Tag Archives: Military

When the Heart Cries but Never Breaks

When the Heart Cries but Never Breaks

“When the evacuation is ordered, the signal will be read on Armed Forces Radio. That signal is: ‘The temperature in Saigon is 105 degrees and rising.’ This will be followed by the playing of, I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.”

That announcement triggered Operation Frequent Wind, the almost unbelievable evacuation plan executed by United States forces on the 29th and 30th of April, 1975 when more than 7,000 people were evacuated by helicopter from various points in Saigon. The total number of Vietnamese evacuated or self-evacuated, ending up in the custody of the United States for processing as refugees to enter the country, totaled 138,869. But hundreds of thousands were left behind that then faced ‘re-education’ by the victors. The re-education camps, modeled on Soviet Gulags (and in some cases operated similarly as a Nazi concentration camp) soon became full. The New Economic Zone programs announced were thinly veiled justification for the confiscation of all assets held by the South Vietnamese people.

The smoke had cleared over Vietnam, but the country still ran with blood.

This is the continuing saga, started in Behind the Smoke Curtain, of American journalist Scott Reynolds, wounded and left behind as Saigon fell. Imprisoned–tortured and held secretly in solitary confinement–he and another prisoner, Tuan, a young former South Vietnamese army officer, escape during a camp uprising. A female guard at the camp who has fallen in love with Tuan reluctantly helps them. Traveling at night and hiding during the day not long after their escape they find Lan, a teenage girl who is escaping her own Hell having killed the New Economic Zone Commander that had tried to rape her. Together they evade patrols and informers and try to make their way to the coast to find a boat to escape Vietnam.

This is their story.

Comments ( 0 )

SEA DETAIL: A Naval Officer’s Voyage

Covering almost four decades of naval service, SEA DETAIL is the story of one naval officer’s career at sea and ashore. From the Vietnam War to the War on Terror, Admiral Sullivan was a participant in world events throughout the last quarter of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first. From his early days as a junior officer to his rise through the ranks to vice admiral, we watch history unfold through his eyes. As a young junior officer, he learns his trade, makes mistakes and grows through experiences, both good and bad. With his college sweetheart by his side, he balances the excitement of adventures at sea and in foreign ports and the ache of long separations from his family. His is a compelling story, rich with the experience of participating in world events and self-discovery as each assignment shapes his life and that of his family. His experiences as the commanding officer of two ships superbly detail the challenges and responsibilities our Navy places on ship captains. Achieving flag rank, his perspective changes from the narrow concentration of commanding a warship to the broader strategic challenges of national security. Admiral Sullivan’s tale will carry you around the world, from the frozen climes north of the Arctic Circle to the brutal heat of the Persian Gulf. His experiences in the Pentagon, at the White House, in front of Congress and at NATO Headquarters provide uncanny insights into our nation’s national security apparatus at work. This is a compelling story, one of the thousands that can be told by those who have served our country in uniform.

Comments ( 0 )

BRIDGES | A Life Building & Crossing Them

AVAILABLE NOW

Many people start life in a less than opportune place. They yearn for something more IN their life, more TO their life, and must create opportunities for themselves. I’ve felt the drudgery of the daily ritual, of work in a place I didn’t want to be with a hot sun blistering me. Hard manual labor in the cotton fields, day in and day out, is just that; a painful grind. And though the opportunity to earn money to help my family was appreciated, those days in the field spent in sweltering heat, bending and pulling over and over again until even young muscles and joints became tired and ached, were difficult. I would look up from the work and be thankful for each and any small breath of wind that would bring even a moment’s respite. And the thought of days ahead, just like that one, made me hope for something better in my life.

One day something crossed the bright blue sky, cutting a path beneath that merciless, brutal South Carolina summer sun. I raised my hand to shield my eyes from the light so I could follow it as it left a trail. Blinking the sweat from my eyes, I watched it twinkle-the metal of the airplane’s fuselage and wings-until it climbed higher and was out of sight. That moment changed me, changed the course of my life, forever. I began to wonder about the world far from where I was-the cotton fields-and made a plan to see that world. This book tells of my journey.
– Dr. Irene Trowell-Harris
Comments ( 0 )

In the News | Author Donna McAleer appointed to Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services

They made a good choice! We are proud to know Donna and to have published her award winning book, Porcelain On Steel | Women of West Point’s Long Gray Line. Donna is a staunch advocate for veterans and has worked tirelessly on behalf of women veteran’s rights. The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Lindenmeyer, one of the women profiled in Donna’s book, has also been appointed to this committee.

Read the press release from the Department of Defense

Defense Advisory Committee on Women In The Service

Comments ( 0 )

In the News | Author, Kerry Kachejian on panel discussion – The Impact of a Weakened Military

Our author, Kerry Kachejian, Colonel, USAR (Retired) is one of the United States most qualified soldiers and engineers, having served in and supported reconstruction operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan as well as relief operations during Hurricane Katrina. He is the author of, SUVs Suck in Combat, and recently participated on a panel discussion about whether potential budget cuts will weaken the United States military (and he points out how they have in the past).

Here’s the video of the discussion:

Comments ( 0 )

The Army and Low Intensity Conflict

“History shows that the bill payers of failed policy and short-sighted national security planning are the military forces of the nation.”

— Rear Admiral Phillip R. Olson, speaking to a conference on low intensity conflict

AVAILABLE NOW from author, Rick Waddell:

During the Cold War, given the threat of the Soviet military poised in Eastern Europe, the Army had to be able to wage armored warfare. The fear of low intensity conflict throughout the Cold War was the fear of bleeding to death from small bites. In this vein low intensity conflict was equivalent to an economy-of-force operation where our adversaries struck at us in our most vulnerable areas – terrorism, subversion, and insurgency. But, the challenge of low intensity conflict transcended the Cold War.

The Soviets are gone, but the style of conflict remains: the security environment of the future may look more like the urban hell of Beirut, Sarajevo, or Baghdad where hand-held missiles and crude homemade bombs threaten air and ground movement, and more like the jungles of Vietnam or the mountains of Afghanistan, where the physical and human terrain negates or reduces the effectiveness of heavy weapons and high technology devices.

Despite a large number of works that dealt with some aspect of low intensity conflict, none focused exclusively on the evolution of the Army’s response to this security challenge. Understanding this evolution is important because the problems of terrorism, insurgency, peacekeeping, and contingency operations – the categories of low intensity conflict – took on new relevance in a world without the Soviet Union.

The great bipolar confrontation had, for 45 years, submerged many of the world’s ethnic, religious, and economic passions. The end of the Cold War gave these passions a new, violent and bloody freedom. Although interstate conflict remains a threat, many of the aforementioned passions give rise to internal conflicts which require the use of force in non-traditional ways. The Army did not respond well to the challenge in the past, costing thousands of American lives and setting up the only strategic defeat that the United States has suffered. By the early 1990s, the United States government once again determined that it wanted the capability to respond to these challenges.

The changes in the early 1990s to the national strategy and the subordinate military strategy placed far greater emphasis on low intensity missions for the Army than had been the case since the early 1960s. Much of the post-Cold War Army would be based in the continental United States, and organized for rapid deployability in response to regional crises. Thus, the greater focus on conflict at the lower end of the spectrum colored the Army’s, as well as the nation’s, foreign policy abilities in the rest of the decade. Understanding the process of organizational change in the military, then, is necessary to the appropriate management of the Army’s mission. If the Army does not prepare well to enact changed national strategy, the costs, as Admiral Olson’s quotation above points out, are quite high in human terms. And, as the defeat in Vietnam demonstrated, the political costs to the nation are quite high, too. We have now engaged in more than a decade of war after the 9-11 attacks, mostly of the low intensity variety. This book sets the stage for understanding the process the Army went through before it entered that decade, and can help us understand how the Army changed during the war.

Comments ( 0 )

UPCOMING | The Army and Low Intensity Conflict

“History shows that the bill payers of failed policy and short-sighted national security planning are the military forces of the nation.”

— Rear Admiral Phillip R. Olson, speaking to a conference on low intensity conflict

From author, Rick Waddell.

Click here for more details on the book.

The Army & Low Intesity Conflict by Rick Waddell

Comments ( 0 )

A Soldier’s Service Book | My Father’s Life During WWII

A Soldier's Service Book | My Father's Life During WWII

Available Now

From the Author:

After my father passed away on June 25, 2009, my mother handed to me two plastic bags, full of mostly aerogram letters he had written home during his service in World War II to his mother, stepfather, and his brother (who was a Lieutenant in the Army). Over the next six months, I read all of the letters, some of which begin in August, 1941 when he enlisted, right up until he was discharged in January, 1946. Although he initially enlisted with the Army, he was, over the course of the war, assigned not only to the Army, but the Air Force and the Navy. He was stationed (after his initial placement at Camp Borden), in Kingston, Ontario, Pictou and Halifax, Nova Scotia and then on to England, Northern Ireland and Scotland. From Great Britain, the Corps travelled by ship through the Suez Canal to Egypt, Gibraltar, Malta, Arabia, Ceylon, Hong Kong, Manila, Guam, and finally as the war ended he came home through Pearl Harbour and British Columbia. Growing up, and even as an adult, I was unaware that my father had travelled to most of these places.

In every family there are stories that are unknown, untold, seldom heard and over time are forgotten. While reading through all of his correspondence, I could not help but feel that there was an interesting story and an important one to share with my family. I did not want to see that story lost so I decided to undertake making this book a reality. My hope with this book is to share, through my father’s correspondence and other documents and details handed down to me, a vignette of his life at a time of great personal discovery and also a time of historic and national significance. Military service and travel are both strong catalysts for changing a person. The effect is even more pronounced when the two are joined together in a wartime environment. This book provides a picture, a snapshot if you will, of that period and of a young man coming to terms with his relationship with his mother and of his discovery of the woman who became the love of his life.

Comments ( 0 )

Coming Soon | Crisis in the Congo

Coming in September

A new CIA operative, Tom Russell, continues his adventures in Africa!

First introduced in The New Casablanca | Madness in Liberia… when the United States needs a tough man, to count on in Africa, they send in a Marine—Russell.

One of the most tragic stories in the history of Africa unfolded in the dark abyss of the Congo.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) could not escape widespread and unprecedented violence from rogue rebel forces, mercenaries, and criminal enterprises. Corruption, illegal smuggling, and ungoverned regions in the deep jungle helped ruthless thugs exploit the Congo’s vast, untapped mineral wealth. One of the world’s most remote locations, the  Belgian Congo, could not move beyond the epic inhumanity inflicted by its former colonial ruler. Under Belgian rule the practice of cutting off arms to maintain order was a common occurrence; just one example of brutality beyond conception inflicted on the Congolese. Even after emerging from colonial rule in 1960, a despot, Joseph Mobutu, forced his way to power after the assassination of Patrice Lumumba. Under Mobutu’s rule, death became commonplace and widespread violence blanketed the Congo and spilled over into neighboring peaceful countries. Western countries stood idly by as Africa’s first large-scale war claimed nearly five million lives over its nine year period.

* * *

Crisis in the Congo by Anthony C. FabianoIn 2006, American Marine Corps officer, Tom Russell, on loan to the Central Intelligence Agency, arrives in the Congo. His mission: to help keep the peace in preparation for the upcoming DRC Presidential election. In Kinshasa he finds a nation on the brink of destruction. As the country and region spiral out of control, many factions transform the Congo into a blood-drenched powder keg: Belgians still play a vital economic role in their former colony; former Soviet Union KGB funnel blood diamonds out of the country; North Koreans and Iranians search for black market uranium; al-Qaeda wants a foothold in Africa; Hezbollah operatives smuggle weapons, and corrupt government officials seek personal gain. Greed governs everyday life and fuels the obliteration of hope for the Congolese.

Russell faces those determined to keep the Congo in utter chaos and he is not about to let that happen. He encounters an old lover, an Israeli Mossad agent, who arrives in the Congo  searching for a missing atomic bomb sold in the early 1970s to South Africa; believed to have been  traded to the former Congo President Mobutu for blood diamonds. Raw emotions from their torrid and never fully forgotten love affair further complicate a mission whose stakes have grown exponentially higher. His mentor, a British Colonel who works for MI6, arrives in Kinshasa to provide much needed assistance and Russell comes into contact with two retired CIA agents who served in the Congo during the 1960s—they teach him more about Africa than he would ever find out and learn on his own.

The focus on stopping the spread of the highest grade of uranium on the world’s black market quickly shifts; as the race is on to track down the loose nuclear weapon first and then control access to the uranium deposits. The fast paced action illustrates the true nature, challenges and complexity of clandestine operations in the Congo and highlights the struggle for stability in modern day Africa.

Comments ( 0 )

Crisis in the Congo

Crisis in the Congo by Anthony C. Fabiano

A new CIA operative, Tom Russell, continues his adventures in Africa!

First introduced in Madness in Liberia… when the United States needs a tough man, to count on in Africa, they send in a Marine—Russell.

One of the most tragic stories in the history of Africa unfolded in the dark abyss of the Congo.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) could not escape widespread and unprecedented violence from rogue rebel forces, mercenaries, and criminal enterprises. Corruption, illegal smuggling, and ungoverned regions in the deep jungle helped ruthless thugs exploit the Congo’s vast, untapped mineral wealth. One of the world’s most remote locations, the  Belgian Congo, could not move beyond the epic inhumanity inflicted by its former colonial ruler. Under Belgian rule the practice of cutting off arms to maintain order was a common occurrence; just one example of brutality beyond conception inflicted on the Congolese. Even after emerging from colonial rule in 1960, a despot, Joseph Mobutu, forced his way to power after the assassination of Patrice Lumumba. Under Mobutu’s rule, death became commonplace and widespread violence blanketed the Congo and spilled over into neighboring peaceful countries. Western countries stood idly by as Africa’s first large-scale war claimed nearly five million lives over its nine year period.

* * *

American Marine Corps officer, Tom Russell, on loan to the Central Intelligence Agency, arrives in the Congo. His mission: to help keep the peace in preparation for the upcoming DRC Presidential election. In Kinshasa he finds a nation on the brink of destruction. As the country and region spiral out of control, many factions transform the Congo into a blood-drenched powder keg: Belgians still play a vital economic role in their former colony; former Soviet Union KGB funnel blood diamonds out of the country; North Koreans and Iranians search for black market uranium; al-Qaeda wants a foothold in Africa; Hezbollah operatives smuggle weapons, and corrupt government officials seek personal gain. Greed governs everyday life and fuels the obliteration of hope for the Congolese.

Russell faces those determined to keep the Congo in utter chaos and he is not about to let that happen. He encounters an old lover, an Israeli Mossad agent, who arrives in the Congo  searching for a missing atomic bomb sold in the early 1970s to South Africa; believed to have been  traded to the former Congo President Mobutu for blood diamonds. Raw emotions from their torrid and never fully forgotten love affair further complicate a mission whose stakes have grown exponentially higher. His mentor, a British Colonel who works for MI6, arrives in Kinshasa to provide much needed assistance and Russell comes into contact with two retired CIA agents who served in the Congo during the 1960s—they teach him more about Africa than he would ever find out and learn on his own.

The focus on stopping the spread of the highest grade of uranium on the world’s black market quickly shifts; as the race is on to track down the loose nuclear weapon first and then control access to the uranium deposits. The fast paced action illustrates the true nature, challenges and complexity of clandestine operations in the Congo and highlights the struggle for stability in modern day Africa.

Comments ( 0 )