Weapons of War is a memoir by Vietnam War veteran and ministry worker Robert E. Wright.
Those who have seen many terrible things in life, often have the greatest stories to tell. Maybe it’s because of the weight of the trauma, destruction, sadness, and perhaps the unforgettable painful memories as well. But most of the time, these stories are worth telling because they also speak of hope, passion, faith, resourcefulness, and kindness amidst adversity. War memoirs talk of death, anger, antagonism, firepower, and military offensives. However, Robert E. Wright’s book Weapons of War is a unique memoir. They chronicle a different battle, one that is wage by every soldier internally. For Robert, there is a greater narrative in Weapons of War- Love and War. Let us take a closer look at Wright’s memoir and see what he meant by “weapons of war”.
Weapons of War- Love and War Story
Weapons of War is a war memoir by Robert E. Wright. He recounts his time in Vietnam, particularly the time he spent with the 101st Airborne Division as a Combat Infantryman. Wright served two years in the US Army. In his book, Robert E. Wright tells his story through a series of personal letters written during the late stages of the Vietnam War. The letters are addressed to a woman who is very dear to Robert. To battle his sadness and longing for home, Wright wrote letters seeking comfort from God and his dear fiancée. The book’s title refers to the weapons used during the war, and his weapon- pen and paper- for fighting off the loneliness he felt during the war. Thus, Weapons of War is both a war memoir and a love story.
“Weapons of War has given me the opportunity to tell my Vietnam story and how it affected me, my fiancée, and my family. This is to give my family a written record of my service to my country and to thank the United States Army for its role in shaping my character and developing me into a responsible leader—ready and equipped to take on any challenge or mission.” –Robert E. Wright
Through a compilation of letters that he wrote to his fiancée Barbara Hampton, Robert E. Wright shares his experiences during his tour in Vietnam, during the late stages of the war. He recounts the military operations including the one he participated such as the dangerous search-and-destroy missions, turning a Viet Cong defector into a Kit Carson Scout, and clearing remote landing zones. Weapons of War, just like other war memoirs provide a detailed narrative about the horrors of war, the military encounters, the losses, as well as the heroism and valor that soldiers displayed during the war. However, Wright’s book centers on Robert’s longing for home and his beloved Barbara. He was only a teenager when Robert was drafted in the army. His time in Vietnam has brought anxiety and depression. It was through these letters that Robert E. Wright was able to survive, focused, and overcame the challenges. The pen and the letters he sent to Barbara serves as his weapons of war against loneliness, despair, and doubt.
Robert E. Wright’s Weapons of War is filled with memories, emotions, inspiration, as well as lessons, not only about war and history, but also life lessons brought about by faith, determination, and love. It is a must-read book for those who have seen war, but also to those who are at war with loneliness, despair, and detachment from God and loved ones.
About the Author
Robert E. Wright was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on November 11, 1949. Robert spent his childhood in an inner-city housing project in Lockefield Gardens, downtown Indianapolis. Wright attended the Crispus Attucks High School where he graduated in 1968. He received his Diploma in Old and New Testament Studies at Indiana Christian University in May 1983.
Robert E. Wright served two years in the United States Army, including a 1969-70 tour of duty in Vietnam. After his stint in the army, Robert married the love of his life Barbara Hampton in 1972. Wright worked for Indian Bell Telephone Company for 26 years. He started as a residential installer and retired as Project Manager in Network Operations in October of 1994. After his retirement, Wright began a new career embarked on a new career. Wright spent 21 years in full-time ministry and finally retired on December 31, 2015. He still serves as a member of the Finance Team, the Church Council, and a Chairman of the Deacon Board.