2016-11-03 / Neighbors

Book signing is Nov. 8 for Saco author

Dyer Library will host a Veterans Day program book talk with Maine teacher and writer David Arenstam at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8. Arenstam honors Vietnam veterans in his debut novel, “Homecoming: A Soldier’s Story of Loyalty, Courage, and Redemption.”

Arenstam, a Saco resident, recently completed the historical novel based on interviews and news stories written about Russell Warriner, a 68-year-old Vietnam veteran and Old Orchard Beach resident.

“I initially met Russ to talk about a POW/MIA event in Old Orchard and work on a project for my graduate program, but I soon realized there was more to the story,” Arenstam said. “We ended up meeting weekly in his kitchen for more than a year.”

“Homecoming” is the result of hundreds of hours of interviews with Warriner and the men who served with him. The novel traces two American aviators assigned to the Aerial Rocket Artillery in Vietnam, where the margin between life and death was thin and mysterious. For 20-year-old helicopter crew chief Warriner and co-pilot Bobby Connelly, a single mission in early 1968, as the Tet Offensive roars around them, forever links their lives. The mission draws on all their reserves of courage and strength, but will that be enough to bring them both home?

Arenstam is a faculty member at Thornton Academy in Saco, and recently earned a master’s degree in journalism from Harvard University. He regularly contributes articles to local newspapers, magazines and online media companies.

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