Center to help him be normal, to cope with the memories and trauma of his tour of duty. On the outside, he seems fine. But looks can deceive and it’s not long before Luke goes to war with his incredible skill set against his inner demons and the depth of his pain is at last revealed-with deadly consequences.

Based on actual in-country events of uncommon valor, unbelievable luck and supreme dedication to brethren, By What Is Sure To Follow: A PTSD Odyssey dramatically follows one veteran’s path, chronicling unknown exploits into North Vietnam during the early years of the Vietnam War. With stark realism, it reveals the potentially devastating aftereffects of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) on those who go to war and painfully decries the failure of a nation to protect and heal its warriors when they come home broken.

What is being said –

By What is Sure to Follow’ is a riveting book.  Sadly, as we have learned from those who have returned from war, PTSD  can have a terrible impact on a soldier. If you are a veteran, you will empathize with Luke Sims, Burton’s book informs the reader that the bonds formed in war are permanent and there is a price for everything. It is a great book, but it is gut-wrenching at the same time. I highly recommend it.”  -Leo Barron, recipient of two Bronze Stars, is a former U.S. Army captain who served with the 101st Airborne, has seen two tours of active duty in Iraq.

Donald Burton certainly knows how to tell a story...” Five Stars – Budden Book Reviews

Military Writers Society of America
“A troubling look at the invisible wounds service to our country can inflict. The book… portrays very well the brotherhood of arms.” – Military Writers Society of America
Donald N. Burton

A Southern California native, Don enlisted in the U.S. Navy in April 1966. During his nearly four years in the Navy, he did three tours in Vietnam, logging over 250 hours as a helicopter air crewman gunner and attaining the rank of Petty Officer Second Class.

His first West-Pac (Western Pacific) tour was on the USS Cogswell, (DD-651), a Fletcher-class destroyer. It briefly performed “plane guard” duty off Vietnam (Yankee Station) for the aircraft carrier USS Kittyhawk (CVA-63). While on coastal patrol on March 2, 1967, the Cogswell, and the USS Canberra (CA-70), a Baltimore-class cruiser, came under fire from North Vietnamese shore batteries that resulted in a 5-inch gun turret wbeing blown off the side of the Canberra.

Before his second cruise, Don became a Naval Photographer’s Mate and was transferred to the USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2), an amphibious assault helicopter carrier. It hosted a squadron of Marine helicopters that ferried the ship’s nearly 2,000 Marines into battle. His duties included documenting the resident Marine Battalion’s activities shipboard and occasionally in-country whenever aerial or on-ground reconnaissance documentary photographs were needed, Don’s duties included serving as a helicopter air combat crewman, manning a .50-caliber machine gun when officially photographing the war.

My Review –

The war in Vietnam was a war that drew everyone’s attention. It was a war that perhaps we should never have entered. Rumors of why we were there were something this country shouldn’t be proud of. It was a war that I remember vividly. I was a student in high school and new boys from the neighborhood who left home to serve their country in this conflict; boys I saw come home changed.

Don Burton describes well the trauma suffered by so many Americans who were victims of the Vietnam War. The horrors our young men witnessed, participated in, and were victims of were nightmares, many would suffer from the rest of their lives in the form of PTSD; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Some have learned to deal with what happened, others have never been able to move past the horrors.

In this book, the reader will experience the everyday life of a war zone where no one was to be trusted; not a woman, not a child. In a country where there were few friends and the enemy could very well be the child standing next to you, soldiers had to be on guard at all times, for to offer aid to an innocent looking person could mean the difference between life and death – your death.

Don Burton has written an amazing account of the war that brought many to their knees, and how our country failed our soldiers upon their return. He exposes the pain and confusion that so many men suffered, to the point where the mind takes over in order to protect. Growing up in small town America, the world did little to prepare our young men for the reality of a brutal war that would forever change their lives and those around them. The book will open your eyes to the true casualties of war.

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