Patrick Curran, an award-winning industrial film maker for the Coca-Cola Company, earned master’s degrees in English literature and Organizational Design. After serving four years in the US Navy as an Explosive Ordnance Diver including one year as a Team Leader in Vietnam, Pat joined The Coca-Cola Company as an internal consultant working in the US and Northern Europe. After ten years with Coca-Cola, he became a partner with Keilty, Goldsmith and Boone (KGB) an organization change consultancy in La Jolla, CA. Ten years later, he launched his own firm, the Curran Consulting Group, and continued working internationally for ten more years.
Pat’s first book based on consulting in twenty-one countries was an organizational change textbook titled: COBRA: The X Factor in Strategy Execution. The COBRA framework has been implemented widely in the International Beverage Industry. After retiring, he wrote a second book, a Cold War novel on the hazards of uranium mining on the Colorado Plateau, titled: Acid Reign and the Rise of Eco-Outlaws. Both books are available on Amazon. His second historical novel entitled: Alta’s Curse, was published in 2016. Pat and his wife Joan purchased a home in Steamboat Spring in 2012. When in town, Pat is a regular at the Steamboat Writing Group.
Pat is currently writing a memoir of his experiences during the Vietnam War.
Vietnam War Memoir
In Dec. 1937, the Japanese attacked Nanking, the capital of China recklessly–killing, rapping, and looting.
“Death toll estimates vary from 40,000 to over 300,000, with rape cases ranging from 20,000 to over 80,000 cases.”1
Then in June 1941, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union following a devastating blitzkrieg of Europe, where the Germans swept through Poland, Norway, Belgium, Holland, and France.
Six months later, the Japanese launched a surprise attack on the U. S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
“The attack killed 2,403 U.S. personnel, including 68 civilians, and destroyed or damaged 19 U.S. Navy ships, including 8 battleships.”2
Did I know about all this at the time? No, but I’d heard about it around the dinner table at my grandparents’ home as I grew up. My uncles had served in the Pacific in WWII: Uncle Bob fought in Iwo Jima; Uncle Bill flew with the Air Force and the Flying Tigers; and Uncle Jim sailed with the Navy; and my two aunts helped build ships in Los Angeles.
Yes, we were a feisty Irish-Catholic family. Neither hawks nor doves–simply concerned patriots.
I was just five years old when the U.S. dropped the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima and grew up under the menacing cloud of a Cold War and an Arms Race. I was twenty-four when drafted into the U.S. Navy, and at twenty-seven, a Navy Lieutenant in Vietnam in charge of a Diving Team fighting in a proxy war.
Could I make sense and meaning out of all this? Hum? They say historical context has to do with the details that surround an occurrence–social, religious, economic, and political. Okay! So that was my historical context.
Wait one more thing. Another element in the historical mix was Rob Bond. We met in Navy Officer’s Candidate School (OCS), and decided to become Explosive Ordnance Divers at OCS and went on to Underwater Swimmers School and Explosive Ordnance Disposal School. After the Navy, we remained close personal friend and climbed our share of high peaks around the world.
In August 2019, I got a call from Rob’s son, Jeff, telling me that Rob had taken his life, perhaps a PCSD victim from Vietnam. Prior to that I had little interest in a memoir of my times in the Navy. Since then I have keep busy writing a memoir of those days. Perhaps Rob’s family or mine can extract some meaning from this.
- Nanjing Massacre, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia