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Chapter One: The Story of Vic Charles Paperback – January 21, 2011
About the Author
Staranowicz served with the 101st Airborne in Vietnam. He is a gradute of LaSalle University and has Bachelor's and Master's degrees. The author writes part time, his daytime job is in the Information Technology field.
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Mr. Charles sets out to write a second book to address the veteran homecomings. Unfortunately, his exposure to the many discussions about the Vietnam War over the last couple of years became a distraction to him, resulting in "writer's block" which keeps him stuck in a wordless chapter one. When in Vietnam, Vic had to kill the enemy to save himself and also witnessed other atrocities of war. These memories had been locked away for years, but lately, a special song on the radio, a movie, witnessing an accident or just seeing a sign during a relaxing drive begin triggering flashbacks and nightmares, snippets of Vic's time in Vietnam. These continue throughout the story - moving readers back and forth in time. Victor has been blacking out on occasion and doesn't know how to fix this - he turns to alcohol which only makes things worse.
One thing Vic has going for him is his loving wife and children. He first met his wife Molly prior to going to Vietnam. They fell deeply in love - she was the reason to survive the war. He wanted more than anything to hug and kiss her one more time. Molly was his savior back then...she senses something is wrong...is she too late? Can she save him?
As a reader of "Chapter One", one soon realizes that Vic Charles has severe PTSD. We have front row seats in the balcony, watching intently to see how Vic plays out his cards in the game of life. We can see there is a problem and understand why. This disorder was not recognized in 1991 and soon veterans from modern wars began suffering and exhibiting the same behavior. Today, the VA has made great inroads in helping veterans with PTSD; veterans should not hesitate to go there for that help.
On a final note, editing and formatting issues within the book is costing the story its' fifth star. However, with some polishing, this diamond will sparkle! Great job Bob Staranowicz!
John Podlaski, author
Cherries - A Vietnam War Novel
Chapter One is extremely well written in a flash bask style. While the story line is fiction, my intuition gives me the distinct feeling that most of the events that happened in the book, actually happened. It seems that circumstances were altered to protect the identities of actual individuals, but all this did really happen in some form or another.
The details of the story were significant for me. I was a college student during the Vietnam War. The draft hanging over me gave me an incentive to stay in school at times when I wanted to quit. Upon graduation, I was set to enlist in the Navy with a deal, that I know know from reading this book, was entirely bogus. When I eventually became draft eligible, the war was winding down. I was safe in the draft lottery and did not have to go. Sometimes over the years I felt a bit of guilt and regret for not being involved. Reading this book released me from those feelings and made me respect all the more those that were there.
Once I started this book I could not put it down. I kept reading because the author's great writing style made me want to see how everything resolved. The ending was amazing. I was sad when I finished the book because it was like saying goodbye to a friend that I knew well and I would never see again. I do hope that there will be a Chapter Two.
I recommend this book most highly. Bravo, for a book well written!!
Some good memories and some bad. I hadn't had contact with anyone I served with since I was discharged until I accidentally came across Chapter One. Then I realized I knew the author Bob. We served with the HHC 501st Signal Bn at Camp Eagle, Vietnam.
Good job Bob Staranowicz. I hope you have another book in your future.