Fiction

Righteous Rescue: Heroism that Healed a Hurting Nation

Title: Righteous Rescue: Heroism that Healed a Hurting Nation
Author: John L. Rothdiener
Genre: Fiction, Historical
Reviewer: Don Arndt

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1449703852

The year is 2010 and deep in the jungle of Vietnam are six POWs left over from the Vietnam War. They resemble the walking dead, each awaiting his final demise. They no longer had the strength to attempt an escape. After forty years is there still hope in a rescue? Has the American people and the government forgotten them? What plan does the Vietnamese Guard have for these six men? Why has General Yo kept them alive for so long and why were they never released? What has happened to their loved ones at home and do they still wait for them or has all hope of their return died out? And what about their faith in God. Had their unanswered prayers meant that even God has abandoned them?

Righteous Rescue is a gripping account of sacrifice and patriotism, responsibility and conviction. Rothdiener skillfully captures the memories of an unpopular war, and the hope of bringing together a nation after forty years.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Rothdiener, John

Pilots and Normal People: Short stories from a different attitude

Title: Pilots and Normal People: Short stories from a different attitude
Author: Walt Shiel
Genre: Fiction, Collection
Reviewer: Mary Sullivan

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 097465535X

Is it really possible to forget a prejudice ingrained during war? Does death really close the door to life? Can a grounded pilot find another way to return to the sky? Are physical laws the same throughout the universe? Is aviation mostly intellect or mostly emotion? Are criminals just as smart as the law-abiding? Can one man fight back against society's increasing crudeness? Do space explorers really need a spaceship? These and many other intriguing questions are explored in this eclectic collection of short fiction by Walt Shiel, which includes the award-winning "Remember."

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Shiel, Walt

Cherries - A Vietnam War Novel

Title: Cherries - A Vietnam War Novel
Author: John Podlaski
Genre: Fiction, Historical
Reviewer: Rob Ballister

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1452879818

A book chronicling the experiences of eighteen year-old Army Infantry soldiers during their tour in the Vietnam War. During the draft years, scores of naive, frightened, and awed young soldiers arrived daily in Vietnam; they were immediately branded "Cherries" (slang for virgins) by their in-country peers. Thrust into an unpopular war, these new recruits had much to learn before being accepted and fully trusted by their brothers. These boys were forced to become men virtually overnight, learning the ropes quickly to make life or death decisions, while depending upon one another to survive. The first few months in country served as an intense learning experience where they saw, heard, and endured things never thought to be humanly possible - providing they lived that long.

There are 2.5 million existing stories from soldiers having served in Vietnam. Cherries is unique in that it is told from a "Cherry's" point of view. The story follows a group of teenaged soldiers throughout their transitions from Cherries to war-hardened veterans. Their experiences are at times educational, horrific, comical, and tragic, in their never-ending search for the enemy through the dark, wet, bug-infested jungles and mountains of South Vietnam.

Though Vietnam serves as the setting for Cherries, this story could take place during any war.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Podlaski, John

Argopelter: A Sergeant Sandy Coker Novel

Title: Argopelter: A Sergeant Sandy Coker Novel
Author: Ronald Smith
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Reviewer: Hodge Wood

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1451227841

Air Force Sergeant Sandy Coker, now retired, finally joins his families billion dollar lumbering business as its new Director, and immediately hires old military comrades to fill key positions. Two of them assisted Coker in the dramatic rescue of his wife, kidnapped by a maniacal industrialist while stationed in England; the third saved his life in 1968 in the jungles of Vietnam.

On a routine company familiarization trip to one of its plants in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula forests, Coker and his friends finds themselves suddenly entangled in an eighty year old murder mystery which crosses borders and leads to a present day pattern of murder and violence.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Smith, Ronald

Spooks: They Strike from Beyond and Leave No Trace

Title: Spooks: They Strike from Beyond and Leave No Trace
Author: James P. Slusser, Sr.
Genre: Fiction, Historical
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0977143198

When Mary Ellen Winslow received her Master s degree in Nursing at Loyola of Chicago she never dreamed she d be using it in a helicopter over the jungles of Vietnam. But when her husband, a Korean War fighter ace, 16 years her senior, flew his plane into the side of a mountain rather than answer his Country's summons to return to service, and took one of his girlfriends with him, she somehow felt the only way to erase the shame and anger she felt was to serve in his place. This single-mindedness of purpose made Dusty , in her superiors opinions, the best field evacuation Nurse in Vietnam. It never seemed to matter to her how hot the LZ (landing zone) might be where she would have to go to pick up wounded soldiers or marines. They didn't realize that, as far as she was concerned, her life ended on that mountain when Jack slammed their Beechcraft into it. That was also the reason she showed absolutely no interest in the many young pilots, doctors, and other males that tried to attract her attention around the 125th Surgical Hospital at Da Nang; until, that is, Lieutenant Commander James Cooper came along. They say opposites attract. It must be true. Jim Cooper was the total antithesis of everything Dusty believed in. Her sole purpose for being in Vietnam was to save as many lives as she could. Jim Cooper was a Naval Intelligence Black Ops Spook whose sole purpose was to collect information about the enemy, and to do whatever he could to make as many Viet Cong and North Vietnamese die in the process as he possibly could. And if he wasn't t in Vietnam, he was in Europe, tracking down deserters from our own military with orders to retrieve or neutralize . He was a stone-cold killer and the more she tried to hate him the harder she fell in love with him. When he proposed and she accepted, the Military Hierarchy decided that it was not in the best interest of the war effort for them to marry and leave the military, so a Command conspiracy was formed that was designed to separate them forever. It almost succeeded. Spooks takes the reader through the horror of torn bodies on the battlefield to the intrigue of tracking defectors and spies through the streets of East Berlin. It clearly shows that all of the heroes of Vietnam weren't t big, tough guys with shaved heads, but a lot of them were little-bitty things with ponytails. But the main thing Spooks shows the reader is what it was really like for two people who met and fell in love in Hell.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Slusser, James P.

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