JanStephen James Cavanaugh

Biographies & Memoirs

Author Profile

JanStephen James Cavanaugh

JanStephen James Cavanaugh, Ph.D. was born in Canada. 1943. In 1963 following a dream he came to the United States of America to study for Roman Catholic priesthood with Maryknoll Fathers. In 1966 that door was closed to him. He then volunteered first with International Voluntary Service in 1967 and then post Tet 1968 with Catholic Relief Services. He was stationed in South Vietnam, 1967-1969. JanStephen experienced the hell of war first-hand. War marked him. Put him on a path to study war to end war. Beyond the pale there is no greater barbarism than war. The war philosophers do not recommend it except as a measure of failure and last resort. He wonders perhaps he survived the barbery of war in Vietnam to promote this equation: End War + End Warming = Age of Peace. He is greatly encouraged we live in a time with the tools to mobilize globe earth humanity to vote for leaders across globe earth to birth an Age of Peace. That is JanStephen’s daily prayer.

Books

A Bloodied Tapestry

Biographies & Memoirs

The story I tell drawn from the well of personal journals written during my time in war as a civilian … as background for recall and reflection. Journaling is a habit I started in Catholic seminary, and unwittingly gives witness to my story. What is written herein is a series of essays that interweaves a tapestry of memories that crisscross my time in South Vietnam 1967-1969. The American War as the Vietnamese named it. JanStephen James Cavanaugh, Ph.D.

Book Bubbles from A Bloodied Tapestry

Biden Negotiate End Ukraine War

A year ago this June I wrote the epilogue to my book: Fearing then that humanity is on a path to great destruction, and now a year later talk of nuclear war as Ukraine war grinds on ... the next chapters in WWIII. The truth be told Ukrainians are being slaughtered at the altar of USA power. Zelensky is their puppet. And now he is in a deep trouble. As Pope Francis and Rand Paul noted our complicity in this unlawful war is the truth. Shame on Democrats for what I understand to be willful blindness. We need a march on Washington to demand President Biden Negotiate An End to the Slaughter. It won't be popular, but our message must be clear. The record is clear: USA provoked an illegal war ... just as guilty as the Russians in starting this war. Let peacemakers to join Francis and Paul ... to amplify their message. In the streets a plea for Biden to do the right thing ... end this war.

Civilians Caught in the Hell of War

My friend Eve Marko who is a Founding Teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Order, called the other night. She had just finished my book and was excited by the story well told. She said, “I’ve met and talked with many Vietnam War veterans, but never with a civilian who volunteered to work with the people and got caught smack in the middle of a murderous war. Vietnam’s American War left scars not just on soldiers, but on ordinary people with high-level skills and the best of intentions. The images and sounds described here stay with me since my reading. When war intersects with generous idealists in a beautiful country, devastation ensues not just in the countryside but also in the hearts and minds of human beings." Yes, my hope to draw attention to “ the hearts and minds of human beings” the plight of civilians caught in war. In country not a few weeks … words from my soul to capture the horror of war as it hit me. And why humanity needs to abolish it. (Thomas Merton)

Me And The Stripper

I learned from a group of women who read my book … apparently the word is out, the sexy chapter is last … and they all laughed. Apparently from a woman’s point of view that is the place to start. I live in a retirement community that also has a lot of retired nuns. Apparently one of the nuns wants to read it, and my friends wondered about that. I flashed back to the time held up in hotel downtown Saigon for weeks during Tet 68 (nothing to do but party to drown the noise of war) … if what I saw be a measure of nuns at play, nothing to shock that crew. But this did get me wondering, so that I start out in better light, maybe to recommend to nuns, or anyone, to start with Sr. Mary McD.'s recommendation for graduate school at the very back of the book. I do recommend reading the story from the beginning that my whole story can be seen in context. And in me in truth I felt a little saner for that interaction … Eros not Thanatos, at least for a brief moment a blessing.

Boy Raised in Patriarchy

My story is a story of boy raised in patriarchy and him no more aware of it than the air, but there all the same. Learning the lessons, he needed to survive and maybe thrive.

There Are a Lot of US

I talked recently to lifelong friend about his time as a civilian in Vietnam and his sharing a story of his time in war. I deeply realized there are a lot of us civilians who worked in that country at civil war. We all got stories to tell. My story is not just my story but his story and all of us who worked in Vietnam as a civilian in that time of war. And the many here with loved ones over there, all part of the civilian side of war. The writing of my story a healing for me and maybe the reading a healing for you. God Bless

Maryknoll Novitiate Class 67

My life journey to Vietnam took me though a time with Maryknoll. There are many of us who served in military and civilian capacities in that war. My story is from the civilian side. I look back on those times in Maryknoll. I remember great comradeship, and the excitement of change for a more just world ... Sexual Revolution II, Civil Rights, Vatican II, Camelot, Kennedy's speech American University June 10, 1963, to build a world beyond war. And oh my God, Father and Mother in Heaven, I look out my window and what I see is far from the promises of those times. The dogs of war are off the leash. We are in the opening chapters of WWIII. We desecrate Mother Earth. Tell me it is my time in war past that has me seeing the future so darkly. It would be a relief to accept that I am just 'round the bend'. And I fear I am not.

Imprisoned In Terror of Noise

By God's plan what I remember strongest of my trip north to meet with Bill Rose of Friends Service Committee was not what I experienced there, although even that enough. It was on the trip south I had a life altering experience of war. Even now 55 years later still a strong echo in my soul imprisoned in the terror of noise.

Vietnam, Life and Love

From boyhood on farm to young man off to do humanitarian work in a country at war. Off to war with none of the necessary preparation mentally to be in war. What I think now, more than anything in my life ... now pushing 80 ... Vietnam a major influence in how I view life and love. .

War In Ukraine Stirs Deep Fears

For reasons that may have to do with my time in war over 50 years ago, maybe due to my stirring up stuff in the writing of my story, all I know is Ukraine War stirs me deeply. More so than the any and many wars in last twenty years. Most wars end in negotiations. Ukraine could end nuclear. In my gut a feeling of great anxiety that only gets worse by the day. I can only hope it is my trauma in war from times past that has me seeing the future so darkly.

A Bloodied Tapestry

Biographies & Memoirs

Book Bubbles from A Bloodied Tapestry

A Bloodied Tapestry

Biographies & Memoirs

Civilian Perspective, American War in Vietnam, II Corps, South Vietnam, 1967–1969 My story draws from a well of personal journals written during my time in war as a civilian. Journaling is a habit I started in Catholic seminary and unwittingly gives witness to my story. What is written herein is a series of essays that interweaves a tapestry of memories that crisscross my time in South Vietnam from 1967 to 1969. The “American War,” as the Vietnamese have named it.

Book Bubbles from A Bloodied Tapestry

Civilian Terrors

In answer to the why now that I finished writing my story. I see the story more clearly. It is a coming-of-age story of a very young man working in a foreign land in civil war. Walk with him and feel your way. I wonder now I survived to tell the tale of the horrors of civilians in war ... that we might see more clearly ourselves in the mirror.

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