(Washington, D.C.) – H. Lee Barnes, the award-winning novelist and short-story writer who served as an Army Special Forces A Team sergeant in the Vietnam War, will receive the Excellence in the Arts Awards on Saturday, August 17, at Vietnam Veterans of America's 16th biennial National Convention at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Jacksonville, Florida.
"Lee Barnes's service as a Green Beret in the Vietnam War has had a strong influence on his top-flight fiction writing," VVA National President John Rowan said. "We are proud to present him with this award honoring his service and recognizing his literary accomplishments."
Barnes--who has been a deputy sheriff, a narcotics agent, a private investigator, a construction laborer, and a casino employee--is the author of many short stories and essays, as well as four books, including his well-received short story collections, Gunning for Ho and Minimal Damage. His Vietnam War memoir, When We Walked Above the Clouds, was published in 2012.
His short fiction has been awarded the Willamette Fiction Award and the Arizona Authors Association Fiction Award. Gunning for Ho was a finalist for The Texas Institute of Letters First Fiction Award, and his Las Vegas novel, The Lucky, a finalist for the Western Writers of America Fiction Award. He was inducted in 2009 into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame.
Some 850 delegates from VVA chapters across the country are expected to join several hundred other Vietnam veterans and guests in Jacksonville. Former Congressman David Bonior, who spoke at VVA's Founding Convention in 1983, will deliver the Keynote Address at the Opening Ceremonies on Wednesday morning, August 14. Other Convention special guests include singer/songwriter Arlo Guthrie, who will receive the President's Award for Excellence in the Arts at the Saturday night Awards Banquet.