Member Books for February 2014

Fiction

Bix & Bones: A Story of a Different WWII. By Maj. Mark Druck, USAFR (Ret). Xlibris , (888) 795-4274, www.xlibris.com, www.markdruck.com. ISBN 978-1-4691-8889-8. 262 pp. $28.02. 

Two guys—an All-American football star college celebrity vs. a guy who hates ‘college boys,’ who is the ‘hot pilot’ in the Squadron. And the Red Cross nurse. And the missions they fly — at 300 mph, lower than your garage — so low they needed a parachute to ‘hesitate’ the bomb so they can escape the bomb blast!

Lies on the Potomac: In the Shadow of the Triangle. By Lt. Col. Michael L. Perry, USAF (Ret), Life Member. Amazon Digital Services Inc. ASIN B00E6XM3RK. 396 pp. $4.99. 

As the country splits apart, John Wilkes Booth’s alleged conspiracy resurfaces to threaten the President of the United States. The Coast Guard and Homeland Security, using new “classified” technology, race to protect a pending Fourth of July attack on the Potomac River, aimed at the heart of the nation’s power.

All is not what it appears as the reader journeys up the famous river following Robert, Eva Mae, Lee and One Dot Seven as they deliver a new type of bomb, grown from a 3D printer. In the end, the reader will ask themselves who truly holds the power — these young travelers or the old establishment.

Seen and Unseen Companions on My Appalachian Journey. By Maj. Paul Fitz-Patrick, USAF (Ret), Life Member, Cumberland Valley (Pa.) Chapter. Wasteland Press. ISBN 978-1-60047-884-0. 278 pp. $15.09. 

Seen and Unseen Companions on my Appalachian Journey is about Paul Geary who has a mid-life crisis and decides to hike the Appalachian Trail. Paul tries to discover what God's plan is for him and why God has let him down. As he begins his hike in Maine he discovers that God has always been with him, but that God just wasn't answering his prayers in the ways Paul wanted Him to. He meets many interesting people on his journey and realizes he is drawn to people who he shares something with, namely, God and family. Some of Paul's companions are providential messengers who help Paul see that God has gifted him in many ways during the course of his life. He also realizes that his personal witness of God and his own life's events help others along the way to believe and trust in God. The point of the journey becomes the journey itself and when Paul returns home he realizes what he is supposed to do with the rest of his earthly life. 

Nonfiction

The Boys of Benning: Stories From the Lives of Fourteen Infantry OCS Class 2-62 Graduates. Edited by Dan Telfair, Zia Telfair, and Col. Thomas B. Vaughn, USA (Ret), Life Member. AuthorHouse, 1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403, (800) 839-8640, www.authorhouse.com. ISBN 978-1-4817-1710-6. 284 pp. $30, postpaid. Order from the author: 701 Dee Lusk Rd., Rock Island, TN 38581, (931) 668-8225. 

The Boys of Benning highlights the lives of fourteen graduates of a 1962 Infantry Officer Candidate School class-before, during, and way after OCS. These men came from all across America to compete for officership in the United States Army. They emerged victorious from the crucible of OCS, and went on to serve our nation-in and out of the Army.

Twelve of these fourteen men served combat tours in Vietnam. Most were wounded in action there; some more than once. They were point men in the so-called Cold War. For them, it was often hot war.

Beyond the battlefields of Vietnam and the long war's divisive impact on American unity, these "Boys of Benning" persevered in their patriotic duty. They rose to the challenges and opportunities of higher rank and responsibility with confidence born from competence.

Drafted and Served: Edward “Skip” Swain — One Citizen Soldier’s Experiences in Vietnam. By Cmdr. Stephen A. Banks, USN (Ret). ISBN 978-0-9817-4733-0. 577 pp. $20, postpaid. Purchase from the author: 7716 Carrleigh Parkway, Springfield, VA 22152, (703) 644-7594. 

This is the story in words and more than 150 photographs of Skip Swain – a young guy from Kenmore, New York, who in 1968 at age nineteen was drafted and sent to Vietnam. The book focuses extensively on Swain’s training and ultimate service as an infantryman with a one of a kind outfit: B Company “The Warlords,” 123rd Aviation Battalion, Americal Division. The Warlords’ unique and dangerous mission was to fly around looking for the enemy and when they found him, rather than kill him their goal was to “snatch” him for interrogation. The book recounts in detail Swain’s and The Warlords’ actions and contributions during his fourteen months in Vietnam. The Warlords became very good at what they did – capturing hundreds of the enemy. Their success earned them fame – as well as a bounty on their heads. Using the results of many hours of interviews, as well as hundreds of other sources including: Army records, unit histories, personal recollections, photos, e-mail, books, newspapers, magazines, and Web sites, the author tells the story - frequently in the men's own words – of the anxiety, the excitement, the sacrifices, the often humorous attempts to relieve stress, and the fear as Swain and his buddies did what our country asked of them.

Hypnotism’s Strangest Phenomena: The Bizarre, the Odd, and the Unusual. By Lt. Col. Norbert W. Bakas, USAF (Ret), Ph.D., Life Member. Bakas Hypnosis Center. ISBN 978-1-4609-3418-0. 224 pp. $19.95, postpaid. Purchase from the author: 215 Bellevue Rd., Pittsburgh, PA 15229, (412) 301-0512, norbertwbakas@gmail.com

Oddities and strange events that sometimes veers into the supernatural are described in this compelling book, where many experiences are documented by author Norbert Bakas, a nationally recognized researcher and authority in the art of hypnotism.

Parent Power: The Key to America’s Prosperity. By former Navy 1st Lt. Jack Westman, M.D., Life Member, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Area Chapter. CreateSpace. ISBN 978-1482381962. 262 pp. $10.80. 

Our government is forced to become involved in struggling families and their adult offspring at the cost of 23% of state and 45% of county expenditures that flow largely from our federal income taxes. One-third of our children and youth are failing in some aspect of their lives. The United States is at the top of the list of developed nations in child abuse and neglect and the bottom in educational achievement. Five children die every day from abuse. Three million referrals are made to child protective services every year. At some point in their lives, half of all children born in the United States will have lived in one-parent homes mostly without fathers. More than half of them will live in poverty for a time and will continue the cycle of family disadvantage. Parents who raise a productive citizen contribute $1.4 million to our economy. Parents who abuse and/or neglect a child who becomes a criminal or welfare dependent cost our economy $2.8 million. Without concerted action, every American taxpayer will continue to pay for these consequences. The framework for action is in Parent Power: The Key to America's Prosperity. For humanitarian and financial reasons, and for our nation's prosperity, we must remove government from family lives by preventing the formation of, and reducing the number of, struggling families in the United States. We can do this by ensuring that every newborn baby has an opportunity to succeed in life by limiting the custody of newborn babies to persons who are not under the custody of others themselves. This can be done through a Parenthood Pledge that expands the birth certificate to become a parenthood certificate for the parent(s) of that child. When a girl or woman under the custody of others becomes pregnant, a Parenthood Planning Team would be activated to ensure that a qualified person(s) co-signs the Parenthood Pledge and has custody of the baby at birth. If there is no willing qualified person(s), a plan would be made for adoption at birth. Only by fulfilling the right of all newborn babies to have competent parents will the United States ensure its prosperity. In the same way that Silent Spring and Revolutionary Wealth came at watershed moments in America’s evolution, Parent Power will generate a paradigm shift in how we value fatherhood, motherhood and our young citizens. This book reveals the uncomfortable truth about the role of incompetent parents in the state of our economy.

Thunder Over Dakota: The Complete History of Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota. By Lt. Col. George A. Larson, USAF (Ret), Black Hills (S.D.) Chapter. Schiffer Books, 4880 Lower Valley Rd., Atglen, PA 19310, (610) 593-1777, www.schifferbooks.com. ISBN 978-0-7643-4263-9. 320 pp. $49.99. 

The history of Ellsworth Air Force Base tells the story of an air base and personnel in western South Dakota defending the United States for seventy years. It traces the proud heritage of the military facility, protecting the United States, beginning in World War II. Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses, Boeing B-29 Superfortresses, Convair B-36 Peacemakers, and Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers have all stood at the ready on Ellsworth’s runway. The current bomber out of Ellsworth is the B-1B Lancer, flown by the 28th Bomb Wing who continues to defend America now and into the future.

Up! The Difference Between Today and Tomorrow Is You. By former Navy 1st Lt. Bob Ravener. Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. ISBN 978-1938499708. 246 pp. $8.96. 

Hope is not a strategy, but you need hope to build a life strategy. In UP, Bob Ravener blends business applications with real life experiences and creates a blueprint for overcoming both personal and professional challenges. UP’s concrete examples and insightful principles give readers the hope and practical skills necessary to succeed. No matter your circumstances, how you respond to adversity is in your control. The difference between today and tomorrow is….YOU!

Memoir 

A Flight Through Life: An Aviator’s Memoir. By Col. Albert J. DeGroote, USAF (Ret), Life Member, Willow Grove (Pa.) Chapter. Lulu.com. ISBN 978-1-3009-2247-6. 300 pp. $19.96, plus tax and shipping. 

A Flight Through Life begins with a boy growing up during World War Ii, and records his youthful fascination with aviation. It follows his career in aviation from becoming a private pilot through his eventful life as an Aviation Cadet and his careers in both the Air Force and commercial aviation. Al DeGroote's captivating descriptions of his experiences give both pilots and non-pilots a feel for the excitement and wonder of flying while sharing with them the experience of being part of aviation's transition from the piston to the jet age.

While aviation is the central theme of the narrative, Al's wide ranging experience in command and staff positions brings the non-flying reader into his life as a war planner, accident investigator and international affairs specialist. As the U.S. Air Attaché at the embassy in Laos he and his family experienced the tragedy of the fall of Southeast Asia first hand and he provides a ringside seat for the reader to observe the many blunders and few triumphs of that debacle.

From There to Here. By former Army 1st Lt. Robert M. Rock, Life Member. iUniverse , 1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403, (800) 288-4677, www.iuniverse.com. ISBN 978-0-595-15666-5. 444 pp. $21.95. 

The stories he tells here were written at random over a period of several months, appearing as layers peeled off a consciousness onion, never knowing which ones would "arise" next. Eventually they were arranged into a chronology which resulted in a rather unusual autobiographical form. Each story is complete and essentially stands alone, yet together all blend into one encompassing and distinct story. As new stories continue to take shape, and more old ones emerge from the onion, these may serve the possibility for future stories.

The acclaim Rock's stories have begun to receive is evidenced by one having already been selected for reading over National Public Radio within only one week of submittal the Striped Pen story.