Brian Lehman lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife, Julie, along with a Corgi and a mini Dachshund whose names are Scratch and Sniff. He served four years in the United States Navy and is a Vietnam Veteran having served aboard a destroyer that conducted many firing missions along the Vietnam coast as well as close in night attacks on heavily defended enemy position in North Vietnam. He later also served aboard an LST and a guided missile destroyer. After his naval service he returned to finish his college degree and spent thirty-two years teaching elementary school. Over the years he has written three novels and is working on others, but War Paint is his only published novel to date. Several readers have asked if the events in the book are true. His answer is that the events in War Paint take place in the historical reality of the events of the war in 1972 and several of the incidents that take place in the story are historical truth. However, the characters, the high ranking treachery and betrayal, life in the war aboard a warship, the growing suspense and the climactic battle scenes, although based in his experience, are inventions of the story tellers imagination. Then again, he thinks readers would be surprised to learn how close some of the story elements are to the actual truth. As always, he is eager to pass along that ten percent of any proceeds from War Paint are being donated to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund in Washington, D.C.
War Paint is a thriller and a naval warfare story like no other from the Vietnam War. It is April 1972 and the fading war has suddenly reawakened with the Easter Offensive, a massive invasion by North Vietnam into South Vietnam. U.S. troop strength has fallen to new lows and 20 year-old surfer and troublemaker Jeffs Ryder is a new member of the crew of a destroyer known as the Rat. He and his fiancée Cathy's lives are turned upside down as his ship and many others are suddenly sent to the war. But the most dangerous enemy is not the one they expect. A secret group committed to the destruction of the ship and an unbalanced navy fleet commander launch a conspiracy to send the warship into a confrontation with patrol boats armed with ship-killing missiles. As their possible doom inches ever closer, Jeffs and his shipmates continue to deal with separation from loved ones, dangerous attacks into enemy territory and shipboard life--all with ironic, sometimes comic and often tragic outcomes. War Paint is a look into the role of the navy in a lesser known chapter of the war and a captivating coming of age tale of high ranking treachery and heroism.
War Paint Review by Vietnam Veterans of America