Chaplain James D. Johnson chose to accompany his men, unarmed, on their daily combat operations, a decision made against the recommendations of his superiors. During what would be the final days for some, he offered his ministry not from a pulpit but on the battlefields - in hot landing zones and rice paddies, in hospitals, aboard ship, and knee-deep in mud. Through his compelling narration, he takes us into the hearts of frightened young boys and the minds of experienced men. In Combat Chaplain, we live for eight and one-half months with Johnson as he serves in the field with a small unit numbering 350 men. The physical price can be counted with numbers - 96 killed and over 900 wounded. Only those who paid it can understand the spiritual and psychological price, in a war that raised many difficult moral issues. "It placed my soul in the lost and found department for a while," Johnson writes. This is one man's chronicle of Vietnam and the aftermath of war, of his coming to terms with his posttraumatic "demons", and his need for healing and cleansing which led him to revisit Vietnam 28 years later.
The book is published by University of North Texas Press.