Family, Faith, Land and Mysticism by Robert Osenenko

Robert Osenenko’s Family, Faith, Land and Mysticism: The Spiritual Traveler Myth (Outskirts Press, 232 pp., $27.95, hardcover; $13.95, paper) deals with his hometown of Toms River, New Jersey, and its Pinelands Reserve. The book also contains details about his family members and his service in the Vietnam War.

Osenenko joined the U.S. Army in 1967, and had Basic Training at Fort Jackson and Quartermaster AIT at Fort Lee in Virginia. His next assignment was a brief one at the Army Radar and Air Defense Command at Travis Air Force Base in California. He went on to serve a June 1968-July 1969 tour of duty in Vietnam with Company A of the 2/27th Infantry (the Wolfhounds) of the 25th Infantry Division.

“Grandma Anna said openly, ‘Vietnam changed you,'” Osenenko writes, describing his homecoming. “No doubt it had, and I was not foolish enough to deny it. It certainly made me think deeper, and count the consequences for my behavior. Secondly, I came out with no bitterness toward the army, the country, people, or myself.”

The author’s website is

—Marc Leepson