Pat Schneider was born in 1948 in Fort Worth and moved to Glen Rose in 2007. He never dreamed that someday he would be a published author.
Schneider’s story begins in 1968, when he was called to join the United States Army and deployed to Vietnam.
“I was in Vietnam from ‘68 to ‘70,” Schneider said. “I was a tunnel rat.”
“War, from Jungle to Desert” chronicles Schneider’s Army experience. The book is filled with harrowing tales, including one scene where Schneider, nicknamed Tex, threatens to shoot a fellow soldier, called Okie, if he doesn’t clear a hole filled with Viet Cong soldiers.
The tales are gut-wrenching and, at times, painful to read. But the book offers a candid and honest glimpse into the realities of war and how easily ideas of right and wrong become dependent on survival.
Schneider notes at one point in the book, “I thought to myself that no one should have to go through this and remember it. God forgive us for what we had done.”
Schneider served in the 25th Infantry, 9th Infantry and the 1st Infantry, also known as Bid Red One. He received a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for his military service and went to college on the GI Bill when he came home from the war.
He said one of his first college assignments was to write a 30,000-word essay, due at the end of the semester.
“I couldn’t think of anything else to write about,” Schneider said. “So I just started writing down all the high points that I could remember.”
Then, about a year ago, Schneider’s older brother Edward asked if he still had the essay.
The two collaborated and put together a manuscript that included stories from both brothers.
The book was published and released earlier this month by Publish America and is available at most bookstores.