Member Books for September 2014

Nonfiction 

Boxes: The Secret Life of Howard Hughes. By Douglas Wellman, with research by Maj. Gen. Mark Musick, ANG (Ret). WriteLife LLC, www.writelife.com. ISBN 978-1-60808-017-5. 192 pp. $13.31. Available at www.amazon.com

Eva McLelland was good at keeping secrets, and she had a big one. Sworn to secrecy for thirty-one years until the death of her husband, Eva was at last able to come forward and share a story that turns twentieth century history on its head and fills in puzzling blanks in the mysterious life of the tycoon Howard Hughes. How could Hughes appear to witnesses as an emaciated, long finger-nailed, mental incompetent, yet fly a jet aircraft four months later? How could a doctor describe him as looking like a "prisoner of war," when at the same time investment bankers, politicians, and diplomats who met him said he was articulate and well-groomed? The answer is a perfect example of the brilliance of the elusive billionaire. He simply found a mentally incompetent man to impersonate him, drawing the attention of the Internal Revenue Service and an army of lawyers who pursued him, while he conducted his business in peace from Panama with his new wife, Eva McLelland. Sound fantastic? It is. However, after seven years of research and verification, Eva's story produces the final pieces in the mysterious puzzle that was Howard Hughes. Douglas Wellman has been a television producer and director in Hollywood since 1980. He is currently Assistant Dean of the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Deborah. 

The CORE Leadership Development Model. By Col. Mary M. Gillam, USAF (Ret), Ph.D., Life Member. CreateSpace. ISBN 978-1495441905. 152 pp. $19.99, plus shipping. Available on www.amazon.com.

How powerful is your leadership brand? Do you have what it takes to lead? Are you ready to take your personal growth and development to the next level? With a little coaching and motivation, you can step up and step out of your comfort zone, and become the leader that God designed and created you to be. In the CORE Leadership Development Model, #1 Amazon bestselling Christian author Dr. Mary M. Gillam, Col (Ret), USAF describes her new step-by-step approach to leadership development. Using her 30+ years of military, government, and industry experience coupled with biblical truths, Dr. Gillam awakens the leadership giant in all of us. Her passion for developing leaders is evident in every page of the book. By reading this dynamic and powerful book, you will learn: 

  • A simple, step-by-step approach to unleashing your leadership potential
  • How to use your natural gifts and talents to develop a powerful leadership brand
  • How to unmask the leadership potential hidden inside of uncommon leaders
  • How to execute courage over fear and become the leader that others want to follow If you are ready to LEAD – This book is for YOU!

Golf Wisdom From Under the Hat. By Cmdr. Michael “Reed” Popovich, USN (Ret). Under the Hat LLC, www.underthehat.org. ISBN 978-0-9915553-0-7. 172 pp. $14.99.

Golf Wisdom From Under the Hat is a funny, yet informative look at the great game of golf. Written by first time author Reed Popovich and illustrated by Bill Russell, this book represents 35 years of "in the dirt experience," including anecdotes, funny stories and an assortment of characters and clever illustrations. The book covers philosophy, physics, the full swing, the short game, the mental game and strategy for playing. There is also a special chapter devoted to lady friends, female golfers and golf widows. This book will teach you a lot about golf while making you laugh in the process. 

In Advance of Fate: Portrait of an Abolitionist. By Col. Charles E. Heller, USA (Ret), Life Member, Jayhawk (Kan.) Chapter. StarCloudPress.com. ISBN 978-1-932842-69-2. 276 pp. $19.95. Available at www.amazon.com.

This book is a biography of Major George L. Stearns (1809-1867), a wealthy Boston manufacturer. Stearns, a conservative with ties to the Concord literati vows to stamp out slavery. He heads up Massachusetts Kansas Free state settlers relief to become the Leader of the Boston “Secret Six.” He is the most significant financial backer of John Brown of Harpers Ferry fame. Stearns owns the 200 Sharps Rifles Brown takes to Harpers Ferry and buys other arms for Brown as well as giving him funds for his personal use. Stearns is the recruiter of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry and the 55th. One of his agents is noted free Black Frederick Douglass. He finally receives a commission from Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton as Assistant Adjutant General for the Recruitment of Colored Troops and raising over 13 regiments of “men of color.” After the Emancipation Proclamation he goes on to advocate for civil rights. In Nashville he not only recruits Black but has them taught to read and write and their wife training for jobs. His last major achievement is a mass circulation of a newspaper throughout the south advocating civil rights and the advantages of free labor over slavery. 

Living a Balanced Life. By Cmdr. Glenn I. Miller, USN (Ret), Life Member, Hilton Head Area (S.C.) Chapter. CrossBooks. ISBN 978-1-4627-3547-1. $30.99. Available from CrossBooks and www.amazon.com as a hardcover, softcover, or e-book.

Why do some people facing difficulties in their lives not only survive but thrive through such experiences, while others facing similar situations fall apart, lose their way, and have little direction or purpose in their lives? Author Glenn I. Miller holds that the difference rests on realities concerning relationships-specifically with ones having to do with living a balanced life. 

In this study, he shows how people who listen to the teachings and follow the leadership of Jesus find ways to discover durable balance despite the adversity they face. By providing a guided exploration of the ministry of Jesus, Miller demonstrates that balance, fullness, and purpose come when you practice the threefold ways of love of God, others, and self. Devoting one section to each of these forms of love, Living a Balanced Life outlines how you can learn to live in balance by avoiding the excesses illustrated in contemporary culture, listening to the teachings of the Lord, and gaining insights from Miller's experiences in military and civilian ministry. The final section draws together the insights from the first three sections and suggests ways to live with balance. 

If you have taken stock of your life and relationships and hope to find a pathway to living with greater balance, Living a Balanced Life can offer you an informative and enjoyable resource filled with biblical wisdom, helpful truths, intriguing illustrations, dashes of humor, and commonsense wisdom. 

Where Is God...? By Col. Tywana F.C. Bowman, USAF (Ret). Professional Educators Ready to Teach. ISBN 978-0-615-58312-9. $10, plus $1.50 postage and handling. Order at www.amazon.com or email pert.iinc@yahoo.com. Order by mail at Professional Educators Ready to Teach (PERT), PO Box 760801, San Antonio, TX 78245.

Colonel Bowman will take you on an unforgettable journey across the sea to Europe, to the jungles of Africa to the shiny shores of America, to the streets of the homeless and behind prison doors. During her 26 years in the military as a Registered Nurse, she encountered amazing individuals around the world with devastating tragedies and losses. These few pages portray awe-inspiring testimonies of how they conquered their life-shaking situations and have continued to sustain on the rough-side of life. Where Is God … ? is about hope and survival for everyone! 

Young Soldiers Amazing Warriors: Inside One of the Most Highly Decorated Battalions of Vietnam. By Col. Robert H. Sholly, USA (Ret). Stonywood Publications, www.stonywood.com. ISBN 978-0-9796652-3-3. 460 pp. $22.95. Available for Kindle.

The book is the story of my men and me, our actions and those of our brothers in a combat rifle battalion during its first year in Vietnam (1966). The 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, along with other battalions of the 4th Infantry Division, were thrust into the infamous Ia Drang Valley and involved in similar battles as have been portrayed on the popular screen. The accounts of the early firefights and clashes as the battalion moved from peace to war are compelling and filled with anguish. This powerful war story is taken from my daily journal and other reports. Page after page depicts dramatic eye-witness stories of boys becoming veteran soldiers and amazing warriors, as they recount the riveting events of their war. These battles sustained great loss of life on both sides as America’s young men were tested time and again. There are events many veterans cannot talk about to this day, but they trusted the author to get their story told and it has been done with vision and respect. Many heroic men battled in the raging and horrific fights and four of them were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions. This book describes the courage, heroism and valor of the young soldiers the United States sent to war. Tragically, too many did not come back. — author Robert Sholly 

Fiction  

Chita Quest: One Man’s Search for His POW/MIA Father. By Lt. Col. Brinn Colenda, USAF (Ret). Southern Yellow Pine Publishing, www.syppublishing.com. ISBN 978-1-940869-07-0. 288 pp. $14.45. 

Were American POWs left behind at the end of the Vietnam War-either by accident or design? Colonel Tom Callahan is driven to find out-his own father is still listed as Missing In Action. What Callahan doesn't understand is how politically explosive the issue is, domestically and internationally. As he begins his quest, friends and associates meet violent deaths. Aided by his Australian-born wife, Colleen, his journey takes him halfway across the world to Vietnam, China, Mongolia, and ultimately, Siberia. He is helped and hindered by unexpected friends and cunning, deadly enemies. 

Rogue Warrior: Curse of the Infidel. By Cmdr. Richard Marcinko, USN (Ret), and Jim DeFelice. Tor/Forge. ISBN 978-0-7653-3294-3. 368 pp. $26.99.

Hot on the trail of a bank official who is laundering money for an al Qaeda-sponsored terrorist cell, Rogue Warrior Richard Marcinko finds himself in the thick of a covert operation run by the CIA—a.k.a. the Christians in Action. Angry that their operation has been ruined, the CIA demands that Marcinko and his Red Cell International group work for them. He agrees, then gets into a situation so dire only SEAL Team Six can extricate him. 

While grateful for help from the unit he helped establish, Marcinko realizes there’s a lot more going on than the CIA will admit—and when the investigation leads to a luxury liner loaded with explosives and contraband heading toward the United States, he recruits members from the original SEAL Team Six to help. But will the old-timers and young bucks be enough to prevent disaster in a US port?

Memoir  

The Sea Swallows: Campaigning in the South Vietnam Delta With Chinese Catholic Exiles. By Col. Henry F. Dagenais, USAR (Ret), Life Member. ISBN 9780615945415. 448 pp. $13.99, plus $3.59 shipping. Available at www.amazon.com

In 1967 a MACV team of five U.S. Army soldiers replace a Special Forces A Team as advisors to a Chinese Catholic enclave deep in the delta of South Vietnam. The Chinese, exiled Nationalists from mainland China and led by their priest, occupy an armed camp called Hai Yen previously established with the aid of the CIA, surrounded by the Viet Cong, and isolated from South Vietnamese government support by fifty kilometers. Father Hoa, the charismatic spiritual and military leader, is replaced by a Vietnamese officer who has doubtful control of the troops. The American team’s mission - to assist in military operations and civil government nation building programs - is hampered by the lack of combat and logistical support, distrust between the Chinese and Vietnamese, and understanding the cultural difference between the East and the West. Overcoming these difficulties and fighting a determined and tenacious enemy on a daily basis bring challenges the Americans could not have anticipated. 

Thank You, America: Autobiography of a Naval Career. By CWO3 Robert R. Rotruck, USN (Ret). Wheatmark Publishing, www.mytya.com, www.thankyouamericabook.com. ISBN 978-1-60494-318-4. 178 pp. $15.95, plus shipping. Available at www.amazon.com as a hard copy and in e-book format.

Author Robert R. Rotruck, Chief Warrant Officer, U.S. Navy (Retired) had a wonderful career serving the people of the United States from 1959 to 1979. He feels very blessed to have had the opportunity to be a part of a unique community of American citizens that choose to serve their country through the military. This book details each of his duty stations in a short story format, making it an easy and enjoyable read. 

Bob Rotruck shows the indomitable spirit of American service men and women in Thank You, America. He leaves a legacy for his two sons and appeals to the younger generation who may be considering serving their country. "It was a wonderful life," Bob says. "I wouldn't trade it for anything!" Smooth seas and fair winds! 

When Duty Called: Even Grandma Had to Go. By Maj. Dianah Kwiatkowski, USAR (Ret), as told to Sandra Warren. Silk Label Books. ISBN 1-928767-34-6. 168 pp. $6.99. Available at www.amazon.com.

A 47 year-old Catholic nurse, wife, mother and grandmother from Ohio joined the Army Reserves in 1990 to obtain an advanced degree. Only a few months later she and her fellow medics found themselves deployed to Saudia Arabia to serve in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. This is her story. It is a story of questions and hardships, of emotional highs and lows and of the stress that war put on her religious faith. 

The medics came from all walks of life and age groups. They were thrown together in the most inhospitable of conditions. They had to learn quickly how to create makeshift tented hospitals in the desert.
They were under constant threat of attack and had to function whilst wearing heavy, charcoal lined suits, boots, gas-masks and gloves to protect against chemical weapons. Showers were a rare luxury; exhaustion the most common condition. Patients were from both sides of the conflict, and language and cultural differences complicated the treatment of enemy prisoners.
Coming home and adjusting to life in Middle America again was not easy. This book tells it how it was in the 1990s-an interesting and gripping story that will not be far removed from present day experiences in Iraq.