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Needham’s Keating publishes ‘Yesterday’s Soldier’

Needham's Tom Keating, Vietnam veteran and VFW Post 2498 Chaplain, has announced the release of "Yesterday’s Soldier: A Passage from Prayer to the Vietnam War." A piece from the book recently appeared in Hometown Weekly's December 26 edition under the title of "A card from Ahn."

Tom Keating spent over five years studying to be a priest. Released from his vows and further advancement to ordination, he joined the US Army instead of waiting to be drafted. It was 1968, the height of the Vietnam War, and the author proceeded through the Army’s infantry training cycle of weapons and war tactics, earning top honors as an infantryman. This book shares his experiences in the US Army, from Basic Combat Training to Infantry Advanced Training to Infantry Officer Candidate School.

It was at Officers Candidate School where he faced the hardest decision of his life: to become a non-combatant conscientious objector. His years of religious life forced him to face the fact that he could not kill another human. He risked the Army’s punishment and imprisonment for that decision, and endured the Army’s systematic punishment (“the Treatment”) during the long months of waiting for a decision in his case. He also defied the demands of his church to withdraw his objection, and faced the anger and dismay of his family.

Keating, a retired broadcaster and teacher, lives with his wife, Kathleen. He is committed to helping veterans as a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

"Yesterday’s Soldier" is a story of his struggle and his assignment to Vietnam one year later, and is available on Amazon Books by visiting

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