Known for his historically-themed essays and short stories, he also earned accolades for such novels as Prisoners, Love After War, and The Wished-For Country. Also an editor, he worked on a Curbstone Press anthology titled Voices from Viet Nam.
He served in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War, earning such military decorations as the Air Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal.
After graduating from Jerusalem's American College and from Vermont's Goddard College, he taught for many decades at the College of Southern Maryland.
His marriage to Ohnmar Thein Karlin resulted in a son named Adam.
He and fellow writer Homer Hickam both served in the Vietnam War.