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The Private War of Corporal Henson

by E. Michael Helms

Vietnam didn’t stay in Southeast Asia. It followed former U.S. Marine Corporal Nathan Henson back to the World—his hometown in the Florida panhandle. Seventeen years later, specters from ’Nam still haunt the corners of Nathan’s life and the recurring nightmarish scenes of carnage won’t die. Desperate, he seeks help and joins a support group for Vietnam combat veterans.

Now a new war begins—against Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In a series of gut-wrenching sessions, Nathan faces the ghosts of his past and shares the struggles of others as they confront and relive horrors and dark secrets kept locked inside.

There’s Vic Guerino, a former Army helicopter pilot trying to adjust to the boredom of a grounded life, Dan “Doc” Matthews, wrestling with addiction brought home from the battlefields of Vietnam, and Rene Boudreaux, the loner who withdraws from society with paranoia ruling his every waking moment.

Nathan must conquer the demons of PTSD to win peace in his life, but it’s a harrowing rollercoaster ride through the valley of healing. The path is strewn with heartbreak and humor, hope and despair and love lost and regained.

This is the comeback story of a heroic young man who saw it all, lived through it, and ultimately emerged from the shadows of war.


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What people are saying about The Private War of Corporal Henson


“ The Private War of Corporal Henson by E. Michael Helms is a must read. It's a real page turner and those pages will seem to turn theirselves until you finish reading. I found this to be a good read. It's the story of one Marine who came home after serving in VietNam, but it really is the story of all those who served and came back. They left a war zone, caught a flight and landed in the World but what they found was another war zone.Corporal Henson's story could be anyone's story. They suffered from the horrors of war, the feelings of guilt (they made it back others didn't) the loss of friends, depression, fear of being alone and so many other emotions. As you read this book you will get that feeling that you are drawn in and become a part of this story. I recommend this book to everyone and I look for more great books by E. Michael Helms. ”


5 Star Review on Amazon


“ “The Private War of Corporal Henson” by E. Michael Helms is a story of the victory of the human spirit in Corporal Nathan Henson. It is about an overcomer at a turning point in life where he can sink, as some of his comrades do, under the burden of PTSD, or embrace another type of battle as an ex-Marine and face the challenge of living and loving fully after seeing a great deal of the worst that life has to offer.

The classic theme of the overcomer who triumphs over all the odds is really what the spirit of the Marine Corps is about. It is what we celebrate in life and is a choice to take a risk and care once more, and grow in depth and character. This book is about a man coming into his own despite great loss and tragedy in his past. The reader cannot help but love Nathan Henson as he lets his landlady’s cat, who is a lush, lap up some beer and follow him around looking for goodies. The cat knows where to find some fun... (Read More) ”

Michal Payne

5 Star Review on Amazon


“ The horrors of war, feelings of guilt, the loss of good friends, the depression of being alone, the thankfulness of survival, the tenderness of love and forgiveness, and the grace of God to live another tomorrow.....all in one book! Absolutely brilliant Mr. Helms! Hollywood should be beating down your door for the rights to make your book a movie. ”

Marla Kupronis

5 Star Review on Amazon


“ A well written story, so detailed and emotional account of war. War stories are just gut retching but the transition back to civilian life, that's something else. Suffering from PTSD Nathan Henson Vietnam war veteran faces the struggles and while he search his life, we are privileged to see that journey. The author written the story so well, all the characters and the scenes were vividly imbedded in my mind like watching it unfold in front of me. Wonderful and riveting read. I won this book on Goodreads, First Read Giveaway. ”

Darlene Cruz

5 Star Review on Amazon

About Michael :

Michael Helms turned down a chance to play college baseball, and joined the Marine Corps after high school graduation. He served with the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines (“The Magnificent Bastards”) in 1967-68 during some of the fiercest fighting of the Vietnam War.

Helms is the author of The Proud Bastards, a memoir of boot camp and his tour in Vietnam. It has remained in print for over twenty years.

His book, Of Blood and Brothers: Book One - A Novel of the Civil War, was published September 1, 2013. Book Two is due to be released in March 2014.

The first book in his Mac McClellan mystery series, Deadly Catch, was published November 12, 2013. Deadly Ruse will be out in November 2014.

When asked about writing, Helms said, “Writing is a love/hate relationship. For me, it’s an obsession. If I’m not writing, I feel that I’m not doing what I need to be doing. When I’ve finished writing a manuscript I feel relief and satisfaction, but also a sense that there’s another story to be told, and I start on my next project.”

A writer and editor, Helms enjoys playing the guitar, canoeing, hiking, and bird watching with his wife. They live in the Upstate of South Carolina in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

A member of Mystery Writers of America, Military Writers Society of America, Third Marine Division Association, Disabled American Veterans, and Sons of Confederate Veterans

E. Michael Helms' Website