A prejudiced war veteran battling PTSD returns home to pursue his dream of becoming a police officer. But is he ready?
Crooked Fences is a fiercely honest story of change about a returning war veteran’s battle to overcome the debilitating effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression, before entering the New York State Police Academy. First, he must confront the hatred of racism and homophobia instilled in him by his father while working at a low-income housing project.
C.J. Heigelmann is a writer and multi-genre novelist of Contemporary, Literary, and Historical fiction. He fluently expresses his work with a primary focus on perspective and realism which separates him from many mainstream contemporary authors. Heigelmann's style of writing is marked by cultural inclusion and social diversity resulting in relevant, unique, and compelling fiction novels.
In this verbal exchange, the family is sitting at the kitchen table eating supper, listening to their guest (Todd - the main character) make racist and stereotypical statements about the African Americans living in the low-income housing community which he manages. Todd believes his views will be validated by the rest of the host family. However, the patriarch of the family (Mr. Pearson) shares a story of past events during the Vietnam War, which was the catalyst for his own paradigm shift against the ingrained prejudices that he grew up with.
I was wounded at Khe Sanh in ’68. I needed a blood transfusion immediately or I would have died within the hour. An African American gunnery sergeant volunteered on the spot. At that time, I held different beliefs, similar to yours right now, and I’ll admit that I had some fear. But the fear of death forced me to put my small-minded and foolish prejudices aside. To make a long story short, that black man saved my life that day and now I sit here, alive with my family and you. I learned that day, the color of a man’s skin is not what makes him different; it is what’s inside his heart and his deeds that make him different. There’s good and evil in every race of folk around the planet. Colors? That don’t make a hill of beans,” he said.