A Snake in the Road: Things Are Not What They Appear to Be. By Col. William G. Hanne, USA (Ret). Michael A. Feinberg. ISBN: 978-943842-88-9.
A different take on the U.S. involvement in Vietnam from the perspective of Capt. William G. Hanne of the Military Assistance Command.
After his first tour of duty in 1965-66, Hanne didn’t know what to expect when he was redeployed for a second tour in 1971-72. The progress he saw in competency development and nation building in the Mekong Delta and the Seven Mountains area surprised him.
So did Washington’s mishandling of the potential opportunity to make a real and lasting difference for the Vietnamese people.
After a 29-year career in the U.S. Army, Hanne retired as a colonel from the National Telemetry Processing Center of the National Security Agency.
This book incorporates the wisdom gained from nearly 30 years of experience in military intelligence and strategic analysis. It also reflects the depth of understanding that came from immersing himself in the local culture and working directly with the Vietnamese 9th ARVN Infantry Division as an advisor.
A Dusty Boot Soldier Remembers, Twenty Four Years of Improbable but True Tales of Life with Uncle Sam's Army. By Col. Lawrence Redmond, USA (Ret). Hellgate Press. ISBN 978-1-55571-778-0.
A Dusty Boot Soldier Remembers is the personal memoir of Col. Larry Redmond, USA (Ret). It covers his 24-year military career, beginning with his commissioning as an infantry lieutenant in 1962, upon graduation from Providence College to various command and staff positions with the 101st Airborne Division, 8th Special Forces Group Airborne, XVIII Airborne Corps, the 82d Airborne Division, and various other special operations units. Colonel Redmond did two combat tours in Vietnam and had overseas assignments that took him to Panama, Thailand, England, and Israel. Reviewers have called Colonel Redmond a “true warrior and patriot” and a “superb soldier,” and have hailed his book as “sincere and thrilling” and a “must read.”
Where Youth and Laughter Go: With the Cutting Edge in Afghanistan. By Lt. Col. Seth W. B. Folsom, USMC. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-61251-871-8.
This book is Lt. Col. Seth Folsom’s third in a series chronicling his combat service in Med-East war operations that began during the 2003 invasion of Iraq (The Highway War: A Marine Company Commander in Iraq (Potomac Books Inc., 2006) and continued with In the Gray Area: A Marine Advisor Team at War (Naval Institute Press, 2010).
Where Youth and Laughter Go: With the Cutting Edge in Afghanistan documents the time frame and events during Folsom’s tour as the commander of the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment (3/7), nicknamed “The Cutting Edge,” including his deployment to Afghanistan’s dangerous Sangin District of Helmand Province in 2011-12. As with his two other award-winning books, the book is a forthright, sobering account of the grit, grime, frustration, death and dismemberment experienced on today’s battlefields in the Middle East. Much of the narrative is not for the faint of heart, as he recounts numerous fatal encounters with insurgents and detailed accounts of many Marines who were maimed by IED explosions but survived to be hospitalized and afforded the full-range of medical care and rehabilitation at superb U.S. medical facilities. Like Marine Corps battalions before them, “The Cutting Edge” Marines of 3/7 brought the fight to the enemy in Sangin, and through their work with the local government and security forces, they gave the people there a chance to define their own destiny. The Marines and sailors stood tall, kept their honor clean, and carried on the historical legacy of their forefathers. Due to the efforts of 3/7 and all of the other units that have deployed there, Sangin District became a better and safer place for its people.
A Different Face of War: Memories of a Medical Service Corps Officer in Vietnam. By Col. James G. Van Straten, USA (Ret). University of North Texas Press. ISBN 978-1-57441-617-6.
A Different Face of War is a riveting account of one American officer in the Medical Service Corps during the early years of the Vietnam War.
Assigned as the senior medical advisor to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam in I Corps, an area close to the DMZ, James G. Van Straten traveled extensively and interacted with military officers and non-commissioned officers, peasant-class farmers, Buddhist bonzes, shopkeepers, scribes, physicians, nurses, the mentally ill, and even political operatives. He sent his wife daily letters from July 1966 through June 1967, describing in impressive detail of his experiences, and those letters became the primary source for his memoir.
The author describes with great clarity and poignancy the anguish among the survivors when an American cargo plane in bad weather lands short of the Da Nang Air Base runway on Christmas Eve and crashes into a Vietnamese coastal village, killing more than 100 people and destroying their village; the heart-wrenching pleadings of a teenage girl that her shrapnel-ravaged leg not be amputated; and the anger of an American helicopter pilot who made repeated trips into a hot landing zone to evacuate the wounded, only to have the Vietnamese insist that the dead be given a higher priority.
U.S. Army Psychiatry in the Vietnam War: New Challenges In Extended Counterinsurgency Warfare. By Col. Norman M. Camp, USA (Ret), M.D., FACPsa. Progressive Management. ASIN: B0191WB6PA.
The American ground war in Vietnam lasted from 1965 to 1973 and evolved into a protracted, bloody, mostly guerrilla war. At home it provoked intense media scrutiny and political controversy, which in turn fostered incendiary racial tensions, wide-spread drug use, and a burgeoning anti-war movement — an American nightmare that threatened its most basic institutions, including the Army. Although Army morale remained high for the first few years, as the war dragged on and the Army became increasingly draftee dependent, these cultural tensions strongly influenced those sent to Vietnam as replacements. Following the political and military events of 1968, the turning point in the war, these young troops came to express in every way short of collective mutiny, including a wide array of psychiatric and psychosocial pathologies, their inability or unwillingness to accept the risks of combat, acknowledge military authority, or tolerate the hardships of an assignment in Vietnam. Matters became substantially worse in 1970 when a heroin epidemic quickly spread among the lower ranks — an unprecedented problem that seriously undermined soldier health, morale, and military preparedness. In every respect the system was broken.
It was with these features in mind that the author, Dr. Camp, a retired Army psychiatrist who led a psychiatric unit in Vietnam, set out to study Army Psychiatry experience in Vietnam. The result is a book that is both scholarly and intensely personal and reflects his eagerness to present the big picture while including anecdotes from colleagues who also served there.
According to Dr. Camp, there were six novel areas of mental health risk for U.S. troops serving in Vietnam: (1) conventional troops fighting counterinsurgency/guerrilla warfare; (2) troops fighting for a divided America; (3) fixed, individual, one-year assignments; (4) deterioration of military morale and discipline near the tipping point, with troops opposing military authority and the military mission; (5) soldier-patients treated by military psychiatrists with limited military experience and allegiance; and (6) Vietnam veterans returning to a rejecting society.
This book, which is replete with illustrations and correspondence from the Vietnam era, presents the story of Vietnam in a fresh manner — from a psychiatrist’s point of view. As seen through Dr. Camp’s eyes and sensibilities, the forty-plus years since the war ended seem like yesterday.
The Warrior Life: What it is and how to live it. By former Army Capt. James T. Slattery. Northern Kingdom Publishing. ISBN 978-1-512-19676-4.
This book teaches the attributes of the warrior life, describes how to live the warrior life, and is a call to action to make teaching and living the warrior life our mission.
Air Raid Nights & Radio Days: Hanging on for dear life. By former Army Capt. Donald Schroeder. Tate Publishing and Enterprises. ISBN 978-1-62902-225-3.
Don Schroeder explores the sharp contrast between the dark nights and bright childhood memories that opened the doors for a boy growing up as part of the "Silent Generation." After the Depression and World War II, conditions improved for many Americans, including Schroeder and his family. With wit and humor, Schroeder invites the world to see Indianapolis as this “nasty little gutter tramp” saw it. Sample city chicken or scrambled brains with eggs, mow down imaginary Nazis, and turn off “Fibber McGee and Molly,” the favorite nighttime radio show, in time to confuse enemy bombers and save Indianapolis from destruction. Schroeder relishes those nearly forgotten years and the memories of God reaching for a boy slip sliding along during this difficult period of Air Raid Nights and Radio Days.
I Used To Do That – A Fighter Pilot’s Story. By Maj. Darrel B. Couch, USAF (Ret). Couch Publishing. ISBN 978-0-578-15068-0.
Come — take a walk with me! Travel down 100 years on memory lane. Experience the sheer exultation of author Darrel Couch's most improbable dreams being fulfilled beyond his wildest expectations.
Starting his career as a poorly rated 1956 high school student, Couch become a 17-year-old Air Force enlisted man working on B-52 and B-47 electronics. "With time, work, and the grace of God," he became an Air Force pilot and eventually achieved the coveted aviation pinnacle of becoming a Cold War and Vietnam War single-seat, single-engine fighter pilot.
This memoir covers his entire life, as well as the lives of his grandfather and father. It also includes selected stories taken from Couch's 426 Vietnam combat missions. Relive history as few today know it through the 687 stories and 220 pictures (125 in color) in this book. Let your easy chair, recliner, or rocking chair become your ejection seat in the complex supersonic office of the fighter pilot. Your ability to enjoy the experience is limited only by your imagination.
In Vietnam, live the experiences of when 1/1000 of a second could mean the difference between life and death. Fly F-100 nighttime, low-level combat missions at speeds of 600 mph at 100 feet or less. As a forward air controller in a 100 mph 0-1 Bird Dog, hear and feel the shock waves of countless passing supersonic bullets; all aimed at you. Feel the crushing concussion of urgently requested bombs exploding way too close to your brothers, husbands, fathers, and grandfathers.
Sit on top of a thermonuclear weapon and learn what you are really made of and believe. Experience riding an explosive-initiated and rocket-boosted ejection seat into the unknown. Grow old and experience the real cost of war and political indifference.
A Death at Camp David. By Capt. Harry A. Milman, USPHS, (Ret), Ph.D. Xlibris. ISBN 978-1-514-42317-2.
A Death at Camp David is a novel of political intrigue and murder mystery set against the backdrop of the election of a woman for president of the U.S.
Dr. Bob Kramer, a forensic toxicologist with the air and suave demeanor of a James Bond, is recruited to identify the cause of a woman’s death. The body was found on the grounds of Camp David the morning after a White House–sponsored Fourth of July celebration. The woman attended the event as an impostor, a result of political dirty tricks. Morgan Baker, an obese and unkempt private investigator from Louisiana is hired to sleuth and assist in the investigation. Unbeknownst to the president, her husband and the vice president, Eric Bunting, are lovers and are implicated in the death. But who was that woman? How did she die? Was she a woman? How will her death affect the upcoming presidential election of Jessica Worthing, who is running in her own right after the sudden death of her male predecessor, Leslie Breckenridge?
My Dash: The Autobiography of Colonel William C. Koch, Jr. By William C. Koch, Jr., USAF (Ret). JeanShadrack Publishing. ISBN 978-0-615-88689-3.
A follow-on to author William C. Koch’s first book, The Diary of Elsie Kleiner Koch 1932, published in 2008, which was based on a diary that Koch’s mother kept in 1932 and ended with her being pregnant and Koch’s birth in 1933. My Dash begins with Koch’s birth and runs through the present. It is the story of a man born in a small town during the Great Depression, who lived through World War II, the Korean War, and graduated from college. While in college, Koch completed ROTC and became an Air Force officer. The book includes his experiences in the Air Force while flying in the Vietnam War and retiring after 30 years of service. Finally, it delves into his second career and final retirement. It is similar to many lives lived by men of his age and time. Many will see their own lives in the story.
We Wrote Letters Then: How Family and Friends Stayed in Touch During the Vietnam War. By Maj. William A. Walker, USA (Ret). Lulu Publishing. ISBN 978-1-329-79892-2.
Prior to the internet, email, Skype, and social media, the primary means of personal communication was postal mail, and delivery times were subject to the vagaries of transporting personal mail in wartime. With author William (Bill) Walker in Chu Lai and his wife Elin Walker in Denmark, it sometimes took weeks to exchange information. Today’s generation, accustomed to instant communication, can hardly imagine waiting a week or more for a reply from a loved one.
Elin’s anxiety was already high when she boarded a plan in Copenhagen, Denmark, to meet Walker for some rest and relaxation in Bangkok, not knowing if he had received her letter confirming her travel plans. It accelerated when Russian fighter planes suddenly appeared beside the commercial plane as it flew over Russia and inexplicably was ordered to land in Moscow. Passengers deplaned and were herded to a dark room while their passports were inspected. The couple’s reunion in Bangkok did occur though, and included a rendezvous with Walker’s brother Jack, who was an Air Force air traffic controller stationed at Takhli Air Force base, Thailand.
Elin’s letters to her husband were postmarked from wherever her travels took her, beginning at Fort Ord, Calif.; Fort Hood, Texas; Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.; New York; Denmark; Thailand; to Frankfurt, Wiesbaden, and Heidelberg, and Goppingen, Germany.
Walker, a personnel officer at the American Division headquarters, wrote about the ins and outs of providing an array of day-to-day personnel services to the division from the Chu Lai, Vietnam, base, where sometimes routine activities were punctuated by a rocket attack.
The Walker family managed to save all of their correspondence, as well as letters from family members and friends. Hundreds of letters, transcribed, unedited, and arranged sequentially, are heavily illustrated with photos and make for a small time capsule of the times on a personal level. The thoughts and impressions of close family members and friends are laced with their own letters written during tumultuous times, which included the Tet Offensive, antiwar demonstrations in the U.S. and Europe, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy, the invasion of Czechoslovakia and others, which influenced world affairs.
Seasons of Triumph. By Cmdr. Kenny Wayne Fields, USN (Ret). CreateSpace. ISBN 978-1-515-30275-9.
Seasons of Triumph is an inspiring story written by Kenny Fields, a former Navy A-7 combat pilot and award-winning author of The Rescue of Streetcar 304. In his latest book, Fields recants his trials and tribulations while growing up in the ‘40s and ‘50s. This deftly written and novel-like memoir by a coal miner’s son weaves true tales about his daily activities and schooling in hilly West Virginia, the backwoods of Kentucky, and one year in Ohio. Along his path to high school graduation, Fields struggles to break free from his overly restrictive mother, and he also fights to overcome two obstacles that are thwarting his two major goals: stardom on his high school athletic teams and the love of a girl. He constantly is told he is too small to play with the big boys and he is too shy to talk to girls. Yet, he fights on with dogged persistence, courage, religious faith, and the support of family, coaches, and friends. Fields’ experience will appeal to readers of all ages and his heartwarming memories — home life, roaming the mountains, attending a one-room school, competing with teammates, dating girls — provide a nostalgic look back in time at the daily lives of his real-life characters. This story will inspire the young who have similar obstacles to overcome, and, for the not so young, will evoke wonderful memories of their own youthful mistakes and triumphs.
The President's First Year: None were Prepared, Some Never Learned — Why the Only School for Presidents is the Presidency. By Capt. Douglas A. Cohn, USA (Ret). Lyons Press. ISBN 978-1-4930-1192-6.
A fascinating new angle on presidential history, assessing the performances of the presidents in their freshman year of the toughest job in the world. Grouped by issues the new presidents confronted in their first years in office, the book takes readers into the history, thought processes, and results on a case-by-case basis, including how the presidents’ subsequent actions proved they learned (or didn’t learn) from their mistakes. From George Washington to Barack Obama, The President’s First Year details the challenging first twelve months of all our presidents’ tenures.
Betrayal at Bahia de los Cochinos. By Lt. Col. William E. Dempsey, USAF (Ret). CreateSpace. ISBN 978-1-51870-771-1.
This is the first book of a historical fiction series featuring Chief Gunner’s Mate Mike Stafford. He teams up with Cmdr. Fred Schmidt as a CIA organized brigade of exiles invades Cuba at the Bay of Pigs, intending to depose Fidel Castro’s communist government and regain their homeland.
A last-minute decision places their ship, the destroyer Jaffey, in the middle of the action. Schmidt sends a team, led by Stafford, ashore to direct naval gunfire. A few hours into the landing, President John F. Kennedy cancels all U.S. military involvement (based on true events), abandoning Stafford’s team and the entire exile force ashore, where they are vastly outnumbered by the Cuban army.
A Soviet submarine pursues Jaffey while Stafford and his team fend for themselves. Castro’s forces overpower the invaders and close in for the kill. The exiles are defeated and Jaffey damaged. Schmidt faces a Board of Inquiry while Stafford attempts to escape the battlefield with two others. Their only hope is to cross the island to the safety of the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay. The betrayal has ensured mission failure and placed Schmidt, Stafford, and the entire 1,200-man invasion force in mortal danger. Who will survive?
Realm of the Golden Dragon. By CW2 Charles D. Williams, USCG (Ret), Life Member. Pocol Press. ISBN: 978-1-929763-67-2.
Realm of the Golden Dragon is a sea story. On Aug. 17, 1967, after many years of being home ported in Hawaii, the 180-foot Coast Guard cutter Basswood set sail for her new home port on Guam in the Mariana Islands.
During her travels, she would unleash 60 fun-loving, frolicking, fornicating, fighting, young Coasties on 47 Pacific islands and five Asian nations. This epic voyage explores infested bays and rivers of Vietnam and the vaunted Namenoue Red Light District in Naha, Okinawa. The group would look in wonder at the temples of Bangkok and explore the back streets of Keelung Harbor in Taiwan. Then they would sail to islands in the Pacific so remote that they have been virtually untouched by modern civilization. Travel along with these young Coast Guard sailors as they experience the rigors of going to sea on a small ship and as they enjoy the pleasure of Pacific island girls and Asian beauties. And when they lose one of their own, discover the fortunes of war.
Contracting for Services in State and Local Government Agencies, 2nd Edition. By Capt. William Sims Curry, USAF (Ret.), Life Member. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-498-73803-3. ASIN 978-1-315-62179-1.
This is the second edition of Contracting for Services in State and Local Government Agencies. The first edition was used as a textbook in Master of Public Administration and in government procurement graduate-certificate programs. It also was used by states, cities, and other local government agencies to upgrade their contracting practices and policies. It is expected that the second edition will be used in the same manner.
In preparing to write this book the author conducted a nationwide government contracting best practices research project in 2015 that was a follow-on project to his similar 2006 research. The author acknowledged (in his book) the states, large cities, and other local government agencies that participated in the research project. The author describes the best practices in government contracting in the same sequence as the contracting cycle beginning with procurement planning and concluding with contract performance, completion, and closeout. There also are chapters on contracting during emergencies and socioeconomic contracting. Book owners are provided a discussion of best practices, a sample request for proposals and a sample contract, a process for evaluating proposals to identify the contractor offering the best value proposal, a tool for managing contracts, and other useful contract management tools. Most tools are described in book appendices, and electronic versions are provided online.
During the research project, the author discovered certain states and local government agencies were using anomalous mathematical formulas to weigh scores assigned to contractor proposals. The book provides corrected formulas for the readers as well as proof of the anomalies and proof for the accuracy of the corrected formulas.
Family Inc.: Using Business Principles to Maximize Your Family's Wealth. By former Army Capt. Douglas P. McCormick. John Wiley & Sons Inc. ISBN 978-1-11921-973-6.
Family Inc. is a roadmap to financial security for the family CFO. Too much personal wealth management advice essentially boils down to goal setting, which isn't helpful or effective in terms of overall financial planning. This book takes a different track, giving you a crash course in corporate finance and the tools to apply the field's proven, time-tested principles in the context of your family's financial situation.
You'll learn key principles of wealth creation and management and learn how to make your intellectual and real capital work for you. Your family situation is unique, and your principles sometimes must differ from standard financial advice — and that's okay. Life is not a template, and even the best strategy must be able to adapt to real life situations. You'll learn to chart your own path to financial security, utilizing the author's own tools he developed over 15 years as an active board member, board chair, or chief financial officer of multiple companies.
Oversimplified wealth management advice does not leave you equipped to manage your real world finances. This guide is written with intellectual rigor but in the language of family discussion to give you a real, practical guide to being an effective family CFO.
• Create your own financial prosperity and security
• Align financial acumen with your family's specific situation
• Adapt to real world situations and make your financial advisor work for you
• Utilize powerful financial tools to help you build financial independence
Every family needs a CFO to manage wealth, and the principles of corporate finance apply from the boardroom to the living room. Family Inc. delivers actionable advice in the form of CFO training to help you plot a real-world family financial plan.
Headlines From the Frontline: The Military and Media Relationship ... An Uneasy Truce. By Col. David R. Kiernan, USA (Ret). Authorhouse. ISBN 978-1-42086-8-302.
A generation of journalists has come along that never experienced any of the systems of censorship and control of journalistic endeavor that were common in wars prior to the one in Southeast Asia. In such a situation, there is a premium on the need for understanding. If journalist and soldier are forever to be facing each other across from their respective barricades — at best observing uneasy truces — there needs to be a constant flow of communication designed to keep the aims clear and the issues current. When a military person succeeds well in doing that, we journalists naturally will be eager to say thanks. Such a one is Col. David R. Kiernan, USA (Ret.), vice president of strategic communications at MPRI in Alexandria, Va.
Through study and career-oriented academic research, Kiernan might be the best informed person today on the past, present, and future of the First Amendment and the military. He is among a new breed of Army public affairs professionals. A graduate of Virginia Military Institute, he received a master's degree in mass communication from the University of South Carolina, was editor of the prestigious Infantry Journal at Fort Benning, Ga., and Pentagon chief of media relations for the Army during the Gulf War. This book will whet the reader's appetite for several areas of study, especially the censorship programs of World War I and II and the Korean War. The conclusion is thus inevitable and correct: Censorship could not have changed the outcome of the Vietnam War, but press coverage of the war obviously did have an impact on public attitudes and support of the conflict. On this issue and many others, Kiernan has put together an excellent assessment and guide to understanding the military-media relationship. This work will assuredly become the handbook for both journalist and soldier alike.
Winter’s Bloom. By Col. John Wemlinger, USA (Ret), Life Member. Mission Point Press. ISBN 978-1-94399-506-6.
Winter’s Bloom is a poignant tale of loss, love, and redemption. For more than three decades, Rock Graham has carried the physical and emotional scars from a tour in Vietnam. He is a decorated war hero, but guilt from what happened one dark night in a steaming southeast jungle in Asia always is lying in ambush, waiting for an unguarded moment to set his demons free. When he tries to find solitude at a cottage on Lake Michigan in the dead of winter, a chance encounter on the desolate, frozen shoreline changes his life forever.
The Land of the Million Elephants. By former Air Force Capt. Michael T. Ferrara. CreateSpace. ISNB 9-1-51741-181-7.
Drawing from his experiences in the U.S. Air Force flying support missions in Laos during the Vietnam War, author Michael Ferrara makes his fiction debut with The Land of the Million Elephants — a thrilling spy novel that mixes action, adventure, and mystery in the Laotian theater of that war.
Acting on orders from President Richard Nixon and the head of the CIA himself, young agency operative Mark Knight sets out to stop the North Vietnamese drug trade in Laos and neutralize its catastrophic impact on U.S. forces. He works with a team that includes a Hmong warrior, a Pentagon intelligence whiz, two decorated fighter pilots, a Thai Army officer, and a very beautiful woman who acts as an assistant to the U.S. ambassador.
As Knight and his team get closer to unraveling the mystery, they discover the existence of a spy and a traitor to American war efforts — someone who will go to any length to protect his identity and secrets.
Intriguing and intelligent, The Land of the Million Elephants sheds light on a little-known part of the Vietnam War, providing insightful social commentary in the form of a page-turning spy novel.
The Infidels’ Revenge. By Lt. Col. William A. Keefe, USA (Ret), Life Member. Brighton Publishing LLC. ISBN 978-1-62183-324-6.
The Infidels’ Revenge is a work of realistic fiction that challenges the premise that the death of Osama bin Laden rendered al-Qaida incapable of mounting attacks within the continental U.S., as the sitting president of the U.S. and his former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Michael J. Morell, have repeatedly asserted on television.
The Infidels’ Revenge narrates a series of actions in which two separate groups of Islamic terrorists — less than 50 people in all — decimate the forests in the western U.S. and take down enough of the electrical power grid to set the country back into the 19th century. Subsequently, the government responds by enacting effective policies, strategies and laws, and it captures and disposes of the perpetrators — hence, the infidels’ revenge.
Although this book is fiction, it is well researched and very realistic. The principal characters are real members of al-Qaeda carrying out roles ascribed to them in publically available literature. Elements of the North American infrastructure that appear in the story, such as power plants and transformer stations, exist, and if the reader elects to type the cited Internet addresses into a web browser, he or she can see pictures of them. The actions of the perpetrators are fictional, but they are tactically feasible. (The author has purposely embedded flaws in the concepts of operations that will be apparent only to technical experts, lest this story be used as an effective plan of action.) Last but not least, the interactions among government agencies are in accordance with current organizations, missions, and functions.
Feeding the Enemy. By Cmdr. J.R. Sharp, USN (Ret). Koehler Books. ISBN 978-1-63393-250-0.
Feeding the Enemy is based on the true story of an Italian family’s determination to survive in the face of evil during World War II. It is a story of perseverance, ingenuity, and love. This book captures the spirit of survivability against all odds and provides the reader with an appreciation of what Europeans went through during the war.
The Zucchet family is faced with the destruction of their farm and the annihilation of all their family members by the Germans and Pro-Fascist supporters during World War II. The family patriarch and World War I veteran, Pietro, uses elaborate hiding places to store food and valuables and diversion techniques to distract the enemy during their many visits to the farm. He does whatever it takes to prevent the same fate as so many families in the war-torn area. Pietro’s daughter, Catherina, makes a remarkable journey from young woman to wife and then mother of two while avoiding the same enemy. Woven into the tapestry of this novel is the story of her love and life within the terror of war with a soldier named Gino. The story follows his constant battles while serving in the Italian Royal Army and how he became a resistant freedom fighter battling his way back to her and their love.
#5 Samaritan Court. By Maria Mai-Thuy Swenka, spouse of Col. Ronald A. Swenka, USAF (Ret), Life Member. Lightning Source Inc. ISBN 978-0-99721-427-7.
I was still a newlywed and a newcomer to America when my husband, Ron Swenka, and I moved into #5 Samaritan Court in September 1972. That three bedroom military house at Norton AFB in southern California was my first stable home since leaving my family in Vietnam one year before. Mixed with the sadness of saying goodbye to my family, I felt an exciting sense of purpose and hope: This was the beginning of my new life in America.
What I did not know was that from that simple address, #5 Samaritan Court, I would begin a complex, 13-year mission to save my large and extended family from our war-shattered homeland of Vietnam. Of course, that address wasn’t even close to our last. As the wife of an officer in the U.S. Air Force, I got used to moving often and with military regularity. But #5 Samaritan Court remains in my heart and my memory as the symbol of something more than just a physical place. It forever will remind me of the story of the “Good Samaritan,” because it was there I began the bittersweet task of rescuing those who were helpless to help themselves.
Ultimately, this mission, launched with the assistance of so many, would help 49 members of my family and extended family escape from communist Vietnam. It is for those rescued people that I am writing this book, so they might come to understand the sacrifices that were made by so many to bring them to freedom. It’s been said that freedom cannot be fully appreciated until one has lived through the alternative. I want our children, who were born in America, as well as our future generations of the Swenka and Ha families, to know that such a terrible alternative exists and how it impacted their family’s legacy. In short, I want them to appreciate the precious treasure of freedom, which is always won at a great price.
But when Ron and I married in November 1971, there was no sense of immediate danger to my family. The fall of Saigon was still three and a half years away. Of course I was deeply worried — my family was living in a dangerous country, racked by war. But years before, they had escaped to the freedom of South Vietnam. We still hoped that, in time, the Republic of Vietnam, joined by America, would defeat the communists headquartered in Hanoi, about 55 miles from my hometown of Nam Dinh.
Then, on April 30, 1975, catastrophe struck. Saigon, the city of freedom, had fallen. The collapse came like a lightning bolt. The small number of Americans there (military advisors, civilian contractors, and the diplomatic corps) were pulling out. The government of South Vietnam was disintegrating. The war was over. The enemy had won. I could not give up until my family was free. To my everlasting gratitude, neither could the many people — military and otherwise — who courageously and tirelessly helped me to get them out. This book is for them as well.
Rock-Solid Living In A Quicksand World: Stepping Stones For Christ-Centered Living. By Lt. Col. Alfred McGowen, USAFR (Ret). CreateSpace. ISBN 978-1-5146-7714-8.
Rock-Solid Living in A Quicksand World is a critical 21st century Jesus conversation asking you to look back so you may have a future. Consider Jesus coaching our culture as he tutors us on how Western civilization can benefit from following through, as we learn from his ancient historical gaze. Today, acquire Jesus' time-tested wisdom regarding how to blossom, bloom, produce, grow, and experience authentic, abundant life. Allow Jesus to help you discover how to become Jesus' very own transformed apprentice: learn how to be a God-transformed Christ follower. Follow his lead as he shows you door number one and door number two.
Learn what is behind each door and then make your choice. One leads to authentic living; the other leads to collapse and destruction. I hope you choose life. Be on guard for the "ultimate terrorist." Discover how to win the spiritual war on terror. Discover Jesus laying the groundwork for you personally on how to make dangerous stumbling blocks into stepping stones that lead to a happy life. When the lightning flashes, the thunder crashes, and the floods of life come, learn from the Master himself how to prevent the foundations of your life from becoming like quicksand. Follow Jesus backward to an eternal future. Listen as he speaks and educates you, like no other human, with God's own authority. Hear him as he enlightens you how to choose the best leaders and how to avoid the worst. Grow in God's powerful grace by discovering the eternal Rabbi's four ways of hearing. Heal your broken spiritual eyes. Or at least let Jesus show you how to refocus them. Receive his words cautioning you to watch out for our modern day false prophets. Discover who they are and avoid them. Join him as he describes his "secret service" and how you can actually be an agent of his secret service. Learn about the earthly and heavenly dividends you will receive from having served in this capacity. Click on his plan for avoiding pseudo-spiritual leaders. Give him face time: have ears to hear him as he warns about regressive so called progressive teachings that are making quicksand of our culture's foundations and wreaking havoc on our families. Learn from Jesus how to turn the five stumbling blocks into stepping stones. Enjoy the power of "the Golden Rule" he teaches juxtaposed to the divisive political correctness of our day that is governed by big brother elitists and opposed to our Creator. Have ears to hear Jesus pleading with you to embrace his teachings. Why? Because, when the howling Category 5 hurricanes of life buffet you, your life's foundation can be made like granite by what you learn from him. And if you listen, learn, and practice them, they will help protect your family and help keep you safe from the raging winds and destructive forces of life. Walk humbly with Jesus through this backward journey through the Bible and discover Rock-Solid Living in a Quicksand World!
The Mystery History Series. By Sonny Barber, Life Member. CreateSpace Publishing.
Kay Telfair is a normal young teen — normal if that means being unusually curious and having an uncanny knack for putting herself in dangerous situations, which stress her parents and often test her relationship with her best friend Anna. The clean reading series follows Kay across two intrigue-filled summers on modern-day adventures involving events in U.S. history.
Book One: Crossed and Found Thirteen-year-old Kay Telfair believes her life is over when she moves with her family a thousand miles to their new home near the Delaware River in New Jersey. But her life takes an unexpected turn when Kay meets Anna and discovers a Revolutionary War letter, a letter that could change American history. Before she unravels the letter’s mystery, Kay stumbles headlong into an adventure — confronting fears she’d never experienced, stretching the limits of her friendship with Anna, and forcing a test of Kay’s physical strength that could save her own life. ISBN 978-1-49530-405-7.
Book Two: Gold Hush After an adventure-filled June, all Kay Telfair wants is a quiet vacation in Maine with her family and best friend Anna — no drama, no stress. But the 13-year-old’s hopes for a tranquil August stay in the village of Prospect Harbor soon fade when the girls compete for the attention of a young boy, and Kay makes a startling discovery, a discovery that sends the three teens on a dangerous quest. Ignoring advice and menacing threats from others, they continue their pursuit, drawing them deeper into a perilous mystery — deeper than Kay ever could have imagined. ISBN 978-1-49962-383-3.
Book Three: Stonewalled A mystery that threatens the relationship with best friend Anna, a battle with Mother Nature at her worst, and the discovery of a tragic secret — not exactly what 14-year-old Kay Telfair was looking for in a summer getaway. But that’s what confronts the young teen while helping the owners of Windcrest Farm find a way to stop destruction of nearby farmland and its 300-year-old stone walls. Vacationing with her family and Anna at Windcrest in the quiet, coastal village of Little Compton, R.I., the young teen soon discovers her goal will not be easy. Kay’s prospects for helping preserve the valuable land and stone walls look much better, however, after a surprise visit by a boy from her past. With his help, she pours all her energy and passion into the quest, searching for answers in New England’s Native American and colonial history and learning some important lessons about perseverance and friendship. ISBN 978-1-51935-129-6.
The Revenge of the Banker’s Daughter. By Lt. Cmdr. T. Matt Ryan, USN (Ret), Life member. Kitsap Publishing. ISBN 978-1-94266-128-3.
This engaging fictional thriller is set in rural western Colorado shortly after World War II. T. Matt Ryan, inspired by his observations and political experiences, has created a novel about corruption, betrayal, bigotry, and revenge flavored with justice and redemption.
In one evening, 17-year-old Gloria Knight’s life is turned upside down with the arrest of her 18-year-old fiancé followed by her rape by the senior deputy sheriff. An outraged Gloria sets in motion a chain of events that could reshape lives and determine who rules the county. Recent World War II veterans standing for county offices play key roles in Gloria’s quest for justice.
USAF Air Commando Secret Wars from Laos to Latin America. By Lt. Col. Eugene D. Rossel, USAF (Ret). Xlibris. ISBN 978-1-51448-004-5.
The Air Commando secret wars mostly happened during the Vietnam War time frame and were a global effort involving Air Force volunteer personnel who were given official military orders that did not necessarily specify the country they served in, and civilian clothes were many times authorized. Later, these volunteers had great difficulty proving they served in many of these countries, which affected their future VA care.
These operations normally were used to strengthen a poor country with few military resources and training, with secret warriors frequently being there doing some of their legwork behind the scenes. All operations were tight-lipped, and operators frequently were forbidden to tell families where they were and what they were doing.
Secret wars have a long history, and they will continue because of the interest of powerful nations with their less-fortunate brethren.
Conversations With My Muse: A Book of Selected Poetry. By Maj. Gary Bateman, USA (Ret), Life Member. AuthorHouse UK. ISBN 978-1-50493-881-5.
This is a book of selected poetry on various multithematic topics that are essentially of a timeless nature. The poetry, as presented in this selection, represents a broad mosaic of issues, themes, problems, fantasy, and life experiences as part of the greater human endeavor.
Vietnam Doc: An American Physician's Memoir. By Capt. William C. Petty, USN (Ret), M.D., Life Member. LifeRich Publishing. ISBN 978-1-48970-856-4.
William Clayton Petty served as chief of anesthesia at the 24th Evacuation Hospital in Vietnam. In Vietnam Doc, he shares his experiences in taking care of wounded soldiers and the effect of war on his life after the war. Petty attempts to portray the horrors of war from the perspective of one who experienced the carnage on a daily basis. The book is a vivid insight into the lives of those who render care to wounded soldiers. The narrative is poignant, reflective, and often gut-wrenching. Readers will see inside a war zone hospital as they have never seen before.
Parallel Lives. By Rita Berman. Righter Publishing Co. Inc. ISBN 978-1-53550-523-9.
Parallel Lives is a collection of memoirs by Rita Berman and her cousins recalling their childhood in the East End of London during the Blitz of the second World War.
Government Contracting: Promises and Perils, Second Edition. By Capt. William Sims Curry, USAF (Ret), Life Member. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-49873-807-1.
This is the second edition of Government Contracting: Promises and Perils. The first edition was used as a textbook in master’s in public administration (MPA) programs and in government procurement graduate certificate programs. It also was used by states, cities, and other local government agencies to upgrade their contracting practices and policies. Examples of actual procurement fraud are discussed as well as recommendations for making government agencies less susceptible to fraud. There are tips for government contractors who wish to convert their procurement systems and socioeconomic subcontracting processes from cost centers to profit centers.
In preparation for writing this book, the author completed the study of federal source selection decisions that were protested by government contractors, and the protests were sustained by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). He also conducted a nationwide state and local government contracting best practices research project in 2015. The author presents case studies illustrating how public servants and government contractors alike have become ensnarled in contract fraud. The case studies relate to the various phases of the contracting cycle, beginning with procurement planning and progressing through the preparation of contractor proposals, contractor selection, and management of contracts that have been awarded to contractors. There also is coverage of contracting during emergencies and socioeconomic contracting. Book owners are provided online access to a sample request for proposals (RFP) and a sample contract, a process for evaluating proposals to identify the contractor offering the best value, a tool for managing contracts, and other useful contract management tools.
During the research project, the author discovered that certain states and local government agencies were using anomalous mathematical formulas to weigh scores assigned to contractor proposals. During separate research, he discovered deficiencies in the manner that contractors are selected by DoD and other federal agencies. The author developed a variation of the state and local government contractor selection process, replacing the anomalous formulas with corrected formulas that resulted in a contractor selection process for selecting the best value contract proposal that is applicable to federal, state, and local government agencies. Book owners are provided access to online resources where corrected formulas are described for the readers as well as proof of the anomalies and proof for the accuracy of the corrected formulas.
Military Life — Service or Career: A Soldier’s Perspective. By Lt. Col. John McClarren, USA (Ret). JMAC Publishing. ISBN 978-1-50071-465-9.
Military Life Service or Career: A Soldier’s Perspective is a book for young people who are interested in the military, seeking guidance in the decision-making process, or for those who have been there already and enjoy reminiscing or comparing stories between themselves and the author.
Conclave. By Col. Tom Davis, USA (Ret), Life Member. CreateSpace. ISBN 978-1-53470-661-3.
As the Cold War looms over Europe in 1978, Pope John Paul I dies after a month in office. Half a world away, Maj. Carter Caldwell, USMA ‘68, on loan from the sociology department to the National Security Council, views the coming papal election as a chance to diminish Moscow’s hold on Eastern Europe. Dispatched to Rome with a CIA analyst, Carter and Katherine become involved in a deadly struggle with KGB agents. Gunfights, chases, assassination attempts, and palace intrigue await them.
History buffs and action enthusiasts will be caught in the growing suspense as the conclave reaches its exciting conclusion.
Half Staff 2018: A Chilling Look Into the Future. By Capt. John Morse, USN (Ret). Idleknot Press. ISBN 978-0-99764-500-2.
After a series of deadly attacks in the U.S., carried out by unknown terrorist organizations, Dan Steele faces the most important mission of his life: to stop a major assault on the U.S. that threatens to lead to widespread domestic panic and worldwide calamity. A tough-minded warrior cast into an unfamiliar role, Steele navigates through dangerous uncharted waters to fight a ruthless enemy that remains hidden in the shadows. Half Staff’s fast paced action will have you asking how real this future plot might prove to be.
Taking Risks Defining Life: A Soldier’s Memoir. By Lt. Col. John McClarren, USA (Ret). JMAC Publishing. ISBN 978-1-51170-512-7.
Taking Risks Defining Life: A Soldier’s Memoir is a book focusing on what we all go through: the choices of when to take risks and when not to. The author always has been ready to take risks throughout his entire life, perhaps a few too many, but all having turned out for the best. Some should have killed him. Ahh, but they did not.
Go West Young Woman!: From Military Wife to Country Life. By Nancy Quinn, spouse of Col. William Kohnke, USAF (Ret), Life Member. Hellgate Press. ISBN 978-1-55571-829-9.
Have you ever found a cougar on your swingset or a moose in your driveway? Go West, Young Woman! is the true story of one family’s transition from beltway living in metro Washington, D.C., to what they thought would be a “calmer” existence in rural Montana.
The family soon discovers how unprepared they are for the challenges ahead, both comical and adventurous. The humor of their early encounters with cattle and local customs only masks the more ominous confrontations with predators and nature. Through their journey, they discover the true meaning of “the code of the West,” a concept which has not entirely vanished from the American way of life.