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  • By johndotpodlaskiatgmaildotcom
    Oct 10, 2011
    5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling.....A must read for veterans and those interested in the Vietnam War., September 16, 2011 By David B. Simmons (Lee, MA) This review is from: Cherries : A Vietnam War Novel (Paperback) As a combat infantry veteran of the Vietnam War (1st Cavalry 1968-69) I found this novel a compelling read. Originally I was a bit wary of a novel, as some like The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien tend to get a bit "carried away" with the story-telling aspects, leaving very large doubts about any reality of the content. But within the first fifteen minutes of Cherries I was totally "hooked". While a novel is by definition fictitious, this book meets that criterion only in the use of fictitious names and perhaps a bit of license in the narratives. However, it is totally evident the author is describing events he actually experienced.... You cannot hide that from a fellow "grunt". The book is entertaining, colorful, educational, highly... More > descriptive and convincing. The author delivers his story with such style and realism you feel you are standing alongside him throughout his transition from a young draftee "Cherry" to a seasoned combat veteran of both the 25th Infantry Division Wolfhounds and subsequently the Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne Division. This "dual service" was the result of the time period known as Vietnamization, or the process of turning military responsibilities back over to the ARVN (Southern Vietnamese) troops as American forces withdrew. When the 25th left, soldiers with less than a predetermined time in service were transferred to other units. What makes this book exceptionally interesting to another veteran is the comparison of serving with both divisions, as operating procedures in the two areas (the South vs. the rugged Central Highlands)were significantly different. While events can be communicated in various ways by different authors, Mr. Podlaski is an artist, creating a detailed illustration as opposed to a rough sketch, adding the appropriate narrative to bring the entire story to life. His accounts are highly accurate in their description of not only the infantry soldier but so much more. To summarize this book in a one-liner...... "It grabs you by the belt buckle and pulls you as close to a war experience as you can get, without having been there." I highly recommend this book to all readers - veterans, non-veterans, students, history buffs, and anyone else interested in the Vietnam War era. You will learn many things you likely didn't know, or have your dimming memory from forty - some years earlier refreshed. David B. Simmons - Author Our Turn to Serve - An Army Veteran's Memoir of the Vietnam War (Xlibris 8.15.2011)< Less
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Product Details

Revised Edition
John Podlaski
October 6, 2011
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
1.65 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
Product ID
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