MIAMI - A book signing with native Northeastern Oklahoman and Vietnam War veteran Sam Rawlins is scheduled from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 5 at Chapters Bookstore, 31 North Main in Miami.
Rawlins' book, "A Return to Meadow Wood," took him 10-years to complete and is the fictional, inspirational story of a veteran with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
“As Veterans' Day approaches on November 11th, I am reminded that I wrote my book to honor all our veterans - common men who, through their courage, sacrifice, and faith, have found their way to uncommon greatness,” Rawlins said. “It is for them and the more than five million Americans still suffering from the invisible wounds of PTSD, written straight from my heart and soul.”
The veteran character in Rawlins book, Jack Holden, struggles with PTSD and the novel is told on a broad canvas from the war torn 1960s to the present. In the book, Rawlins tells of Holden's journey from the horrors of war, through the death of a child, to the impact of a powerful tornado.
“It is a story of hope and healing, coping and survival, that is ultimately both positive and uplifting,” Rawlins said.
Rawlins now lives in the southwest and he wanted to do a book signing in Miami because his son lives in the area and works in Miami. His late wife lived and worked here in Miami in the Hotel Miami.
“It was a much smaller town then, over forty years ago, but still a great place to live and raise a family,” he said. “I look forward to revisiting the city.”
Rawlins was raised in Oklahoma and Arkansas in the late 40s and 50s and served in the U.S. Army as a medic after receiving his training at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. He served in Southeast Asia in 1968-1969.
“The brutality of war changes men. We went in to the Vietnam War as boys and came out as men, forever changed by the experience. Unknowingly for me, it was the beginning of a life-long spiritual walk. Over the years it has led to my own personal covenant with God to write faith-based, inspirational novels,” Rawlins said.
Rawlins draws partially on his life experiences, his service as a medic, along with exhaustive research, which included interviews with his fellow veterans.
A synopsis of Rawlins' book reads, “Jack Holden, a veteran with the invisible wounds of PTSD, is on a bus trip when it becomes apparent to him that his life is unraveling. This is the beginning of a journey that will take him form the horrors of war to a small town where he discovers a place of incredible beauty. It is a 'Lost Eden' where the presence of God can be found.
Spanning from the Vietnam era to the present, we follow Jack as he crosses the boundaries of life and death itself. Along the way he encounters the awesome fury of nature, pulling him into place where he must face the even more destructive forces that have woven into the fabric of his mind. It is there his story becomes a profound spiritual experience.”
"A Return to Meadow Wood" received 10 out of 10 stars from the Christian Book Review that said: “Sam Rawlins takes the reader on an emotional and healing journey in his deeply emotional novel...A fantastic read and inspirational novel to our Men in Service, especially to those soldiers that suffer from the trauma of war, depression and PTSD.”
The book signing at Chapters will give readers a chance to visit with Rawlins about his book, answer questions, and sign copies available for purchase.
Rawlins' book is also available on Amazon.com & BarnesAndNoble.com.
Melinda Stotts is the associate editor of the Miami News-Record. She can be emailed at email@example.com. or followed on Twitter @MelindaStotts1