What would you do if you were drafted to fight in a war?
As a conscientious objector opposed to all wars, Wayne R. Ferren Jr. had to answer that question during the Vietnam War.
He called on his religious and scientific backgrounds as well as his environmental activism to argue that he should be excluded from fighting in, or supporting this war. Following a successful defense of his claim, Wayne served two years of alternative civilian service, which influenced his professional and personal life for the next fifty years.
Decades after his service, he was shocked to find his name on the Vietnam War Memorial, which turned out to be that of another young man with a similar name born the same year Wayne was born. That man died in 1968 when his plane was hit by artillery fire and crash landed at Khe Sanh Marine Combat Base. He will forever remain a teenage father killed in a senseless war.
To this day, the duality haunts the author, and in this multifaceted memoir, he looks back at a lifetime and how his background, scientific training, and transcendentalism have guided him on a path of conscientious objection, service, and conservation, believing all things are sacred.