The Funny Thing About War; by Al Campo

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MWSA Review
From boredom to shore leave to gun runs, this Vietnam era novel gives a day to day look at a critical period in a young seaman’s life.

In The Funny Thing About War, Al Campo describes the life of a seaman on a destroyer during the Vietnam conflict through fiction by combining his own experiences and other eye witness accounts and a bit of creativity.  Young men had to adapt not only to  the Navy’s restrictions but also cramped space, regular duty plus additional service when the ship was being refueled or receiving supplies, ship mates from various areas of the country with different cultures, and likeable comrades who sometimes shirked the harder work.  During gun runs, sleep was a rare commodity yet lives depended on attention to assigned responsibilities.  Shore leaves included a travelogue of Hong Kong.

This period of young adulthood changes people; thus the title of the novel.   
MWSA Reviewer: Nancy Kauffman


Author's Synopsis

Meet Chris Columbo. Twenty-two years old, intelligent, well spoken—once a promising U.S. naval officer candidate. But at college, his plans and dreams are shattered by the woman he deeply loves. Disillusioned about life in general, he falls into an abyss of self-pity, resigns his ROTC scholarship, abandons his studies, drops out and embarks on a downward spiral, eventually hitting rock bottom.

But all is not lost as he receives orders to report for active duty with the U.S. Navy, an organization to which he is contractually bound. In spite of his recent opposition to the war, desperation forces him to honor the terms of his contract and he soon finds himself aboard the the USS Lawrence, a guided missile destroyer, deployed as an active participant in the Lam Son and Linebacker operations off the coasts of South and North Vietnam. 

THE FUNNY THING ABOUT WAR, an historical fiction, provides a sailor’s perspective of the Vietnam War through the exploits of Chris and his shipmates. Sometimes challenging, often humorous, Chris’s experiences will change him forever, leading him to embrace his life and future. Now, if he can just survive his final mission.