About the Book
While serving in Vietnam 14 ½ months with the 7th Battalion 15th Artillery, the men in Dennis Lane’s unit found a unique way to express themselves. One night some of them had a simple yet brilliant idea. They painted a wall white in a bunker and began writing on it with brightly colored magic markers. Within a couple of weeks, the wall embodied the hearts and souls of the unit. They would write on the wall when they were afraid, happy, sad, horny, alone, sober, but most of the time high on drugs and alcohol. They called it The Bitch Wall.
Since returning home, he realized that this wall is very similar to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. Both are sacred ground, in conflict zones, where pilgrims place their petitions on a wall and hope that their prayers will be answered.
When they left Vietnam, each one wanted to take it home. However, it was impossible to transport an eight-foot-high by twelve-foot-wide wall that was constructed from three sections of plywood.
The Bitch Wall is a fictional novel based on the author’s experiences in the Vietnam War told through composite characters. It is also an examination of how conflict shapes worldviews.
Each character struggles with their faith and sanity while living in a military unit, experimenting with drugs, and fighting a war. The Bitch Wall reveals the internal struggles of the characters.
Although this wall no longer physically exists it continues to survive in the souls of the men that served. On his last day in Vietnam, the author copied down the graffiti from The Bitch Wall. Those messages survive and inspired the novel.
About the Author
Like most Vietnam War veterans, Lane continues to struggle with PTSD and has been reticent about sharing his experience with others. He signed up for the draft and served in Vietnam with a combat unit, earning an Army Commendation Medal. He served as Catholic missionary in Orange Walk Town, Belize, Central America for two years. The combination of these two experiences transformed his life. While he considers himself a Christian, he embraces people of all faiths and atheists. He is very gregarious and outgoing. He is known by everyone as being the least judgmental person they know.
His combat experience and missionary work influenced him so much that he entered the Jesuits Seminary. After 1 ½ years, he determined that it was too confining, and he left that service. Educationally, he has earned a BA in English with three minors in Spanish, Communication, and Theology. Later, he earned a Masters Degree in Math, and Masters in Economics. He started a Ph.D. in Economics but never completed it and has no regrets. While studying in Washington, D.C. during President Jimmy Carter’s administration, he worked on the President’s Commission onFederal Impact Aid as a staff economist.
Today, Lane continues to serve the disenfranchised and is an active community volunteer. He works at inner-city social service and healthcare organizations and remains involved in the Roman Catholic Church. Lane is a world traveler and delights in becoming immersed in different cultures. This has given him an insight with others that has proved invaluable to him in both his personal and professional life.