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Duke Barrett is a combat veteran of the Vietnam War. The
Chicago-born paratrooper served as both an infantryman and a reconnaissance
scout with the United States Army’s 1st Air Cavalry Division at
An Khe, South Vietnam. For his service in country, the army parachutist,
a.k.a “glorified grunt,” was awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge
and the Purple Heart. Upon completion of his tour of duty, Duke was
assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, “America’s Guard of Honor,” at
Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Upon completion of his military obligation, Duke resumed a music
career, which had been interrupted by the draft. Spending a number of
years touring the nation as a professional musician, Duke had the good
fortune to play every major nightclub and theater from coast to coast, to
include Broadway’s Alvin theater in New York City, where he played in
the pit orchestra for the musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, starring
The one timer Rock ‘n’ Roll drummer, and former Golden Gloves Champ,
always had an eye for pretty women, and in 1970, married the beautiful
Mitsuko Hori. Through thick and thin, Duke and Mitsi have managed to
remain married after all these years, and have three beautiful children:
two sons, and a delightful daughter. They’ve also been blessed with two
A graduate of The University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Duke is a 31-
year employee of the U.S. Postal Service in Las Vegas, Nevada, where
the gainfully employed letter carrier continues to play music on a part-time
Wounded, laying face down in the mud with life escaping his body, Johnny dreams of being with Mai, a beautiful Eurasian girl he’d only recently met and fell in love with on an in-country R&R at Vung-Tau. To be back in the “world” playing his guitar and living out his life with Mai consumed his every thought.
Shortly after returning to his combat unit, Johnny Richards, a cocky Irish, blue eyed, blues guitarist from the streets of Chicago is gravely wounded on an air-assault into an enemy stronghold after taking a bullet for a buddy.
Are Johnny and Mai allowed to live out their dreams? Does the bullet that took him down cut short his young adventurous life and their dreams? In 1983, at the Vietnam Memorial, better known as “The Wall,” Johnny’s hopes, dreams and survival come face-to-face with the emotional but spiritual realization that is his.
“The Wall Of Broken Dreams” is certainly an adventure, as any Vietnam War story should be. More than that though, it is an inspirational story of the hopes and dreams of a young man serving his country in an elite army combat platoon in Vietnam.
The story appeals not only to the adventure reader but also to the reader seeking an inspirational message. “The Wall Of Broken Dreams” is an adventure with an emotional punch.