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Duke Barrett

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Duke Barrett, “a combat veteran of the Vietnam War, served with the 1st Airborne Brigade, of the Army’s 1st Air Cavalry Division at An Khe, South Vietnam, in 1965-66.

In time served in Vietnam, the Chicago-born paratrooper was assigned to Alpha Company, 1/8th Cav as a rifleman, and Delta Company Reconnaissance, 1/8th Cav as senior scout, where he was awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and the Purple Heart. Upon completion of his tour of duty in Vietnam, Duke was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, “Americas Guard of Honor,” at Fort Bragg, N.C. and was honorably discharged in 1967. With his military obligation fulfilled, Duke resumed his music career–a career that had been interrupted by the draft in 1965.”  Duke Barrett is the author of The Wall of Broken Dreams.


According to the book description of The Wall of Broken Dreams, “The late October rain continued to pelt the once contested landing zone while the able bodied readied their cargo of dead and wounded for evacuation. The ever haunting, whining turbine engine of the medevac chopper eerily but fittingly cried out in wait for its cargo home. Also fittingly, the time of day, for it was at the twilight's last gleaming that its cargo of patriots readied for lift-off. Again, the unforgettable thump, thump, sound of the rotor blades slapped the wet air and played to all who could hear, like background music to a movie, a movie of war that raged in Vietnam. The trajectory of the bullet that ripped into the young paratroopers chest, knocked him on his backside thus saving him the added indignity of laying face down in the mud of the monsoon drenched jungle floor. With life rapidly escaping his body through the gaping wound, Johnny dreams of being with Mai, a beautiful Eurasian girl he d only recently met and fell in love with on an in-country R&R at Vung Tau. To be back in the world, to play his guitar and to live out his life with Mai consumed his every thought. Shortly after returning to his combat unit, Johnny Richards, a cocky Irish, blue-eyed blues guitarist from the streets of Chicago, is gravely wounded on a combat air-assault into an enemy stronghold, after taking a bullet for a buddy. Are Johnny and Mai allowed to live out their dreams? Does the bullet that cut him down cut short his young adventurous life and their dreams?


In 1983, at The Vietnam Memorial, better known as The Wall, Johnny s hopes, dreams and survival come face to face with the emotional but spiritual realization that is his. The Wall Of Broken Dreams is an adventure for sure, as any Vietnam War story should be. More than that though, it is also an inspirational story of the hopes and dreams of a young man serving his country with an elite army combat platoon in Vietnam. The Wall Of Broken Dreams has an appeal not only the military action/adventure reader, but also to those who seek a story of love and inspiration. Sadly, war and its many costs are a most important topic today and many from the Vietnam era to our current war weary public will be able to relate to this story.”

The Wall Of Broken Dreams
Duke Barrett  More Info

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