Paperback, 363 Pages
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Robert “Bobby” Washkowiak battles his way through the bitter first winter of the Korean War, longing for home, his wife, and newborn son. Fifty years later, his son and grandson come across his wartime letters and together, they try to find out what really happened to him on one of the battlefields of that “forgotten war.”
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May 29, 2012This is truly a work of art. Mr Miller captures every aspect of the ordeal and confusion families go through when they lose someone to war. From the reactions of the older family members suppressing painful memories to the curiosities of the younger generation mining for more information, this book has me hanging on every word and feeling every emotion. Mr Miller has either experienced this firsthand or precisely placed himself in another one's experience very effectively. This book bestows remembrance and amplifies honor to those who deserve it, our MIA/KIA/POW's and their families.
Jul 18, 2011War Remains by Jeffrey Miller is an excellent read. Never having been a history buff due to teachers and professors who made it less than enjoyable for me, I am truly grateful for authors like Mr. Miller who can take me through the Korean War days in a way that attaches it to people and emotions and the reality of how it affected families. When I think about the title War Remains I asked myself as I was reading it, just what the author had in mind. The title can certainly have multiple meanings. The obvious seems to be that many of our military were left behind in Korea and families were told they were MIA and unless their remains were to be found and identified, that would continue to be their classification. From my research, it appears that we have MIA status for approximately 10,000 of our military. One fifth of those are from Vietnam, and the other four-fifths from the Korean War. Have I ever once given thought about the family members that have been affected in this way? I’m... More > ashamed to say that I don’t think so. War Remains has touched me in a very special way. This book led me to research what has been happening for these families. Hence, to me, the title can also mean that this war remains in the hearts of the survivors. Jeffrey Miller’s book will open the hearts and the eyes of those who have lived their lives unaffected by the Korean War. I thank him for that gift. It should also prove as a source of hope for families still waiting to have closure. Mr. Miller begins his book with the discovery of a trunk in an attic. This trunk then finds its way to the son of Sgt. First Class Robert (Bobby) Francis Washkowiak, Ronnie Washkowiak. The trunk contains many letters from Bobby to his wife, Mary, and their infant son, Ronnie. When Bobby heads off to war, it is his small beloved family that keeps him going through his time in Korea. The book uses his many letters, which are then read by Ronnie, and his son, Michael to take us to the time and place when Bobby is writing the letters to his beloved wife. In this way, we see the side of war from the Korean War happenings which the author does a superb job of writing, telling readers about what the GIs in Korea were facing and about the many battles and the fact that the Korean War is called a “forgotten war.” Then we move back to present day, when Bobby’s family is always wondering what happened to their father, grandfather, and husband. Just how long should a young woman with a young son hold out hope for her loved one to return? How long should one wait to accept that your husband has probably been killed? Mr. Miller does a superb job of transitioning back and forth between time frames. Mr. Miller has very successfully written a story that shines light onto what many American families have experienced. It is a beautiful love story, shown through the many letters from Bobby to Mary. It is a war story, in that we see the Korean War up close and personal, through Bobby and his GI buddies. We see our military heroes returning to the States never knowing what happened to buddies that they had gotten close to during their service to our country. It is not always easy reading when you encounter the Chinese in the rice paddies in the deep of night. But it is encouraging to know that some families have received closure when DNA has been matched to the remains of their loved one. I highly recommend War Remains to readers…this book has touched me deeply and is sticking with me both in my mind and my heart days after completing it. War Remains is a very impressive first novel for Jeffrey Miller.< Less
Apr 13, 2011Jeffrey I have to say that this is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. The storyline is so moving, and you’ve made the characters come to life. I would love to see this made into a movie.
Dec 5, 2010War Remains is a must read! Jeffrey Miller penned a fantastic novel about a loving family’s quest to learn more about Robert “Bobby” Washkowiak, who was listed as MIA during the Korean Conflict. The story first introduces us to Bobby and his closest friends from advanced military training, Harold and Walter, who have all arrived together in Korea during the fall of 1950. The U.N. troops had the North Koreans on the run and retreating to the North. Victory was eminent and it was rumored that the American troops would be home for Christmas. We are then introduced to Bobby’s wife, Mary and their young son, Ronnie via the many letters written home from the war. Bobby was deeply in love with this woman and wanted her not to worry about him while he was fighting this war. It would soon be over, he’d write, and they would all be together again. In fact, he promised to return home. Then the Chinese enter the war and it is the U.N. troops that are retreating. Human waves of Chinese soldiers... More > attack and penetrate defensive perimeters, forcing the American soldiers and those of other nations to hastily retreat south in an attempt to survive the onslaught. Only to be led through a gauntlet of enemy soldiers where many soldiers did not make it through to safety. Several decades later, we find that Ronnie had survived his own war in Vietnam and later married and had a son of his own, Michael. Both men come upon a footlocker that had been stashed in the attic and long forgotten in Mary’s former home. Inside, they find a treasure trove of letters, pictures and other memorabilia that had been sent home from Bobby to his wife while fighting in the forgotten war. Their mother and grandmother had saved everything! Michael takes it upon himself to study the Korean conflict and battles, reading and re-reading his grandfather’s letters in an attempt to trace his route through time. He was surprised to find so many similarities between his grandfather’s letters home and the stories of others. He was finding that he could soon predict what the next letter might say. Jeff does an excellent job taking the reader though a time machine, back and forth between current day and then moving back to spend some time with Bobby and his close friends in 1950 and 1951. The author also had a knack for knowing when to switch gears and move to a different time. In fact, it was something like this that caused me to stay up much later than I should have so I can go back in time and find out what happened next. Great job Jeffrey! War Remains is a highly recommended read; it’s not only a war novel, but a story of love, hope and honor. Bobby made a promise to return home to his wife and family. Does he live up to it? Read the book and find out. John Podlaski Author of Cherries, A Vietnam War Novel< Less
Nov 23, 2010Prepare to dive into a gripping story, a human story of lives touched and changed by war. The characters come to life in a way that will make you feel like you know them personally. War Remains is a "must read" book.
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- Jeffrey Miller (Standard Copyright License)
- Second Edition
- Jeffrey Miller
- September 19, 2011
- Perfect-bound Paperback
- Interior Ink
- Black & white
- 1.34 lbs.
- Dimensions (inches)
- 6 wide x 9 tall
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