Book Reviews

Reviews of books by MWSA members. Reviews appear in reverse chronological order, with the most recent review posted appearing first.
Note: Some older reviews are being reposted to this site and those will appear out of order.

Your Life

Title: Your Life
Author: Scot Spooner
Genre: Spiritual/Religious
Reviewer: Ron Camarda

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1468536516

Achievement of life changing positive consequences, through personal
accountability and responsibility. The theme of the book is that we are all
very different, yet the same, and in that "sameness' there are universal
truths and lessons that can be applied to all humans.

The book chronicles my life from a young man, through becoming a soldier, a Green Beret, a member of Delta Force, and now a successful entrepreneur and book author.

The struggles and key times that the book highlights are: Coming from a
broken home, Alcoholism, Combat, PTSD, Being Fired, leaving the military, ALL personal relationships

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Spooner, Scot

God in the Trenches

Title: God in the Trenches
Author: Larkin Spivey
Genre: Spiritual/Religious
Reviewer: Pat Avery

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): B005M4HFDE

In God in the Trenches, Larkin Spivey shows that when the nation s survival seemed uncertain, even doubtful, fate seemed to turn America s way, giving way to mysterious if not miraculous events. These events altered the course of history, leading to victory for the American military and enduring freedom for America s citizens.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Spivey, Larkin

Wound in the Mind, A

Title: A Wound in the Mind
Author: Francis J. Partel, Jr.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Reviewer: Fran McGraw

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): B00361FBVS

It is 1968. The US naval war in Vietnam is at peak level of intensity. USS Ticonderoga, Attack Carrier 14, is in the Gulf of Tonkin for her fifth combat cruise of the war prosecuting Operation Rolling Thunder. The historical naval novel has moved forward from the Napoleonic Wars of C. S. Forester and Patrick O'Brian to the modern navy. The ships and weapons may have changed, but time-tested traits of courage and leaderhip remain very much in demand.

Ltjg. Cannon has just returned to his stateroom when Gunnery Sergeant Mates phones him to take on the defense of a marine's marine who won the Navy Cross in the brutal Hill Fights of Khe Sanh in 1967. LCPL Cachora is charged with assault and battery while on liberty in Hong Kong. Ltjg. Cannon along with Ens. Chase take on an uphill struggle to defend their client. With the odds stacked against them, they creatively mount a spirited defense. This is the thrilling drama of Cahora's court-martial.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Partel, Francis J., Jr.

In Our Duffel Bags: Surviving the Vietnam Era

Title: In Our Duffel Bags, Surviving the Vietnam Era
Author: Richard C. Geschke & Robert A. Toto
Genre: Non-Fiction Military/Army
Reviewer: Ron Camarda

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 146202355X

DECEMBER 28, 2011 - First Lieutenant Richard C. Geschke and Lieutenant Robert A. Toto co-authored a book sparking emotions and revealing buried memories of the Vietnam War within the book titled In Our Duffel Bags, just published by iUniverse.

Both men are longtime service buddies as well as friends and it is through
this book they share the sometimes harrowing events encountered during their service in the “War with no purpose; no mission statement.” This
narrative book uniquely conveys each man’s first hand experiences as
soldiers serving in the US Army during the Vietnam War era and their
transition to civilian life afterwards.

“I did not realize that I had PTSD, until I started to cry while I was out
walking near my home” said Robert Toto during a recent interview. “This
book became part of my therapy.” As for Richard Geschke, his memories came about differently as he said, “It wasn’t until I had a vivid dream of
reality about a trip down the Hai Van Pass which occurred forty years ago
that the thoughts of not only Vietnam but of my entire army experience came to my foremost thoughts. I immediately put them on paper, starting with the chapter titled “Going My Way” and followed by the chapter titled “Was That Forty-One or Forty-two Rockets?”

Both men entered the military through the ROTC program which put them in as an officer once completing college. “During our day there were protests,
draft card burnings and a very lively debate about the merits of the war.
Today, because we have an all volunteer army, the regular population is more or less mute on the war. Current debates about the wars are timid in
comparison to the Vietnam era,” said Richard Geschke.

Aside from the political unrest our country was going through, these men each had their battles with society dealing with the stigma of serving the country in a war which was shunned by their peers. For Robert Toto, “It was
difficult being in grad school once I was discharged. The undergraduate
students really had no clue of what military life was.” Richard Geschke
commented, “Vietnam was a different era altogether, with the protests and
the divisive politics of the times.” He summarized, “I didn’t make military policy, and all I did was to serve my country in an honorable way!”

The stories within In Our Duffel Bags are written in a down to earth manner
using language that makes it easy to relate to the storytellers. This is the
type of book that can be a captivating read for those wanting to indulge in
the mindsets of young men forced into becoming soldiers during a war in which no one wanted to fight.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Geschke, Richard C. & Toto, Robert A.

Black Eagle Force: Eye of the Storm

Title: Black Eagle Force: Eye of the Storm
Authors: Ken Farmer & Buck Steinke
Genre: Thriller/Adventure
Reviewer: Joyce Faulkner

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1617779644/

The AK-47 instinctively rose toward the Mexican sergeant, and bullets poured out of the suppressor like water from a hose from hell. The only sound Mike heard was the rapid, metallic clack, clack, clack of the bolt cycling, and then he caught a glimpse of two now three more uniformed men with rifles. He could sense the three shooters' intentions as their fingers moved to the triggers. For the first time ever, the inactive Marine had a really, really bad thought ... I'm not gonna make it.'

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Stienke, Buck
Farmer, Ken