Member Books for March 2015

Nonfiction 

13 Soldiers: A Personal History of Americans at War . By Capt. John McCain, USN (Ret), Life Member, Arizona Chapter, and Mark Salter. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4767-5965-4. 348 pp. $20.41.

John McCain’s evocative history of Americans at war, told through the personal accounts of thirteen remarkable soldiers who fought in major military conflicts, from the Revolutionary War of 1776 to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As a veteran himself, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and a long-time student of history, John McCain brings a distinctive perspective to this subject. Thirteen Soldiers tells the stories of real soldiers who personify valor, obedience, enterprise, and love. You’ll meet Joseph Plumb Martin, who at the tender age of fifteen fought in the Revolutionary War; Charles Black, a freeborn African American sailor in the War of 1812; and Sam Chamberlain, of the Mexican American War, whose life inspired novelist Cormac McCarthy. Then there’s Oliver Wendell Holmes, an aristocratic idealist disillusioned by the Civil War, and Littleton “Tony” Waller, court-martialed for refusing to massacre Filipino civilians.

Each account illustrates a particular aspect of war, such as Mary Rhoads, an Army reservist forever changed by an Iraqi scud missile attack during the Persian Gulf War, and Monica Lin Brown, a frontline medic in rural Afghanistan who saved several lives in an ambushed convoy. From their acts of self-sacrifice to their astonishing bravery, these thirteen soldiers embody the best America has to offer.

Brave Warriors, Humble Heroes: A Vietnam War Story . By Marjorie T. Hansen, Auxiliary Life Member. Brown Books Publishing Group, www.BraveWarriorsHumbleHeroes.com . ISBN 978-1612542096. 264 pp. $18.68.

Through her husband's letters from Southeast Asia about his combat missions in Vietnam and over the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos in 1971 and 1972, Marge Hansen shares a gripping journey into one of the most divisive and turbulent periods in the nation's history. Brave Warriors, Humble Heroes: A Vietnam War Story captures in a flier's words the conflict, drama, frustration, heroism, and longing for home and family that mark combat missions. Through meticulous research and compelling narrative, Marge brings to readers a chance to understand what may have been only an ongoing headline in the news for those at home or a distant episode in American history for younger readers. In her voice and Charlie's, she captures the experience of those who serve and those who support them. For Marge and Charlie, the war was immediate and personal and has not ended; both were impacted by the legacy of Agent Orange-he from his assignment to front-line bases and she from her visit to him at one of those bases. Brave Warriors, Humble Heroes recounts the story of one war, one hero, one marriage, and one family. This book stands for all those whose voices have not been heard.

Company of Heroes: A Forgotten Medal of Honor and Bravo Company’s War in Vietnam . By 1st Lt. Eric Poole, USAF, Miramar (Calif.) Chapter. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 9781472807915. 296 pp. $18.60.

On May 10, 1970, during the Cambodian Incursion, Army Specialist Leslie Sabo Jr., 22-years old, married only 30 days before shipping out and on active duty for just 6 months, died as his patrol was ambushed near a remote border area of Cambodia. When an enemy grenade landed near a wounded comrade, Sabo used his body to shield the soldier from the blast. Despite being mortally injured, he crawled towards the enemy emplacement and threw a grenade into the bunker. The explosion silenced the enemy fire, but also ended Sabo's life. This attack by North Vietnamese troops killed eight of Sabo's fellow soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division and would come to be known as the "Mother's Day Ambush." Sabo's commanders nominated him for the Medal of Honor, but the request was somehow lost. A campaign to correct the oversight began in 1999, ultimately leading to legislation that eliminated the three-year time limit on awarding this medal.

Forty-two years after his selfless acts of heroism during the Vietnam War saved the lives of his fellow soldiers; Leslie H. Sabo Jr. posthumously received the Medal of Honor on May 16, 2012.
 
Using military records and interviews with surviving soldiers, journalist Eric Poole recreates the terror of combat amidst the jungles and rice paddies as Bravo Company 3rd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne forged bonds of brotherhood in their battle for survival. Company of Heroes offers an insight into the incredible and harrowing experiences of just a small number of men from a single unit, deep in the jungles of Vietnam and Cambodia.

The Dollar and National Security: The Monetary Component of Hard Power . By Col. Paul R. Viotti, USAF (Ret), Life Member. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-9113-7. 248 pp. $77.89.

Defense establishments and the armed forces they organize, train, equip, and deploy depend upon the security of capital and capital flows, mechanisms that have become increasingly globalized. Military capabilities are thus closely tied not only to the size of the economic base from which they are drawn, but also to the viability of global convertibility and exchange arrangements. Although the general public has a stake in these economic matters, the interests and interpretive understandings held by policy elites matter most—in particular those among the owners or managers of capital who focus on international finance and the international monetary regimes that sustain global commerce and their capital positions.

In The Dollar and National Security, Paul Viotti explores the links between global capital flows, these policy elites, and national security. After establishing the historical link between currency, gold, and security, he continues the monetary-security story by examining the instrumental role the dollar has played in American economic and national security over the past seven decades. He reveals how perceived individual and collective interests are the key drivers toward building the kind of durable consensus necessary to sustain the external financing of American foreign and national security policy, and addresses the future implications for national security as decision-makers in the BRICs and other countries position themselves to assume an even larger policy presence in global commercial, monetary, and security matters.

Lieutenant of Marines . By 2nd Lt. Bryan J. Lash, USMCR. Morris Publishing. ISBN 978-0-615-73898-7. 217 pp. $32.

The sixties brought us many things: women's liberation, free love and draft dodgers. More importantly, America was involved in helping the fledgling democratic Republic of Vietnam withstand attempts from the Communists of North Vietnam to conquer them militarily. America sent its bravest and brightest to assist and train the Vietnamese. Unfortunately, history will probably show that most Americans oppose the action. This is a story that chronicles the experiences of one man's journey to be a U.S. Marine during this time in history. It covers his time as a boy, through college, to leading the world's finest fighting men in combat. He discovered many life lessons along the way, not the least of which was what Semper Fidelis really means.

Sheep to Shepherd: Become a Man of Integrity and Godly Character . By Col. Thomas B. McDonald III, USA (Ret), Life Member. BookLogix, http://WordsAlongTheWay.com. ISBN 978-1-61005-331-0. 120 pp. $14.95.

Have you ever wished for a book that teaches the basic behaviors of being a good man, even a man of integrity and godly character? I humbly offer this book to be that book. I offer it primarily to Dads or Moms to give to their Sons. But, you must study it with them!

It is a book about one major transaction and twelve basic behaviors that every man, especially teenagers and young men, must master if they care to become men of Integrity and Godly Character. Though written for Teens and Twenty-somethings, it is certainly appropriate for any man at any age to pick up and make his own. It  is good for dads to read along and discuss with their sons; there is a Study Guide. For those without dads, find an adult male mentor in your church. Single moms of sons will find it a great tool to help them overcome their inherent unease at teaching their sons how to be a man of Integrity and Godly Character.

Then in the last section entitled Looking Ahead, we discuss five significant life situations that all men should understand. They are: Work, Education, Marriage, Fatherhood, and Operating in the World. It is 120 pages long, and though written in a conversational, easy-to-read style, it is dense with solid information.

The West Point History of the Civil War . Edited by Capt. Clifford J. Rogers, USN (Ret), Life Member; Col. Ty Seidule, USA; and Samuel J. Watson. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4767-8262-1. 448 pp. $38.54.

The definitive military history of the Civil War, featuring the same exclusive images, tactical maps, and expert analysis commissioned by The United States Military Academy to teach the history of the art of war to West Point cadets.

The United States Military Academy at West Point is the gold standard for military history and the operational art of war. West Point has created military history texts for its cadets since 1836. For the first time in over forty years, the United States Military Academy has authorized a new military history series that will bear the name West Point. That text has been updated repeatedly, but now it has been completely rewritten and The West Point History of the Civil War is the first volume to result in a new series of military histories authorized by West Point.

The West Point History of the Civil War combines the expertise of preeminent historians commissioned by West Point, hundreds of maps uniquely created by cartographers under West Point’s direction, and hundreds of images, many created for this volume or selected from West Point archives. Offering careful analysis of the political context of military decisions, The West Point History of the Civil War is singularly brilliant at introducing the generals and officer corps of both Union and Confederacy, while explaining the tactics, decisions, and consequences of individual battles and the ebb and flow of the war. For two years it has been beta-tested, vetted, and polished by cadets, West Point faculty, and West Point graduates and the results are clear: This is the best military history of its kind available anywhere.

What’s Your Philanthropic Footprint?  By Mary Vail, MBA, Life Member. AuthorHouse,  www.whatsyourphilanthropicfootprint.com . ISBN 9781496914514. 196 pp. $14.86.

Vail’s book is a memoir of how she merged a passion for philanthropy with her career as a public relations professional guiding clients to be agents of action in their community. The award-winning publicist shares her philosophy on charity and deconstructs the word “philanthropic” to break down barriers and dispel misconceptions about philanthropy.

“I hope that by sharing my story and the tales of those I have worked with including non-profits, small business owners, corporations, government agencies and celebrities, that it will inspire readers to contemplate what their own philanthropic footprint encompasses and how they can enhance it,” Vail says.

Vail asserts that her book is unique in outlining a variety of opportunities to become philanthropic by analyzing one’s talents, skills, hobbies, interests, services, and products. Vail introduces her concept of a “philanthropic footprint” to show how readers can leave their unique mark on the world. The forward of the book is written by fellow philanthropist, TV personality and celebrity blogger, Robin Leach.

Fiction 

Article 114: Dueling . By Lt. Col. William C. Westgard, USA (Ret), Life Member. CreateSpace. ISBN 9781500396039. 244 pp. $21.49. 254 pp. $9.

This is a military-legal-murder mystery. It is the second in a series featuring a young US Army judge advocate general's corps officer and his German woman lover who jointly discover the true facts of cases which the lawyer is assigned to defend or prosecute and to bring the culprits to justice.

Bad Times: Book One: Cannibal Gold. By Capt. Chuck Dixon, USN. Bruno Books. ISBN 9781493770786.

Four men. Four Days. For the fight of their lives. It was just a walk in the desert to a place 100, 000 years in the past. They thought they knew what to expect but they were wrong. Now a team of scientists is trapped in a world they were not prepared for and can never return from. Their only hope lies in quartet of former US Army Rangers willing to travel to prehistoric Nevada and face unknown horrors and impossible odds bring them home from Bad Times. New York Times bestselling author Chuck Dixon presents the first in a new original science fiction series featuring the kind of action, breakneck pacing and suspense that millions of readers around the world have come to expect. Following up on his Kindle sensation series of SEAL Team 6 books, Chuck creates a new cast of characters and a new universe of adventure starting here with Cannibal Gold.

Bad Times: Book Two: Blood Red Tide . By Capt. Chuck Dixon, USN. Bruno Books. ISBN 9781495299223. 324 pp. $12.59.

Treasure is when you find it. The Rangers have returned from the prehistoric past to find themselves in an even more dangerous time---The Present. Being on the run takes money. On the run from the richest man in the world takes millions. From a forgotten cave in the Nevada desert to the pirate-infested seas of the ancient world, the Rangers hunt for treasure lost to time. The travelers to the past find once again that history is not what it seems and the future is always in doubt. Stalked by hit men, the Russia mob and a mysterious man with green eyes, Dwayne, Caroline and the hard chargers of Team Tauber hide out two centuries B.C. to hunt for a legendary cache of gold coins. Action and adventure master Chuck Dixon returns to the world and characters of Cannibal Gold for even more Bad Times.

Bad Times: Book Three: Avenging Angels . By Capt. Chuck Dixon, USN. Bruno Books. ISBN 9781502448545. 334 pp. $13.49.

FIVE AGAINST AN EMPIRE They travel to the past to save the future. To fix a man-made paradox that threatens to alter mankind’s destiny forever, the Rangers must defy the legions of Rome at the height of their power. Their mission is to rescue one man from slavery in order to free the world. An adventure that spans two millennia takes them from the days of the Caesars to the siege of a city in the path of total war to a nightmare world of a possible future in which civilization is reduced to an anthill. It all comes down to them as they become Avenging Angels. The third entry in Chuck Dixon's celebrated time travel adventure series Bad Times! The Rangers travel back in time through the Tauber Tube to Roman era Judea to save a man who will change the world for the better with his presence and for the worse with his absence! Their most intense, bloodiest and momentous adventure yet!

Coming Home: An Alex Benedict Novel . By former Navy Lt. j.g. Jack McDevitt, Life Member, Golden Isles (Ga.) Chapter. Ace Books. ISBN 978-0-425-26087-6. 368 pp. $19.68.

Thousands of years ago, artifacts of the early space age were lost to rising oceans and widespread turmoil. Garnett Baylee devoted his life to finding them, only to give up hope. Then, in the wake of his death, one was found in his home, raising tantalizing questions. Had he succeeded after all? Why had he kept it a secret? And where is the rest of the Apollo cache?

Antiquities dealer Alex Benedict and his pilot, Chase Kolpath, have gone to Earth to learn the truth. But the trail seems to have gone cold, so they head back home to be present when the Capella, the interstellar transport that vanished eleven years earlier in a time/space warp, is expected to reappear. With a window of only a few hours, rescuing it is of the utmost importance. Twenty-six hundred passengers—including Alex’s uncle, Gabriel Benedict, the man who raised him—are on board.

Alex now finds his attention divided between finding the artifacts and anticipating the rescue of the Capella. But time won’t allow him to do both. As the deadline for the Capella’s reappearance draws near, Alex fears that the puzzle of the artifacts will be lost yet again. But Alex Benedict never forgets and never gives up—and another day will soon come around...

Cruise Widows: A Novel . By Hope Moore, Auxiliary Life Member. iUniverse. ISBN 978-1491739990. 358 pp. $15.

Five Cruise Widows whose husbands were from Squadron VC  62, the only photo recon squadron in the Navy.  The families were based at NAS Jacksonville, FL., and a detachment of  4 Aviators and 1 Photo Interpreter, plus the crews that went with the detachments on board the carrier FDR, or as she was called:  The Rosey Boat. Their lives became bonded while the men were gone, and each wife was at a different phase of life when the men left.  The women depended on each other after they got to know each other, and their lives were melded around each other when an explosion of the hydraulic fluid exploded just as two of the Aviators were in the slot to be shot off the ship, and the PI was asleep in his quarters and died of smoke inhalation.

Forgotten Brothers . By Lt. j.g. Gary Knight, USN (Ret), Life Member, Southern Maryland Chapter. eLectio Publishing. ISBN 978-1-63213-032-7. 252 pp. $16.99; eBook $4.99.

What if Christopher Columbus owed his success—maybe even his very life—to two brothers who have been almost completely forgotten in the annals of history?

Forgotten Brothers is the story of Martín and Vicente Pinzon, and their instrumental role in the eventual success of Christopher Columbus’ mission. Columbus invited Martin Pinzon to join the expedition, but the two men would eventually become bitter rivals. And while heartbreak was the fate for the Pinzons, Columbus returned a victor, and history regards him as a hero.

Based on many long-neglected historical treatises, some as many as 140 years old, this book presents a different picture of the facts of the voyage—facts today’s history books fail to reveal.

Hitchhiking on America’s War Machine, 1964-1988 . By Col. Richard Morgan Szybist, USA (Ret). Amazon Digital Services. ASIN B00KIWUQLI. 174 pp. $8.

This is the story of Ron Baran, a guy I met a few years back in a bar in Central America. I don’t generally write stories about people I meet in bars, but I found Ron’s life journey extraordinary. He had made a career of what he off-handedly called “hitchhiking on America’s war machine.” A combat veteran of the infantry, he had served 24 years in the U.S. Army, seen the world, and risen to the rank of colonel before retiring at the age of 45. It had been a cheap way to travel and a productive one from the standpoint of material advancement - but the cost had been high to both his physical being and psyche. His life since retirement had become a restless quest to rejuvenate his body and spirit. 

His story is both an “eye opener” for anyone who hasn’t lived in the military sub-culture of American society and a caveat emptor for any young person considering a military career. As a view from the “grass roots” level of implementation of U.S. foreign policy, it is also a valuable “think piece” for any American concerned with the appropriate role of the U.S. in world affairs.

The timeframe and setting of his adventure includes both the Cold War of U.S. – Russian confrontation in Europe and U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Baran served at the “line of contact” of both of these conflictive chapters of U.S. history. Initially an idealist, his sense of patriotic fervor dissipated in the face of his experience as a self-described “tool of institutionally-sanctioned violence.” His transparency in sharing personal details of his life and his feelings drew me into his story.

I, Horatio . By former Navy Lt. Donald A. Tortorice. AuthorHouse. ISBN 978-1-4969-3237-2. 428 pp. $18.90.

This book is the first presentation of the life of Horatio Nelson to be narrated in the first person, a recounting of his life in his own words. It begins with Nelson as a young 21-year-old captain in the Caribbean and goes to his death at the Battle of Trafalgar. Along the way his experiences in carrying out the vision of his duty in the Caribbean, Corsica, Tenerife, the Battle of Cape St. Vincent, the Nile, Copenhagen, and Trafalgar cost him his eye, his right arm, and ultimately his life, all because he was blessed and cursed with a nature that was blind to the spectre of failure and deaf to anything other than the call of duty, the clamour of battle, and victory. He was also a mortal man whose attraction to women brought pleasure, frustration, infatuation, and ultimately lifelong satisfaction. This is his story as he would tell it.

Vacationland Terrorists: Alarm in the Countryside . By Brig. Gen. Francis Dillon, USAF (Ret), Life Member, Southern Maine Chapter. Booklocker.com. ISBN 978-1-63263-460-3. 312 pp. $17.95.

As Americans look forward to celebrating the 4th of July festivities, an ingenious plot is being hatched in the countryside of Maine. Have Islamic terrorists devised a perfect plan to cause death, destruction, and panic in East Coast cities? 

Berwick Group partners, Patrick Draper and Nola Hunter, contract with the Department of Homeland Security to fight terrorists; however, their most important allies are the state and local police agencies in New England. Can they identify and hopefully thwart this insidious plot that could change the way Americans go about their daily activities? A realistic and gripping threat to our way of life is outlined in this fast paced novel of intrigue and adventure.

Memoir 

Be a Mensch: A Father’s Legacy . By former Army Capt. Alexander B. White, M.D., Life Member, Luke (Ariz.) Chapter. Types Graphics. ASIN B001FVBU70. 190 pp. $45.

My father says his story differs little from the stories of other survivors; I think it is very special.

In 1939, Hitler marched in.
In 1942, the ghetto in which he had been forced to live was liquidated.  
In 1945, on the last day of the war, May eighth, Russian troops liberated his concentration camp.  

Dad is the only survivor of his family. His brothers, sister and parents were shot and gassed. What makes Dad’s story different is that throughout the war he has said that he was starving for an education. Despite at war’s end his not having the equivalent of a high school education, within five years he would be a medical doctor.

This is his story, a story that he did not share with his family until I, his son, demanded to know my roots. I was 25 years old. For years I had wondered why I did not have grandparents and cousins. Finally, stuck in a traffic jam, he began to tell me his story. Four days later he stopped. He described a childhood spent in southeastern Poland in a town named Krosno called “Little Krakow” be-cause of the arches that ring in its medieval main square. He told of a little reli-gious “cheder” school boy who dreamt of becoming a scientist. He told of a large close family including an uncle who stuck the leafy end of a radish to his forehead to absorb headache pain, a grandfather with a long beard who carved intricate wooden children’s toys and a grandmother who, no more than five feet tall, was said not to wear the pants of the family but the boots and who, looking out for all, was responsible for starting the family glass business that expanded and expanded until World War II and its impact of brutality and hate. He told how after his whole world was lost, a world practically out of Fiddler on the Roof, he coped by getting an education.

After Dad told me his story he began to share it with others. Today he gives talks mostly to high school and college students. With them he discusses modern life, modern holocausts and how he became a doctor. Dad had atrial flutter which means that his heart often goes out of natural rhythm. He told me once when he was giving a talk he felt his heart go back into natural rhythm. His sharing his story does that. It inspires others to do good.

Flight Medic . By Capt. John J. Bilak, USAF (Ret), Life Member. Creekside Press. ISBN 978-0-692-21919-5.

Inspired by the by wartime journal of the author’s grandfather, Albert Rieth, this book offers a rare, English-language history of a German regiment that fought through some of the heaviest combat of the Great War.  Much of the book is based on first-hand soldier accounts.  The Iron Regiment’s wartime journey spanned from the war’s first bloodshed at the Battle of Mulhouse in August 1914 and continued through its destruction at the hand of US Marines and Army tanks in the Meuse-Argonne Forest in November 1918.

Germany’s “Iron Regiment” of the First World War: War Memories of Service With Infantry Regiment 169, 1914-1918 . By Lt. Col. John K. Rieth, USA (Ret). Badgley Publishing Co., 5570 Sherrick Drive, Canal Winchester, Ohio 43110, (614) 893-1612, www.BadgleyPublishingCompany.com. ISBN 9780692301203. 344 pp. $19.95; Kindle $9.95.

Imperial Germany’s “Iron Regiment” of the First World War offers a rare English-language account of a premier German infantry unit. Renowned as the “Iron Regiment” for its fighting record in the legendary 1916 Battle of the Somme, Infantry Regiment 169 was formed in Imperial Germany’s State of Baden in 1897. The Regiment’s service spanned from the war’s first bloodshed at the Battle of Mulhouse in August 1914 and continued through its destruction at the hands of American Marines and Army tanks in the Meuse-Argonne Forest in November 1918. Absorbing severe losses, Infantry Regiment 169 fought in almost every portion of the Western Front, to include the Battle of Ypres in Flanders, 18 months of continuous combat in the trenches of the Somme, the bloody Aisne Campaign and the epic German offensives of 1918. Inspired by a wartime journal written by the author’s grandfather, a veteran of the Regiment, much of the book is drawn from rare soldier accounts, many published here for the first time in English. The voice of these soldiers take us into the “other side of the trenches” and through the unimaginable horrors of the First World War.

Northwest of Eden . By Capt. Yancy Caruthers, USA. CreateSpace. ISBN 978-1497397286. 184 pp. $8.99.

Northwest of Eden is the author's first person account of his experience during Operation Iraqi Freedom as second-in-command of an Army emergency department and leader of an air transport team. The varied cast of characters provides top-notch medical care to service members in harsh conditions, while wielding the darkest humor against each other just to stay sane. Most of the time they succeeded... Contains some adult language, and some dramatic scenes that may be disturbing.

Reluctant Warriors . By Lt. Col. Lory Whitehead, USA (Ret). CreateSpace. ISBN 978-1497336131. 80 pp. $6.49; Kindle $2.99.

This book portrays the experiences of combat veterans through poetry, memoirs and letters. Written over a period of almost 50 years, the author examines the reactions of warriors she has known from World War I through the conflicts of the 21st century. Topics covered include survivor guilt and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“Saltiest Sailor” & Other Sketches . By Cmdr. Corwin A. Bell, USN (Ret). CreateSpace. ISBN 978-1-5007-5098-5. 152 pp. $19.39.

This collection of previously published essays, stories, and memoirs tells the adventures of CDR Corwin A. Bell, US Navy (ret.), revealing his wit and keen observation. The decorated veteran and Mensa member tells his tales of the high seas on aircraft carriers, his view of the Occupy movement, and his memoirs of college experiences. They are some of his more popular pieces as well as controversial opinions he feels need to be expressed.

The read progresses much like a naval ship out to sea that rises over crests of humor and joy and hits the water in earnest analysis, creating a splash that either refreshes the reader or gets in his eyes. For all its ups and downs, there is no shortage of entertainment, as he takes you from Washington, to Japan, to San Diego, and even into distant history. Bell’s ocean of knowledge, wit, and observation is deep and wide, and he’s a trustworthy captain who will not lead his readers off course . . . at least not any further off than he intends.

“Saltiest Sailor” & Other Sketches is the perfect mixture of humor and seriousness for those who seek thought-provoking fiction and informed opinions.