A long, long time ago there were five college students living in a three-bedroom house. There was an ugly couch, a wonky heating system and plenty of beer. After graduation they went their separate ways and then Facebook came along to reunite them. As I became reconnected with one of these roommates, I learned that he had written a book.
The X-Roommate’s book is a memoir of his service as an Air Force Reserves Flight Nurse. Captain Ed ‘Riv’ Hrivnak flew on missions into Bagdad, Iraq to evacuate injured soldiers during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Along with the members of his unit, they treated and transported thousands of injured soldiers to Ramstein, Germany during their tour.
“WOUNDED – A Legacy of Operation Iraqi Freedom” is Hrivnak’s story of in-flight medicine, ingenuity of the Air Force Reserves, their sacrifices and the stories of the wounded soldiers he cared for. Upon returning home he describes his journey through alcohol binges, family struggles, PTSD and a new civilian career. This is the real life story of a modern-day soldier.
As an American, I truly appreciate the sacrifices our Veterans have made through all the different wars that have been fought, both on our own soil and on foreign soil. Without the hard work and dedication these men and women offered, America would be a very different country today.
BQB Author, Jon Stafford agrees, “My favorite book is Samuel Eliot Morison’s “Breaking the Bismarcks Barrier” which I got for Christmas in 1966, just a few years ago. It is the struggle by the U. S. Navy for islands in the Southwest Pacific in World War II. Few books on any war Americans have fought in will give a better idea of the sacrifices our servicemen have gone through.”
Stafford, a historian and teacher, will see his first novel published on November, 11, 2014 – Veteran’s Day. “Reluctant Warriors” is the story of the soldiers of World War II. Many were ordinary men who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances. Unable to ignore their obligations to their country and to the world, these men bravely faced combat. Many of them never sought reward or accolades, but simply returned from war, forever changed and forever humbled by the tenuous balance of life and death.
Another BQB Author, Steve McKenna is a Vietnam Veteran and penned “Vietnam Reflections:” It is a haunting account of the effects of the Vietnam War. Written with such vivid imagery and detail, the reader will feel every heartbeat, every squash of a soldier’s boot in the Delta Rice Paddy, and will hear the whistling of incoming rounds as they find their mark.
At times inspiring, and at times bringing the reader to tears, Vietnam Reflections is a collection of stories that trace the evolution of several eighteen-year-old farm boys who went off to war. When they finally returned home, they found that their service and sacrifices were for naught. Following their return to the States, the soldiers were left to survive on their own. Many found that the only way out of Vietnam for good was to end their own lives or to live homeless. These stories are their voice, their screams, about a distant place and a distant time, about a war that went amok… a war that many Americans wish to forget.
And to retreat further into America’s past, “The Uncertain Times” by BQB author, Bryson Maples, a historian and law student, covers the Civil War: As the Civil War ravages the country and his family, Nathaniel Mitchell joins the Confederate cause in Georgia after witnessing a fierce battle in his own backyard. Under the command of General Johnston and without his mother’s approval, Nathan traverses the trails of the Atlanta Campaign. Plagued by guilt for joining the war without his mother’s approval and ever mindful of the responsibilities he forsook to take on the responsibilities of war, Nathaniel finds a mentor and forges friendships with several men. Thankfully, his new mentor contributes more than just wisdom to the Mitchell family and, in the end, gives Nathaniel a gift he could never repay.
Lastly, a BQB author who is also a Veteran, but writes in a totally different genre is Mark Rickert. His book, “The Tone Poet” is a dark supernatural fantasy that fans of Stephen King will enjoy: When a family car accident leaves six-year-old Cameron Blake for dead, his body is engulfed by a light that sings extraordinary music. Once his heart beats again, the music fades and is gone. This is astral music, and it haunts Cameron for the rest of his life. Death and resurrection, demons and nightmare music, The Tone Poet is a redemptive, spiritual journey that will lead Cameron Blake to the secrets of the self and beyond, to the vibratory heart of the universe.
Do you have a favorite charity that serves Veterans that you would like to mention in the comments below?