NIGHT FLARES: Six Tales of the Vietnam War
Author Robert M. Pacholik, a two-tour Vietnam combat veteran,is proud to announce the “e-book,” and paperback release of a unique “hybrid” short story collection, and two non-fiction historical segments about America’s most controversial war.
Pacholik, who served 22 months in Vietnam (1968-69), as an Army photographer and journalist, released Night Flares: Six Tales of the Vietnam War on April 30, 2013, the 38th anniversary date of the fall of the Saigon government.
And 45 years after the most significant turning point in the war, the beginning of the Tet Offensive in late-January, and early February of 1968.
According to the Carmichael, CA. resident, the six, first-person stories, together with a detailed “Prelude” and a historically accurate “Aftermath” map out important facts about a soldier’s “Tour of Duty” in the war zone, and deepen our understanding of the personal sacrifices the men paid, who served there.
“Aftermath,” the third element in this important short story collection/commentary, spells out significant details about the military, political, and social movements of the times.
The personalities, the battles, and the Presidential policies that unfolded between 1964-1975, are a stark reminder of the importance of this conflict. And a warning about our future.
“The stories and history are as accurate as I can make them,” Pacholik said, weaving his nearly 35 year-long study of the conflict, together with his own personal combat experiences.
“I wrote the book to give readers an intimate glimpse into the lives of soldiers/sailors/airmen/marines/and coast guardsmen who served there. I also recorded their stories to honor their sacrifice, and present important turning points that too often get lost in the emotions of the era,” the former Chicago resident said.
“Prelude” sets the stage for the first of the stories, “The Great Cong Ly Grand Prix”, a farcical look at two enlisted men prowling the seedy streets of Saigon late at night on February 1, 1968, as the Tet Offensive engulfs the city and the country in all-out urban warfare, and the terrible struggle that will follow.
Story #2 in the series, “So I Says to him, Jack”, is a far more bruising, close-up look at the wreckage and human costs of guerilla warfare in the early days of February 1968.
Story #3, “A Killing on Bui Vien Street” tells the personal and intense tale of urban warfare 44 days before the Tet Offensive was unleashed on South Vietnam.
“If you have ever been really afraid, this story will speak to you in ways you may not even be able to articulate," Pacholik said, reliving his own personal experiences in urban combat, in the jungles, on landing zones, and at the Fire Support Bases of 1968-69.
“dappled light” the fourth offering in the “e-book” and paperback books,takes you inside the poetic mind of a young infantryman who cannot stop reliving the sights, the sounds, the smells, the feel of close-quarter combat, years after he returns from the war.
Story #5, “Felicity Under Glass” highlights the struggles of a disjointed family dealing with the aftermath of war, “back in the world.”
Roll the tape 35 years forward, and you are thrown into the maelstrom of “My Country Tis,…” the deliberations of a criminal court's jury trying to deliver justice in a murder trial in California. As with the other stories, impressions and distant memories of war creep into even this isolated corner of our society.
The concluding segment of NIGHT FLARES, “Aftermath,” is a 27 plus page-long, historically-accurate, condensation of the events, the policies, and the personalities of those who orchestrated and controlled the war. Also a special emphasis on key decisions and waypoints we can take from this most painful moment in American history.
“Forty-five years after those searing images of Vietnam flashed across our TV screens, Vietnam’s legacy of misguided intentions, deception, and human loss still haunt us,” the 70 plus year-old author said.
“If we have learned anything from our past, it is that the bruising lessons of war gets repeated on each new generation, regardless of geography, politics, or good intentions,”Pacholik added.
“If we fail to understand our mistakes, or how to guard against repeating them, our future and our past become one,” he concluded.
NIGHT FLARES is available in e-book form on Amazon.com and KoboBooks.com, for use on smartphones, reading devices, tablets, and PCs.
A limited number of: Signed, Numbered,1st edition, paperbacks are available direct from the Author.