While looking for a Vietnam Veteran’s website which might allow me to advertise my book on their site, I found John Podlaski and his website: (http://www.cherrieswriter.wordpress.com). I contacted John and we agreed to read each other books. We also agreed to write reviews and promote each other’s websites. I have looked at several Vietnam Veteran’s websites, however, John’s is over the top. His site is so extensive and captivating, I have spent hours on it and only experienced a fraction of the total. I encourage any Vietnam Veteran or anyone interested in the true story of Vietnam, to visit his site. You will not be disappointed
John has two books and I read his first “Cherries”. I enjoyed the book and it enlightened me on how hard the Army ground troops had it. I intend on posting my review comments on any of the sites John has his book listed. I look forward to reading and reviewing his second book, “When Can I Stop Running?”.
I will echo other reviewers in stating if you are looking for an exceptionally written novel with character development and a progressive theme, then this is not the book for you. However, if you are looking for a GREAT historical fiction, which brings to light the terror, sacrifice, and heroics of the Army field troops during the Vietnam War, then you need to read this one. John Podlaski took his personal experiences serving as an Army draftees and told a story that enlightened the reader to the realities of the Vietnam War. It is told from the viewpoint of the ground troops (Grunts) expounding on the personal terror for daily survival. We now know Vietnam was a political war where the military commanders were required to put their troops in reckless jeopardy to satisfy the demands of the leaders in Washington. This book brings to light the grotesque reality of the Vietnam War. A must read for any Vietnam Veteran.
In 1970, John Kowalski is one of many young, naive teenage soldiers sent to Vietnam to fight in an unpopular war. Dubbed “Cherries” by their more seasoned peers, these newbies suddenly found themselves thrust into the middle of a terrible nightmare – literally forced to become men overnight. On-the-job-training is intense, however, most of these teenagers were hardly ready to absorb the harsh mental, emotional, and physical stress of war. When coming under enemy fire for the first time and witnessing death first-hand, a life changing transition begins…one that can’t be reversed.
The author is an excellent story teller, readers testify that they are right there with the characters, joining them in their quest for survival, sharing the fear, awe, drama and sorrow, witnessing bravery and sometimes, even laughing at their humor. It’s a story that is hard to put down.
When soldiers return home from war, all are different – changed for life. “Cherries” tells it like it is and when finished, readers will better understand what these young men have to endure, and why change is imminent. All of these veterans should be embraced, welcomed home and thanked for their service. Vietnam vets and anyone who has been a young soldier in any war will appreciate the sentiments here.
Cherries is a work of fiction. Although the places and units actually existed, they are used by the author in a fictitious manner for this work. All characters in this work are fictional. Any names or characteristics to any person past, present, or future are purely coincidental.
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 spent the years since Vietnam working in management positions within the automotive industry and recently received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. John is a life member of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154 and lives with his wife of 43 years, Janice, in Sterling Heights, Michigan. Both retired in 2013 and spend their days pursuing interests they enjoy. John published his second book in June, 2016.