"Jason Seeley’s War" is centered in the heart of a small American town where two youth are deeply in love, and have been since high-school. Jason and Natalie’s love runs with a flexible strength that endures her recovery from a horrible drug addiction. A very promising athlete and student, Jason is welcomed to University, but Natalie won’t let him go without extracting a promise from him to stay faithful to the love of his life. This promise – he meant to keep. But then the Vietnam War happened and Jason was assigned a draft number just before graduation. He knew government agents were about to collect.
Jason was forced to go against his patriotic upbringing because he refused to play a part in a war that he did not support. Now labeled a ‘draft dodger’ Jason is a fugitive in America and for his own safety he runs to Canada. Luckily, he stumbles on an underground organization that attempts to protect people like him from FBI Agents. Jason eventually begins a new life dream of becoming a history professor through the help of kind friends. However, he fears this new dream will mean leaving behind everything and everyone he ever loved. Jason is haunted day and night by the question ‘Will he ever be with Natalie again?’.
I felt that Dean Salter did a wonderful job portraying this aspect of war. How this young man running from a war he could not believe in, tore families apart. The community was also torn in their perception of this ‘criminal’ in their midst. New customs, new friends – a new life to try to fit into somehow, without the people he grew up with confused this frightened young man. Betrayal and grievances create miscommunications and a rift between his family begins that may never be repaired. Strangers along the way helping in the capacity they could at that time, never fully realizing their small aide was a turning point for this young man’s journey. This is a side of the story of war that is rarely told so eloquently.
Publisher: Still Meadow Press
Author: Dean Salter
~ Lillian Brummet - Book Reviewer - Co-author of the book Trash Talk, a guide for anyone concerned about his or her impact on the environment Author of Towards Understanding, a collection of poetry.