Cherries: A Vietnam War Novel

Cherries: A Vietnam War Novel


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Cherries: A Vietnam War Novel by John Podlaski

When a soldier leaves for war, those left behind often wonder what their loved ones are experiencing. Letters home are always cheerful and vague - no sense in worrying the family. Then upon returning home, these young soldiers do not want to talk about their experiences. Family and friends allege they are now distant, changed, and not the same person they remember from several months earlier. What causes this?

Although the backdrop for this novel is the Vietnam War, "Cherries" exist in every war. They are the young "Newbie" soldiers, who are trained for war. However, most are not ready to absorb the harsh physical, mental and emotional stress of war. Once they come under fire and witness death firsthand, a life-changing transition begins. This eye-opening account offers readers an in-depth look into the everyday struggles of these young infantry soldiers. You'll feel their fear, awe, drama, and sorrow, witness the bravery and sometimes laugh at their humor.

No two war experiences are the same, but after finishing "Cherries - A Vietnam War Novel", readers will have a much better understanding as to why these changes occur and why our military heroes are different upon their return home. Veterans will relate!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781452879819
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 04/20/2010
Pages: 420
Sales rank: 238,210
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

John Podlaski served in Vietnam during 1970 and 1971 as an infantryman with both the Wolfhounds of the 25th Division and the 501st Infantry Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division. He was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star, two Air Medals, and a Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. He has spent the years since Vietnam working in various management positions within the automotive industry, and he recently received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. John is a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154 and lives with his wife, Janice, in Sterling Heights, Michigan. This is his first novel.

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Cherries: A Vietnam War Novel 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
ApexReviews More than 1 year ago
Over the past 30 years, many accounts have been written of the brutal realities of the Vietnam War. Chronicling everything from the harsh conditions in which the soldiers were forced to live to the widespread death that surrounded them, said accounts have often spared no detail in highlighting the grim circumstances of the monumental conflict. Throughout the pages of Cherries: A Vietnam War Novel, though, author John Podlaski treats the reader to an up-close-and-personal look at a specific subset of the Vietnam War: its effects on the naïve young recruits who fought in it. Dubbed "Cherries" by their more seasoned peers, these newbies suddenly found themselves thrust in the middle of a nightmarish scenario for which not even their worst dreams could prepare them; as such, they were hardly ready to absorb the harsh mental, emotional, and physical toll that the conflict would eventually take on them. Literally forced to become men overnight, the Cherries had to learn quick to make life-or-death decisions, the consequences of which not only impacted their own lives - but also those of their fellow soldiers. With striking detail and brutal honesty, Cherries is nothing if not compelling. Largely compiled from Podlaski's real life experiences, his eye-opening account offers the readers an in depth look into the everyday struggles with which the young recruits were forced to contend. The reader may find it surprising though, to learn that - despite the death, terror, and mayhem that surrounded them - the soldiers were often able to find humor in their situations, even to the extent of adopting quite self-deprecating ways of looking at their own fates. One can only assume that the tremendous psychological toll of war gives rise to this unexpected phenomenon, as being confronted with the glaring prospect of your own mortality every day surely fosters a profound, unique appreciation of the frailties of the human psyche. Every bit as gritty and shocking as can be imagined, Cherries: A Vietnam War Novel is a refreshingly honest account of a life few of us would ever choose to live - and, thus, should feel fortunate that we don't have to. A highly recommended read. Karynda Lewis Apex Reviews
wandererDE More than 1 year ago
I gave this work 2-stars because it needed extensive rehabilitation by an editor before printing. It wasn't given that luxury and the result is a demeaning account of otherwise astonishing events as recounted in fourth grade English. I am old now. The sights and smells of the Bassac River, Saigon, and the Mekong will forever be a part of me. One hundred eighty-seven days then 2 years of rehabilitation brought me the full distance from a Pan American landing at Tan Son Nhut to waking up in a hospital in Japan. There is nothing inaccurate about the content of Cherries. I did not hump the highlands, we haunted the rivers, channels and canals of the Delta in 1966-67. I just wish this tome was written better. It deserves it...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All too often we read books where the authors write from their LACK of experience. John Podlaski writes and brings what only could be accomplished by someone with personal on the ground experience. In 1975 I joined the Army, went Infantry and was surrounded by Vietnam Combat Veterans who shared their experiences and stories with us Cherries. Reading John Podlaski’s Cherries quickly brought back the similarities of shared accounts and training provided by the Vietnam Veterans. Cherries immediately conveyed a story and message of firsthand experience, providing detail, heart, soul and experiences. Cherries is what can be considered an authentic story that anyone who was or still is in the Infantry can quickly identify and relate with. John Podlaski has incorporated connections with characters, life in the bush, tactics and blended them into stories within stories. While there is plenty of action, it is the detail that draws the reader into a learning experience about life in the Vietnam jungle, about relationships, loss and surviving what was called the “Nam.” If you’re a Vietnam Veteran you’ll understand and relate… If you want to learn and understand what it was like in the real Vietnam then this is the book. If you’re looking for the Hollywood war movie, this is not it…this is the real deal. Warren Martin author – Forgotten Soldiers: What Happened to Jacob Walden
BonesJK More than 1 year ago
I have not yet finished Johns book, but I can tell you that I am right next to John while reading. Seeing what those young men had to go thru just to stay alive. Sometimes that didn't not happen and the loss that was felt at home and in the field that is why you never knew their names. Everyone should read this book to understand why our Men and Woman from Vietnam had such a hard time fitting in when they came home and still are.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These were my father's stories, my history. I wish they could have the understanding and support they deserved! I too now wonder what happened to the characters!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I landed in Vietnam in May of 1967 at the age of 18 and less than one year out of high school. This book brought back so many memories and experiences that I went through. Any Vietnam veteran can relate to this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pads in. "May i join?"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok after he returns from silverclan hell talk to her. Tell me at silverclan if ya want something. Bye
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Silverclan is under attack. Go to under dogs res 1 and help please."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Just came back from the Capitol of Minnesota!! It was beautiful..."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She purrs and looks around then chases a leaf.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonr be on for awhile that means the other two i rp wont be on