Ken Smits began writing his book series Without Glory in 1985 when a friend, the first person he confided in about his experiences in Vietnam, told him the world had a right to know the truth about the horrors he faced there. What began as one book grew into five books, with two anticipated future volumes that will take Ken’s journey from the jungles of Vietnam to highly classified African locations through his work as a Special Operator.
Ken entered the U.S. Air Force in 1967 after graduating from Passaic County Technical Vocational High School in Wayne, New Jersey. Not long after enlistment, Ken was sent to Vietnam. After leaving the U.S. Air Force, Ken reentered service in the U.S. Army. Ken’s military career ended in 1979 because of a vicious attack on his team during a mission in an undisclosed area. This mission nearly cost Ken his life. Ken spent the following year at Walter Reed Army Medical Center recovering from injuries that ultimately robbed him of his sight.
After being medically discharged from the ARMY in 1981, Ken moved to Texas, acquired his master’s degree in public administration, and spent his remaining work years working with the mentally impaired. Even with vision in only one eye, Ken continued his passion for race car driving after his move to Texas. Ken could be found each season on racetracks in Killeen, Texas, and Waco, Texas.
Ken retired as Vice President at Goodwill Industries of Southwest Texas and Oklahoma in 2010. He then moved to Florida to be near his daughter, Toni. Ken’s retirement hobbies included photography with a concentration on Cosplay photography all over central Florida until he lost vision in his remaining eye in 2013. Now legally blind, Ken enjoys retirement from his home in Land O’Lakes, Florida, where he lives with his two dogs, Dakota and Bernie, and his sister-in-law, Cindy.
About Without Glory
Without Glory will be published as a complete novel in late 2024. What is featured in FireWatch are pieces of the story. The entire experience can only be obtained by reading the book in its entirety and unabridged. Eagle Island Publishing, LLC will publish the novel. Stay tuned to FireWatch Magazine for all publication details. For now, #TEAMFIREWATCH hopes you enjoy its monthly Without Glory features in FireWatch Magazine.
August: Without Glory, The Pipeline
September: Without Glory, The Foxhole
October: Without Glory, The Tower
November: Without Glory, The Frog and Captain America