"Sharing can be a way of healing. Grief and loss can isolate,
anger even alienate. Shared with others, emotions unite
as we see we aren't alone. We realize others weep with us."
~Susan Wittig Albert

Through our writing, we walk out of the darkness into the light
together, one small step at a time, recording history, educating
America, and we are healing.
~CJ/Todd Dierdorff

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Book: "Chapter One"

by Bob Staranowicz

Book Description:

When the shiny freedom bird lifted off from Cam Ranh Bay, Vic Charles was leaving physically, but little did he know he would never totally leave that war torn country. 

He returned to his love, Molly, got married, had two boys and settled back into what he perceived to be a normal life. 

Twenty-two years after leaving, strange things began happening to Vic. He was already a successful writer with a widely read first novel. But as he tried to write his second, flashbacks haunted him and he could not get out of “Chapter One” 

The ghosts of Vietnam, his nemesis Viet Cong enemy, the friends he had lost, all came back to remind him that he still left a part of himself in Vietnam. 

Like so many Vietnam Veterans, Vic was coming to realize that the events in his life were not just coincidence or normal. The flashbacks, the constant fear of losing loved ones and his dependence on alcohol were all caused by events experienced in the war. 

The triggers for the flashbacks could be anything from a firecracker going off to a song that took him back to Camp Sting Ray. 

PTSD is real and Vic was dealing with the reality of it now and has been unknowingly since he set foot back on American soil in 1970. 

Vic may not be the “everyman” Vietnam Veteran, but his journey from denial to acceptance is what so many Vietnam Veterans have experienced as they grow older.

Available in Hardcover, Paperback, and Kindle


"I loved this book! It made me laugh, cry and hold my breath. Vic Charles is so real. When I finished the book, I felt a personal relationship with him. I was deeply moved by the story for a few reasons. One, the memories I have of the Vietnam War and the sadness it brought into my family of 10 children. This book takes a hard look at a man who tries to deal with the aftermath of the Vietnam War, day in and day out. It is a book written with a great deal of care and craft. I am looking forward to Chapter Two!" ~Sheila Snyder

"Chapter One - The Story of Vic Charles" in not a war novel.  Instead, it's a story about a Vietnam Veteran - twenty-two years after leaving the war zone (circa 1991). Vic Charles is a successful author, his earlier book addressed the stereotyping of Vietnam Veterans, debunking the myths, monikers and finally bringing honor to the veterans of that political war. Victor became an instant celebrity - the book was selling well above expectations, and soon the many letters of thanks and appreciation from grateful veterans and family members began to overwhelm him. He read them all and responded to those he could! Both the Vietnam War and the Veteran's return home are common threads between them all. Iraq War Veterans were returning home to airport crowds, parades and special treatment - Vietnam Veterans are hurt and angry, their homecoming brought them to empty airports and protesters, rude confrontations, blackballed from certain jobs and then blamed for the war itself. It just isn't fair!" ~John Podlaski [Author of "Cherries - A Vietnam War Novel"]

"I am not an avid reader but when I started reading Chapter One I couldn't put it down. It seems from reading the reviews of others it had the same effect. My time in Vietnam overlapped the author's and this great book conjured up many memories of my time there." 

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." ~Dennis

"I simply can not adequately put into words how much I enjoyed and learned from this book. 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!"
~Elmer K.

About the Author:

Bob Staranowicz was born in Philadelphia and served with the 101st Airborne in Vietnam. He is a graduate of LaSalle University and has Bachelor's and Master's degrees. 

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

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