Life on the front lines in Vietnam — 50 years ago

"What you read in these pages is what I remember-- every day."

~ Charles Kniffen, author

 

Charles Kniffen's true story reveals the lasting hardships and struggles of combat, even fifty years later. Seven months of combat in Vietnam transformed to hurtful, unforgettable effects for Kniffen and his loved ones. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, can rule Kniffen's life. Now, he reveals this unfair ruling through Fifty Years in a Foxhole.

Book overview:

Fifty Years in a Foxhole is an episodic account of the author's seven months in combat in Vietnam. He and his platoon were in several major engagements including the Battle of the Hills and Operation Utah. The main focus of these operations are the lives of the marines and attrition through action and "friendly fire" as they endure these pointless dangers.

Each chapter contains two parts, and the second part is about the author's fifty years of living with undiagnosed PTSD. He struggled to find a way to live in the thrall of the existential elan he developed in combat while insisting that this edgy verve could be enjoyed without the constant threat of fear, violence, and death. It explores PTSD from a new perspective, more as a shared betrayal with many other people in our society.

Book review:

"Charles Kniffen is a natural writer - the words just flow. Intense, to be sure, but also compelling. He tells the story of his time in Vietnam, and what followed that time. They say "war is hell" but just because the war ends does not mean the warriors can ever come home, at least not as the same person. If I say any more I'll say too much, and not as well as Kniffen does."

~ John D. Rule, Amazon Customer

 

About the author:

Charles Kniffen is a combat wounded veteran of the Vietnam war. He obtained a GED while serving in the Marine Corps and earned a Master's Degree in Philosophy from Uconn. Previous to his college education, Charles worked as a truck driver, a milkman, and a herdsman on a New England dairy farm. He was employed as a Mental Health Worker, a Licensed Social Worker, and a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor in Albuquerque, NM. The uncontested high point in his job-hopping, entry-level career was working with autistic children to write, develop, and produce a series of puppet plays.

Charles attends a Combat Veteran's group in Machias, ME and has been an all-season solo kayaker for two decades, plying the North Atlantic from Spring Point to the Bay of Fundy. He and his wife, Rhonda Welcome are the co-owners of Turtle Dance Totems, a sea-junk assemblage art studio and they are leading a community project to recover and re-articulate the skeleton of a 55' finback whale buried in the mud flats of Mowry Beach, Lubec, Maine.

To purchase:

Sunbury Press Store

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

by Charles Kniffen

SUNBURY PRESS

Trade paperback - 6 x 9 x .8

9781620061602

265 Pages

BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Military

HISTORY / Military / Vietnam War

HISTORY / United States / 20th Century

For publicity information, contact:
publicity@sunburypress.com

World War 2 atrocities in the Pacific recalled by Navy Seabee in new book “Dreams of My Comrades: The Story of MM1C Murray Jacobs”

World War 2 atrocities in the Pacific recalled by Navy Seabee in new book “Dreams of My Comrades: The Story of MM1C Murray Jacobs”

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Sunbury Press has released Dreams of My Comrades: The Story of MM1C Murray Jacobs by Scott Zuckerman, MD.

About the Book:

When a ninety-five-year-old World War II veteran from Utah agrees to reveal the untold details of his wartime experiences to a pediatrician from Brooklyn, an intense bond is formed between the two men, each of whom is taken on an unexpected journey in search of the truth.

Dreams of My Comrades chronicles the life of Murray Jacobs, a former Navy Seabee, who served in the Pacific Theater and was treated for PTSD until his death at the age of ninety-eight. He agreed to a series of interviews, under the strict conditions that his real name could not be used, and the details of the conversations could not be disclosed to anyone until after he was dead.

Murray’s story is not one of heroism, nor does he portray himself as heroic in his narrative. In the course of his dialogue with the author, Murray confesses to wartime atrocities the likes of which have never before been heard. Despite his advanced age, his recollections are entirely lucid, and he describes the events of his life in vivid detail. As the conversations progress, however, the author comes to recognize the challenges involved in trying to depict history based on the account of a single elderly man. Discrepancies lead to doubts, doubts lead to disbelief, disbelief leads to investigation, and after exhausting all possible avenues of research, unanswered questions linger and tantalize. This is a unique story, one that will not only appeal to connoisseurs of history but to anyone interested in the psychology of the human condition. It is unlike any narrative ever told about a veteran of the Second World War.

About the Author:

Dr. Scott Zuckerman was born in Brooklyn, New York, and attended Stuyvesant High School in lower Manhattan. His high school English teacher, Frank McCourt—who would later win a Pulitzer Prize for his memoir, Angela’s Ashes—inscribed in his yearbook, “You have displayed the writer’s gift. Cultivate it.” Forty years later, after a successful career as a physician, Zuckerman has heeded McCourt’s advice. Dreams of My Comrades was awarded first place in the nonfiction category of the 2015 Utah Original Writing Competition.

What Others Are Saying:

“I found Dreams of My Comrades captivating. When I put it down at night I was eager to return to it the next day. The author was not only on top of his subject, I found him likable, funny, clever, sympathetic, insightful, and as fair as he could, in good conscience, be. How war atrocities gave way to an unexpected mystery midstream was particularly compelling. The title, which I didn’t think much of in the beginning, turns out to be brilliant.”  —Poe Ballantine, Award-winning author of Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere

by Scott Zuckerman, MD
SUNBURY PRESS
Trade paperback – 6 x 9 x .7
9781620067451
296 Pages
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychopathology / Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
HISTORY / Military / World War II
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Military

Also available on Kindle

For more information, please see:

http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Dreams-of-My-Comrades-9781620067451.htm

Eastwood's "American Sniper" reminds us all of the true cost of war

by Lawrence Knorr

CAMP HILL, PA — As the film ended, after nearly 2 1/2 hours, the credits ran and no one stood.  No one spoke.  No one reached for their phone.  As the last credit rolled, all quietly stood — a room of over 300 movie patrons who were total strangers to one another.  Quietly and politely, as if at a solemn funeral, each exited their rowMV5BMTkxNzI3ODI4Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjkwMjY4MjE@._V1_SX214_AL_ and walked to the door.  Some spoke only in hushed tones as we emptied out.  To say “American Sniper” had an impact on the audience would be an understatement.  It was the most powerful reaction to a film I have ever witnessed.

Why this reaction?  Since there were no exchanges with the patrons, I can only imagine they were thinking similarly to me.  Eastwood’s movie had struck an inner chord of human nature — a deep sense of loss coupled with the sincere respect for Chris Kyle, the Navy Seal played by Bradley Cooper.  But, that’s not the only thing.  In fact, the overriding realization is the cost of war — whether it is the mental anguish a soldier faces, or the horrors the populace in a war zone encounters, or the early deaths of so many on both sides, or the toll on the families back home — during and after the conflict.

This was not a film that glorified war — or the SEALs — or our country’s invasion of  Iraq.  It was not NRA propaganda or a recruiting tool for sniper training.  Those that are trying to make more out of it than an honest appraisal of the human price paid in such conflicts are completely off base.

If nothing else, regardless of our beliefs and all of the disagreements we have among us as Americans, we must rally behind our veterans — especially those that served in battle zones, and especially those that carry the scars, whether physical or mental.  These men and women served our country.  Whether or not you are proud of the results or agreed with the circumstances, I urge you to please support them.

If you haven’t seen the film and are unsure about how you feel about our veterans, the $9.50 per ticket to see “American Sniper” is worth every penny.

WW2 hero Ed Dahlgren's PTSD subject of latest book by daughter Susan Dahlgren Daigneault

Mechanicsburg, PA – Sunbury Press has released author Susan Dahlgren Daigneault’s post World War 2 biography of her famous father who was known as “Maine’s Sergeant York.”  Dahlgren was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Harry Truman in recognition of his heroics during the war. His daughter relates the price paid by the family during the years after.

About the book:
Because American troops are in far off places in this world, fighting for causes that sometimes cost them their lives, and because our veterans from World War II are a dying breed, it is entirely fitting that we save the stories of our veterans so that their experiences and their voices will never be forgotten and so that current generations might learn about the horrors of war and how the impact of battle never really goes away.One such story is about a Maine man who spent World War II as a member of the Texan 36th Infantry Division. In the Shadow of a Mountain tells the life story of one of Maine’s Medal of Honor recipients, Edward C. Dahlgren. It is a timely manuscript in that it details Dahlgren’s struggles with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, a condition affecting many of our military veterans returning from war zones today. It is a book that will help readers to know about the devastation of war and how we must always provide care and comfort for our returning veterans.

When Lieutenant Edward C. Dahlgren stepped off the train that brought him home from a combat experience that should have killed him but didn’t, he wore a chest full of medals, carried a heart full of sorrow for his men who never came home, and was faced with the daunting task of finding a way to live a life worthy of his survival. In November 1945 the guns of World War II were silenced but the battles continued for Lieutenant Dahlgren and many other soldiers who were haunted by the gruesome events of their war. He had lost 40 pounds from his slight frame and suffered from jaundice. He stammered when he tried to talk and his hands shook so badly that he couldn’t hold a cup of coffee without spilling most of it on the counter or in his lap. He suffered night terrors in which German soldiers came back from the dead and pointed their rifles at him. For decades, he suffered in silence until another war erupted and a name was given to his troubles: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

Once described as “Maine’s very own Sergeant York”, a reference to the movie about World War I Medal of Honor recipient Alvin York, Edward Dahlgren received his own Congressional Medal of Honor from President Harry Truman at a White House ceremony in the East Room in August of 1945. Following the ceremony, Dahlgren returned home to Maine’s northern most county to live a life of quiet dignity and amass a legacy of public service. Because of his service to his country in the time of war and his subsequent service to his community and his state in a time of peace, the flags of our country flew at half staff on the day of his funeral and when his passing was announced, The Bangor Daily News honored him with front page coverage.

The book, In the Shadow of a Mountain, is the story of this unassuming hero who grew up without a father in the Swedish colony of Northern Maine, who went to war shortly after his mother’s untimely death, who returned home so poor that he wore his army uniform pants until they wore out, who raised a family of four on a paycheck that sometimes didn’t stretch quite far enough, who instilled a passion for fairness, honesty, hard work, and a love for learning in his children, who gave generously of his time to help establish a veteran’s clinic and nursing home in Northern Maine, and who all the while suffered with PTSD. In the end, the way he lived his life was most definitely worthy of his having survived the horrors of his war. And, the way he lived his life provides lessons for all of us on how to live well even while struggling to do so.

Reviews:
“Sue Daigneault honors her father, the war hero, her father the anguished soldier, her father the man. She writes with passion and unflinching honesty. This book about an embattled World War Two Congressional Medal of Honor recipient could be read by every family of a returning soldier today with a knowing nod. Ed Dahlgren’s life in rural Maine deserves to be remembered.
– Mel Allen, Editor,Yankee Magazine

We all owe Ed Dahlgren a huge debt. At the point of decision, in the midst of ferocious fighting that defined the start of the demise of the Nazis, he demonstrated that rare heroism that changes the course of battle. This book gives us a chance to see what people can do when they know that everything depends on them. Outstanding reading.
— Colonel Jack Jacobs, Medal of Honor recipient, author of “If Not Now, When?”

Edward C. Dahlgren, a Medal of Honor recipient, was a quiet, competent man who stayed off of the skyline, except in firefights on the battlefield. While the majority of the Medal of Honor Society members meet annually, I never met Ed until a deer hunting trip in Maine. He would not attend big events or tell his story; that was not his personality. Our armed forces personnel know their leaders and their true warriors, but no one knows an individual better than a daughter. Sue has done an outstanding job in writing her father’s story, the life of a true American warrior. This is a “must read” for all Americans who appreciate our freedom and love our great country.
— Colonel Wesley Lee Fox USMC (Ret), Medal of Honor recipient, author of “Marine Rifleman: Forty-three Years in the Corps”, “Courage and Fear”, and “Six Essential Elements of Leadership”.

In the Shadow of a Mountain: A Soldier’s Struggle with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Authored by Susan Dahlgren Daigneault
List Price: $16.95
5.5″ x 8.5″ (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on White paper
240 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620061497
ISBN-10: 162006149X
BISAC: History / Military / World War II
Also available on Nook and Kindle

For more information, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/In-the-Shadow-of-a-Mount…