Posts Tagged ‘war’

Historical Romance
Date Published: October 3, 2017
Publisher: Belle Reve Press
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Dennis and Greer is a nonfiction love story in letters and journals between 2 college students during the Vietnam era. (This is nonfiction that reads like fiction)
A true story that encapsulates the horrors of war and the innocence of young love.
 
Buried in a trunk for fifty years, this long-forgotten tale, told through letters and journals from the war-torn Vietnam era, has been resurrected.
College students, Dennis and Greer, met and felt a spark just before moving to different states. Their witty correspondence through letters conjured a desire to meet again, but Dennis tried to keep his distance; duty is more important than love.
As the two embarked on their journey into adulthood and navigated their relationship against the backdrop of war, they were writing a love story that will span the test of time.
Excerpt

Dear Greer (poetic, huh?)

This letter is written upon wrinkled paper, which (as you are an English major), you will realize is symbolic of suffering and hardship. From having gotten to know me you will recall that I am never a whiner so I will let the paper rather than the ink bear what ill tidings are to be borne. You may well ask why I have devoted the introduction of this epistle to such trivia. As in conversation, I find it necessary to fill the air with something while I think of something worthwhile to say. While you write “redundant” over the second “something” in typical gung-ho English major fashion, I will try to find something worthy enough in content and syntax to place before your well-read, though brown, eyes.

Not having succeeded in that undertaking, I will, being forced, continue amid trivialities and redundancies. How are you? I am fine. (The latter is a comment rather than an answer.) My present residence is in Carlin, Nevada (as a glance at the envelope, also wrinkled, will verify—redundancies are tricky) and I receive my mail at P.O. Box 835. May I say that I had a very pointed reason for mentioning the fact?

Out of fear that you will say within someone’s hearing that this letter is much bubble bath, as indeed its first two paragraphs are, I will turn to serious considerations. I long to have the outpourings of your keen mind and kind heart splashed upon my untidy mind (see above) like cool water in the sweating face of a Nevada summer laborer. In other, less revealing words, my first order of business is to insist that you write me a letter. I will even, in consideration of your talent, pay you by the word in typical professional fashion.

I dedicated this summer to ridding myself of fecund thoughts and to the corralling of vagrant impulses, to secluded study and spiritual growth. I’ve had my preliminary interview and I will be leaving on my mission in September. I have departed into the desert to prepare for my calling, to live with the wild beasts and eat locusts and honey. Please realize that your letters will be a tremendous help to me. I think of you often.

 

Memory, hither come,

And tune your merry notes;

And, while upon the wind

Your music floats,

I’ll pour upon the stream

Where sighing lovers dream,

And fish for fancies as they pass

Within the watery glass.

-William Blake

 

Sincerely yours,

Dennis

About the Author

ASU graduate, Molly Gould, lived in the wilderness for 28 days when she was 16 years old (she’s your go-to-girl in the zombie apocalypse). She now confines herself indoors with the AC full-blast in her sunny sate of AZ. Occasionally, she’ll brave the scorching heat with her husband and four children.
When Molly inherited a treasure of vintage journals and letters, she was swept away by the love story contained within those writings. She couldn’t keep Dennis and Greer to herself, so she began transcribing and Dennis and Greer was born.

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About the Book

Title: The Hooligans of Kandahar

Author: Joseph Kassabian

Genre: Nonfiction / War Memoir

During the peak years of the Afghanistan War, a group of soldiers is dropped by helicopter into the remote mountains outside of Kandahar City. Mismanaged and overlooked by command, how they survive is largely up to them. In the birthplace of the Taliban, some men lose their sanity, others their humanity. They are The Hooligans.

Written in the months and years following his deployment, Joseph Kassabian recounts his time in the isolated and dangerous country of Afghanistan. Pulling no punches, The Hooligans of Kandahar is a sobering, saddening, and often sarcastic first-hand account of America’s War on Terror.

 

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Book Excerpts

Excerpt #1.

Generally, when our squad went on patrol for hours at a time, we would set up Observation Points, or OPs. OPs were areas that were slightly defensible and allowed us to watch a large area while remaining concealed from sight. That’s what the manual says about OPs, anyway.

    What we really used them for was to duck away in the night for a few hours and take turns napping. A few soldiers stood watch while the others removed their overbearing gear and lay down in the dirt to catch a few minutes of much-needed sleep.

    The official mission was to watch over a Taliban “rat line,” or trail used for smuggling weapons into the area. We had watched the ratline and raided various houses in the last few months and found nothing. We were all pretty sure that the ratline didn’t actually exist anywhere outside of Scream’s head.

Since Scream was adamant that something was going to happen in that village, he kept ordering us to sit in the darkness and stare at nothing.

    We established a primary OP on an elevated ridge that overlooked the trail that Scream was certain was a pathway for whatever nefarious deeds the Taliban did at night. During our first ten-hour watch of the area, Walrus—who was one of the laziest people I’ve ever met—found a couch in one of the cornfields. He dragged the furniture up the ridge and into the OP, giving the position its name.

   It was at that OP that some of us older soldiers had to teach the other guys the art of soldiering in the pitch darkness. Smoking without being seen became a skill. You could easily see a cigarette’s lit cherry over a mile away. If you weren’t careful, you could give away your position while feeding your terrible vice.

  You could stick your cigarette and lighter into your ration bag to light it. Then cup your hand around your mouth and cigarette when you need a hit to conceal yourself from whoever wants to blow your face off in the middle of the night. A few of us switched from smoking to chewing tobacco for night patrols. The first few times I tried it I puked on myself.

There was only one guy in our squad who didn’t smoke or dip—Slim, but he made up for it in the states with a drinking habit that would make Hemmingway suggest rehab.

 

Excerpt #2.

We had to teach our soldiers real skills to survive at night as well. You would be surprised how much noise a soldier can make shambling through the darkness with all the gear we carry. We had to duct tape down anything that would rattle or clang off another piece of equipment and spray paint any little piece of metal that would catch the moonlight.

I knew a few guys who went above and beyond by not cleaning themselves for weeks in order to smell like the natives. Like the Taliban were out in the mountains trying to sniff us out of our hiding spots or something.

 

Excerpt #3.

At some point during the night, all hell broke loose. Guns started cracking to life. Machine guns and rockets started ripping through the air all over. Tracer rounds started tearing through the night from all sides about one hundred yards in front of them. They had no idea what was going on and no one was actually shooting at them. No one seemed to know that they were there. It was like they stumbled upon some random turf war in the middle of nowhere. The various militant groups that operated in our area—a strange mix of Islamic insurgents, smugglers, and gangs—routinely tried to kill each other. The Afghan security forces would shoot at anything that went bump in the night. It could have easily been two different Afghan Police patrols shooting at each other.