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MILITARY BOOKS

Michael O'Shea

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Michael O’Shea left college in 1966 and “enlisted as a paratrooper in the United States Army. He worked his way up the ranks and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the infantry in 1967. Upon his return from service, O’Shea went back to school and worked for Proctor and Gamble upon his graduation. After 10 years at P&G, he started his own medical distributorship with a friend in Dallas.” Michael O’Shea is the author of Blood on the Risers: A Novel of Conflict and Survival in Special Forces During the Vietnam War.

According to the book description of Blood on the Risers: A Novel of Conflict and Survival in Special Forces During the Vietnam War, “An anxious, fifteen-year-old service brat eagerly returns home from a decade of living abroad...a childhood spent growing up in serenity in the recently defeated Empire of Japan.  His new home is an obscure sector of South Texas...a hot, barren landscape cluttered with palm and mesquite trees accenting the broad expanses of impenetrable brush and cactus.  He quickly adjusts to the immense culture shock, but suddenly, his docile world crashes swiftly around him.  The unexpected dread of nuclear war brought on by the Cuban missile crisis confronts him...confounding his carefree existence.  John F. Kennedy, his cherished catholic president, is summarily assassinated while he stands leisurely outside the shop class at his high school, listening in horror to the incident on a car radio during recess. Stunned by the events unfolding in his young life, he struggles with the reality that even his new favorite TV shows...Father Knows Best, and Leave it to Beaver...are rapidly being overshadowed by the evening news broadcasts. Night after night...black and white images of American boys dying in the steamy jungles of a distant land, shock his fledging adolescent sensitivities.

With his peers confronted with the same grim circumstances, he makes the simple commitment to serve his country.  Many of his classmates make profoundly different choices...seeking deferments of convenience, or refuge in Canada.  With his decision made, he sets out on a life altering quest to fulfill his obligation to his beloved country and to himself. Along the way...he faces severe challenges, but none more intense than his endeavor to preserve his basic values...his honor...his morals, comforted ultimately with his integrity still intact.  His path is nurtured by the cadre of brave and honorable men he encounters, shaping and molding his character throughout the process. Just as Paratroopers rely their firm grip on the risers, young men require vital substance to adhere to as well...a stable mechanism to hold on to their lofty aspirations, their intrinsic values, and their full canopy of hope.  But inevitably...as they journey through life...there is Blood on the Risers.”

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