Sometimes it takes years for a combat vet to understand what his war did to him when he was nineteen. And even longer to explain the cadence he has marched to since then to the people he loves.
Family and friends know Marty McClure as a kind, peaceful man. They aren''t aware that when he was young, he plumbed the depths of terror, hatred and despair with no assurance he''d ever surface again. Now he needs to reveal what happened in Vietnam and how, with the help of Patti, his wife, Corrie Corrigan, a disabled vet, and Doc Matheson, a corpsman turned trauma surgeon, he made peace with the ghosts that have visited his dreams all these years.
With the perception and reflection of a man on the cusp of retirement from a career teaching high school kids, Marty recalls the relentless intensity of prolonged combat as a teenage Marine machine gunner facing booby traps and battles in a war with few boundaries. Arriving in Vietnam, he is appalled by the savagery of his fellow Marines as they hunt an enemy indistinguishable from the villagers he believes they are there to protect. But as friends are crippled or killed over the ensuing months, Marty has to fight not only the enemy but the vicious darkness growing in him. Wounded and sent back to the U.S., he struggles to make sense of all he has lost in a war his country abandoned. He works to become a good husband, father and teacher while he fights to bury the war and rails against friends'' enthusiasm for the Memorial and the Welcome Home for Vietnam Veterans planned in D.C. Only if he accepts help from his wife and his friends will he find real peace.
"Treanor''s first foray in novel writing succeeds in conveying to readers that veterans'' ears don''t stop ringing when the guns fall silent. We must care not only for ex-servicemen with broken bodies but also those with broken hearts."
"Mark Treanor has penned an instant classic of war fiction, one whose images do not go gently into that good night but force us to confront the searing psychological scars many former wartime soldiers suffer with silently. A must read."
--Historical Novel Society
"This inspired treatment of a challenging chapter in U.S. history is worth a look."
"This book is a necessary read and should be required reading for military history, college literature classes and people wanting to appreciate how they can advocate for combat veterans."
--The Decatur Daily
A Quiet Cadence by Mark Treanor reveals a larger truth so commonly experienced by ordinary young men suddenly thrust into the caldron of war and then brought back into a civilian life that still carries with it the mental and emotional echos of the violence that was once their daily fare. A compelling read from cover to cover,
A Quiet Cadence is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal reading lists, as well as community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections."
-Midwest Book Review
"This is a powerful, unrelenting look at the experiences of a Marine serving at the height of the Vietnam War and the personal battles he continues to fight for decades after his return home. A Quiet Cadence is a major work of combat fiction. It has my full-throated recommendation."
--The VVA Veteran
"Mark Treanor provides a riveting depiction of a young Marine''s experience in Vietnam followed by the challenge of returning home in A Quiet Cadence. This Marine rifle platoon leader''s description of the novel''s characters and traumatic experiences felt in physical battle and in mental recovery at home are very touching."
A Quiet Cadence is the most powerful book on combat during the Vietnam War..."
--Washington Independent Review of Books, Favorite Book of 2020
"A great read. Few books move me to tears. This one did. For every combat veteran who has dealt with coming home,
A Quiet Cadence makes it clear that you are not alone."
--Karl Marlantes, author of Matterhorn; What It Is Like To Go To War; and Deep River
"Mark Treanor has written an extraordinary story about the Vietnam War in 1969 on a par with
Fields of Fire. The narrative follows PFC Marty McClure, USMC during the war in fierce and brutal ground combat, which is compelling. What is then unique is Mark''s telling of life after combat and the Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) that accrues to every single individual who has ever been in a firefight. We are far behind in addressing PTS issues for our combat veterans. Mark''s incisive writing does a great deal to illuminate its reality and the urgent need to address it. Please read this book. You won''t be able to put it down."
--Adm. Mike Mullen, USN (Ret.) 17th Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff
"A compelling story, told with brutal realism but also deep compassion, of a young man''s war in Vietnam and his years-long struggle after coming home to make peace with troubled memories and his grief for lost friends."
--Arnold R. Isaacs, journalist and author of Without Honor: Defeat in Vietnam and Cambodia
"Stark and honest,
A Quiet Cadence masterfully captures it all … from the individual courage, sacrifice and dedication, through the black humor, dread of combat, and fear of failure, to that special unbreakable human bond that stands the test of time. Powerful, it brought back many names and memories for me."
--General Mike Hagee, USMC, 33rd Commandant of the Marine Corps, A 1/1 Vietnam
A Quiet Cadence is a riveting account of a young Marine''s combat experiences in Vietnam and the indelible effects in its aftermath. Mark Treanor brilliantly captures the physical and emotional trauma of close combat while masterfully weaving in timeless lessons about leadership, courage and camaraderie. Simply put, this is as relevant to veterans today as it was in the 60''s."
--F. C. Wilson, Lt. Gen. USMC (Ret.) 12th President, National Defense University
"Vivid, haunting, and moving. Mark Treanor''s eloquent, captivating novel provides a searing account of the experiences of and relationships between those who serve together in intense ground combat - and it conveys powerfully the difficult, wrenching adjustment to life back in ''the world'' after being part of the ''brotherhood of the close fight'' and surviving to make it home.
A Quiet Cadence is a masterful, evocative book."
--Gen. David Petraeus, USA (Ret.), former Commander of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), the Multinational Force in Iraq, US Central Command, and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan
"A must-read book for any American who wants to understand war and its impact on those we send into close combat. Mark Treanor sets the standard for an authentic description of combat and what our infantry veterans carry with them when they return home. Savage yet compassionate,
A Quiet Cadence will take its place as one of our most telling narratives of war and its aftermath."
--Jim Mattis, General, U.S. Marines (Ret.)
"This is an extraordinary, honest, and powerful novel. I was immediately captivated by it''s tone and pace, which carries the reader from the dark heart of the Vietnam combat experience to the harrowing challenges of returning home. On par with classic Vietnam era novels by James Webb and Karl Marlantes in its grit and truthfulness. Highly recommend!"
--Adm. James Stavridis, USN (Ret.), Dean, The Fletcher School, Tufts University and Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander
"A riveting look at what soldiers have experienced from Vietnam to Afghanistan. In
A Quiet Cadence, they live through intense combat then return to civilian life to struggle with memories of dead or horribly wounded friends while successfully pursuing careers ranging from shopkeeper to surgeon. A story of resilience and recovery, this book brilliantly describes characters who struggle but nonetheless get on with their lives - like most veterans do."
--Jan C. Scruggs, Esq, Founder of Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Chairman National Selective Service Review Board, Army rifleman in Vietnam
Mark Treanor, a Naval Academy graduate, was a Marine rifle platoon leader in Vietnam, an artillery battery commander, and leadership instructor and later served on the boards of the National Defense University and the Naval Academy. A lawyer, corporate executive, and leadership coach, he has participated in national security fact-finding missions in Iraq, Yemen, Africa, and the Caucasus. He lives in Maryland and Vermont.