Struggles of a Country boy

Struggles of a Country boy

Herb Blanchard

Herb Blanchard

This is the fictionalized story of the author's growing up years during the 1950s. It is the story of a troubled boy, a dysfunctional family and how the boy learned to cope with the adversities life threw at him.It was the time when it was generally thought the ideal way to raise a boy was to live in the country, give him a dog, a .22 rifle and let him roam the open fields and woods.This is the fictionalized story of the author's growing up years during the 1950s. It is the story of a troubled boy, a dysfunctional family and how the boy learned to cope with the adversities life threw at him.The 1950s was the time when it was generally thought the ideal way to raise a boy was to live in the country, give him a dog, a .22 rifle and let him roam the open fields and woods and for Brad Burgess this was indeed the case. Although he was a troubled youth Brad was a unique person and his way of dealing with the adversities in his life were often dangerous for a young boy but showed great courage and a strong will for survival in a world he did not completely understand. Brad's major problems were precipitated by his mother. It becomes obvious to the reader that she had major mental problems. Her rages were short lived but extremely dangerous for a boy who could easily trigger one or be in the way when life took a twist his mother would be unable to deal with. Her dissatisfaction with life was not particularly different from other people's but the way she dealt with it was. Brad was sexually abused by his ten year older half brother before he entered the first grade and again later when he was 7 and 8 years old. We see the effect of this abuse on his relationship with people, particularly women, though no connection is ever made between the abuse and these relationships in that era of time. Brad learned to protect himself in a family environment which at times appeared to be uncaring and against his best interests as a young man. While at the same time he discovered the good in his away-from-family environment, in the people he got to know and those who got to know him for the caring human being he developed into.
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DEPLOYMENT VIETNAM -Part 1

DEPLOYMENT VIETNAM -Part 1

Herb Blanchard

Herb Blanchard

Deployment Vietnam is based on the author's two tours in Vietnam in the 1960's with the US Navy's Seabees. It relates his experiences in construction of roads, helicopter pads and maintaining Highway One, "THE STREET OF NO JOY", during the rainy seasons of the late 1960 's. He details how the Seabees dealt with not only rain and mud but also the Viet Cong's mines and sniper fire.DEPLOYMENT VIETNAM Part 1 only tells part of the story in its 86,000 words. It is a historical and multicultural novel about the American Navy Seabees and what they did and accomplished in Vietnam.A Navy Seabee veteran of over 4 years when he volunteers for a tour of duty in Vietnam in late1966, Dan Lee Davis was 26 years old and a second class heavy equipment operator. He had been operating construction equipment as a civilian and a Seabee for over fourteen years having grown up around farming and road construction. He did one tour on NAS Adak Alaska with a mobile construction battalion (MCB) for 8 months where he ran a bulldozer stripping the treacherous tundra overburden to open an area where they could mine laterite to be used as fill and from another hill to expose hard rock where the blasting crew could blast to be sent to the rock crusher. He then transferred to overseas shore duty at MCAF, Futemma, Okinawa for over three years. While at Futemma, Dan met a Eurasian bar girl whom he lived with for almost three years In October of 1966 Davis went through military training, a basic jungle warfare course in Port Hueneme, CA before joining an MCB that was on its way to Vietnam for deployment.Dan survives a VC mortar attack in April of 1967 just before going on R & R to Okinawa.Dan and Suzie, his Eurasian lover had decided to go their separate ways when he left Okinawa for Port Hueneme and sea duty. They did not communicate from October of 1966 until he went to Okinawa on R & R in April of 1967 and Dan accidentally found she had changed bars and towns on Okinawa. They both discovered that separating, no contact, was not what either wanted and reconnected. Just before Dan goes back to Vietnam they decided to marry after Dan’s Vietnam tour is up.Dan’s best friend, Brad Burgess is killed by a VC placed mine on Highway 1. Dan arranges to take Brad’s R & R to Okinawa so he can visit Brad’s Okinawan fiance who is carrying Brad’s baby. Dan and Suzie spend time together and reinforce their commitment to each other.Suzie and Dan are befriended by a Marine sergeant, Steve Lars and his Okinawan wife Reiko who are stationed on Okinawa.Dan extends his tour in Vietnam and is transferred north to the Hue/Phu Bai area. When he’s transferred he gets a 30 day delay enroute so he can return to Okinawa to spend that time with Suzie He catches hops back and forth to Okinawa but cannot get direct routing from Vietnam to Okinawa nor from Okinawa to Vietnam. A five or so hour trip ended up taking two days going north and becomes an overnight trip going back to Vietnam.
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Shuri Gate

Shuri Gate

Herb Blanchard

Herb Blanchard

SHURI GATE is the second book written about Okinawa and its people by the author. It was written as a memoir and to tell about the Americans who were stationed there in the military and their relationships with the Okinawan people. Most of the characters are profiles of real people or composites of several people the author knew on the island.Shuri Gate is a fictional memoir of the author’s military tours in Asia particularly on the island of Okinawa while serving in the US Air Force as a KC135 tanker crew chief. It is the story of the relationship and eventual marriage of an inter-racial couple on the island. Tomako is Okinawan by birth and has lost her first true love in Vietnam. She is carrying his child with a very grim future to look forward to. She then meets and falls in love with Rick Davis a tanker crew chief who is flying combat missions in Southeast Asia.Rick makes several trips to Southeast Asia and Okinawa and is TDY to Kadena AFB where he flies several combat missions to and off the coast of North Vietnam and China. On one mission the crew is flying amongst rain and ice laden cumulus clouds which they cannot climb above while awaiting the arrival of EC-135 which is also bound for Kadena AFB on Okinawa. His tanker also supports search and rescue operations on Combat Apple missions by refueling aircraft seeking downed pilots.
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An Okinawan Affair

An Okinawan Affair

Herb Blanchard

Herb Blanchard

An Okinawan Affair was written partly as a memoir and partly to tell about the people of Okinawa and what had happened on the island before repatriation back to Japan. And about the Americans who were stationed there in the military or chose to live on the island as civilians. Most of the characters are profiles of real people or composites of several people the author knew on the island.Navy Seabee Brad Burgess landed on the island of Okinawa with no regrets and few expectations. He knew a chapter of his life had closed and a new and different life was beginning. Brad easily made friends with all he met and worked with the Okinawans as well as the American civilians who worked for the Army. He discovered the bar girls were not only friendly, but were caring women who through no fault of their own didn't quite fit into Okinawan society.After two short affairs with bar girls, Brad met Tomako Tomanaga an older Okinawan lady who managed a coffee house which was off limits to the GIs. Tomi's parents died during the invasion and she had several bad experiences growing up on war-torn Okinawa. When they first met, Brad and Tomi became close friends but not lovers though Brad stayed overnight in her apartment several times. With Vietnam looming on the horizon, concerned about Brad leaving the island and her, Tomi was forced to admit to herself, and finally to Brad, that they were very much in love and their destinies were connected to each other. Brad had honchoed several construction projects for the Navy and became involved with the US Army's 'People to People' construction projects which gave him a reputation in construction and leadership. With an increase in rank and a successful Seabee career ahead, he reenlisted going stateside then to Vietnam leaving Tomi on Okinawa. Tomi was pregnant but before she could write to Brad with the good news, disaster struck in Vietnam.An Okinawan Affair is a multi-cultural/historical novel of about 88,000 words telling of the plights of the Okinawan people and how their lives were under the rule of the US military following WWII.
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