The Parthenon

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Veteran guest speaker at MU Reads

Sam Phillips

Sam Phillips

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MU Reads invited Danny Lane, a decorated Vietnam war veteran and author, to discuss his book about veteran PTSD Tuesday, Sept. 11 in Drinko Library.

Lane, who has received two Purple Hearts, the Marine Combat Action Medal and the Vietnam Gallantry Cross, among other commendations, published his book “Some Gave it All – Through the Fire of the Vietnam War” earlier this year. The book is based on his own life, detailing his experiences with the Vietnam War and his struggles with PTSD years later.

“I didn’t know I was going to be a soldier,” Lane said. “It just happened.”

Lane is also a retired police officer, bodyguard and private investigator. He is a martial arts master in the Chuck Norris system, and this connection led to Chuck Norris endorsing his book.

“All the things I have accomplished was a result of my sufferings,” Lane said. “I wrote the book to be therapeutic for myself. I had kept it inside for 50 years, and my wife encouraged me to tell my story.”

Lane is an ambassador for Mission 22, a nonprofit charity dedicated to veteran suicide, founded on the idea that 22 veterans commit suicide every day, and 85 percent of all donations go directly to veteran help programs. Mission 22 also offers mugs, shirts and other gear to promote the charity, the proceeds of which also go to veteran help programs.

Lane said he does not intend to stop with this book. He is working on his next book, “1502 Charleston,” a story about his time as a Huntington police officer working a homicide case.

MU Reads is a Marshall University group for students who are fans of literature. This event was the first of several this year to feature guest authors.

“Normally we stick with authors to fit with MU Reads,” Leeann Hesson, one of the co-managers of MU Reads and a staff librarian for Drinko Library, said. “But sometimes we have professors speak for certain topics.”

Hesson said there are typically major MU Reads events once a month, but this year the program is expanding.

“Recently we’ve started collaborating with the first year residence halls,” said Hesson. “We’ve also been working on a Marshall book club.”

The next MU Reads event will be Sept. 26 from 4 to 6 p.m. in Drinko Library. It will be focused on banned books and will feature local authors Marie Manila and Eliot Parker.

Sam Phillips can be contacted at [email protected].

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