Introducing Ronald J. Wichers, author of Collected Stories

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Ronald J. Wichers was born in Lake Ronkonkoma, New York. He studied History and Literature at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, until drafted into the United States Army in 1970. He was assigned to a rifle company with the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam and, after sustaining the loss of a limb, was awarded the Purple Heart Medal, the Army Commendation Medal for Heroism, the Bronze Star Medal. He later studied theology, at the Graduate Theological Union, in Berkeley California.

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Book description…

“My God. I honestly don’t know how that kind of stuff could happen. I come from a really good family.” Among the other items collected here, the nine Myrmidon stories are of men drafted into military Service and assigned to an infantry company, in a combat zone, and once there to fight to the death if need be. These are glimpses of little people trapped into a wide and sweeping conflagration; moreover, they are descriptions of the kinds of things that can and do go wrong in war, any war but especially one in which the troops are given no clear reason as to why they are to kill or be killed. While there were many stories of true heroism that came out of the war in Vietnam, those examples of self-sacrifice are, in a way, clouded, by an overall sense that none of it should ever have been allowed to happen. If there was any “Glory” to be had there it was on the side of the Vietnamese people in defense of their homeland. Myrmidons was written not because I’m a glass-half-empty type but, rather, as a kind of prayer, a cry, a hope that this kind of thing – our nation’s propensity for wildly and recklessly careening around the world, guns blazing – may never happen again. They are intended as a warning to anyone entering military service to be made aware that, when it comes to war, there is no such thing as a neat “surgical strike” or a “cake walk.” It’s a ragged, messy, bloody affair in which, even with the best of intentions, everyone suffers, especially the “little people.”

Introducing Linda Klein Means, author of Passport to the World

“Lisa was very patient with my poor computer skills!”

Linda Klein Means has spent her life writing and teaching. She was a reporter and editor for her college newspaper, then a feature writer for The Wilmington (Del) Morning News and Evening Journal, followed by similar posts at The Chicago Tribune and US News and World Report magazine. She has taught ESL in college and privately, and free-lanced. She lives near Boston with her husband, close to her daughter and three beautiful granddaughters.

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Book description…

From the Midwest to Paris…Former Chicago Tribune reporter Linda Klein Means was born on a farm in Illinois and raised with strong values amidst family tragedies. Follow her travels through the world of newspapers, after which she spent years in Venezuela, Brazil and France, each offering amazing insights into other cultures while providing fertile breeding grounds for hilarious adventures and misadventures. Learn how the power of a grandmother’s love shined before her like a guiding star. Although she approached the abyss more than once, that guiding light made sure she never fell over the edge. Think with her about the issues surrounding Down Syndrome, a condition affecting her beloved brother John. Think with her about issues of racial “purity” while she and members of her Norwegian-American family look more closely into their heritage. Think with her about “unconscious” prejudice,” the ways in which we sometimes hurt others without meaning to, without even knowing we did. Only a dose of “Amazing Grace” will save us from that. Enter a very special church in Paris with her, and think about the ways in which it symbolizes the long, complex, and rewarding relationship between the United States and France. Enter a women’s prison with her, and become close to the unfortunates trapped within. Get to know them on a one-to-one basis. You will empathize and sympathize with them.