Military

The Long Return; by David Scheiding

MWSA Review
The Long Return is a detailed, interesting and very well written account of the life of a United States Air Force Forward Air Controller (FAC) during the Vietnam War. The author writes with the clarity of an engineer and does an excellent job of interpreting the technical details for the lay reader. The authors account of many incidents during the course of his tour in Vietnam reveal the dubious nature of the Vietnam war.
Reviewed by Joe Campolo, Jr., MWSA Reviewer

Author's Synopsis:
The Long Return describes the author's experiences as a Forward Air Controller in Vietnam and his reaction to the significant change in the general American attitude towards the Vietnam War upon his return.

ISBN/ASIN: 978-1-4809-3080-3
Book Format(s): Soft cover
Genre(s): Nonfiction, Memoir, Biography
Number of Pages: 200

Honor Thy Brothers: The Fight Against Communism; by Suzanne Simon Dietz

MWSA Review

Suzanne Simon Dietz has written a compelling book about veterans of WWII, Korea and Vietnam. She covers a spectrum of experiences by including people from all of the services and a variety of military skill sets. She does not embellish their stories. 

The words are the words of veterans, the views are those of veterans, the conclusions are those of veterans. Dietz is a historian, a writer dedicated to sharing personal history and thus preserving it. anyone who enjoys military history from the personal viewpoint of those who fight our wars will appreciate her work. The research she has performed provides many avenues for further reading for anyone who includes this book in their library. I recommend Honor Thy Brothers for both reasons. It is worthy of being on a military history lover's bookshelf.

Reviewed by Mike Mullins (2015)

Author's Summary

"Honor Thy Brothers" preserves the stories of sacrifice from some of those who served from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam in the backdrop of the strengthening Soviet Communist government, which challenged America for world leadership for half a century.

Sheppard of the Argonne: Alternative History Naval Battles of WWII

MWSA Review

“Sheppard of the Argonne” is a fast read, and once the action starts, it becomes a book that keeps your attention through to its dramatic conclusion. 

Although not fully physically or emotionally recovered from painful leg injuries sustained in combat near Pearl Harbor, Captain Sheppard McCloud was honored to receive command on one of the Navy’s most modern battle cruisers in 1942. Plagued with self-doubt and guilt following the loss of many of his men and the extensive damage to his previous ship, he struggles to put his mission and instincts first.

On Sheppard’s first cruise as skipper of the Argonne, he is part of America’s first naval task force ordered to take the war to the German fleet in the eastern Atlantic.

In this well written historical novel by an author who is a retired Navy captain, the reader sees the action unfolding not only from Sheppard’s perspective but also from the viewpoint of commanders in other vessels and aircraft. The battle scenes are vivid, the descriptions authentic, horrific, and detailed without being overburden with jargon and minutia 

“Sheppard of the Argonne” is a story of a complex battle involving carriers, cruisers, submarines and aircraft. Although skillfully presented from the perspectives of American, German and British characters, it is primarily Sheppard’s story as he works to keep his ship afloat and fighting in a battle that teeters on the edge of disaster. 

There are no stereotypes portrayed here, rather men pushed to their limits in courage, decision-making, and training. I find the book a compelling read and as useful in providing sound leadership advice as it is entertaining.  “Sheppard of he Argonne” is highly recommended.

Reviewed by Joe Epley(2015)

Author's Summary

Captain Sheppard McCloud, a hero of the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor and “savior” of the west coast from air attack, must hide his post-traumatic stress from senior officers and subordinates alike in an age that considered its symptoms cowardice. Though still suffering from both his physical and psychological wounds, the Navy brass has decided they need their best Captain back in command of the latest capital ship—the battle cruiser Argonne. With less than a day until they leave on a mission that could decide the fate of the allied cause, Sheppard must rally his officers and men, gain their confidence, and build them into a team. Leadership challenges abound, as the task force that includes the Argonne crosses the Atlantic they confront submarines, aircraft, and finally enemy surface ships, in exciting battles vividly described, culminating in that rarest of actual battles—a gun duel between capital ships. The novel has been carefully researched to accurately reflect the customs, traditions, and equipment the United States Navy used to win a two ocean war. Much of the hardware from the novel can be seen on board the battleship memorials to the greatest generation. Notes G. William Weatherly is a pen name for a retired U.S. Navy Captain with 30 years of service and command of three ships. His last assignment was as a professor of operations and chairman of the Joint Military Operations Department at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. He is a member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.

Her Own Vietnam by Lynn Kanter

MWSA Review

Lynn Kanter has hit a home run in Her Own Vietnam.  This is more than just a story about a woman suffering from PTSD, or a story about a nurse's experiences in the Vietnam war.  Her Own Vietnam is a thought provoking journey into the realities of war and its impact on individuals and society. 

Don't let me scare you into thinking this is some philisophical treatise that you have to fight your way through, this book is an easy, interesting read.  It is also a book that will leave you thinking about a significant, but often overlooked part of any war - the life and death in an evacuation hospital where the troops are brought directly from the battlefield. 

At first, I thought the book's focus was fairly specific, but as I read on I realized there was more than one story being told here.  The book is well written.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys good literary fiction.

Reviewed by Bob Doerr (2015)


Author's Summary

For decades, Della Brown has tried to forget her service as a U.S. Army nurse in Vietnam. But in the middle of the safe, sane life she’s built for herself, Della is ambushed by history. She receives a letter from a fellow combat nurse, a woman who was once her closest friend, and all the memories come flooding back.

As the U.S. prepares to plunge into war in Iraq, Della struggles to make peace with her memories of Vietnam. She must also confront the fissures in her family life; the mystery of her father’s disappearance, the things mothers and daughters cannot—maybe should not—know about one another, and the lifelong repercussions of a single mistake.

An unflinching depiction of war and its personal costs, Her Own Vietnam is also a portrait of a woman in midlife — a mother, a nurse, and long ago a soldier.

Publisher: Shade Mountain Press (2014)
Binding: Paperback, 214 pages