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MILITARY BOOKS

J. J. Zerr

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J. J. Zerr, USN, “was born in St. Peters, Missouri, and graduated from Duchesne High School. In 1959, he began a thirty-six year career in the Navy, during which he completed two tours on destroyers. After joining the aviation community, he flew 330 combat missions over Vietnam. Across his Navy career, he accumulated 1017 carrier landings. Following the service, he worked in the aerospace industry for eleven years.”  J. J. Zerr is the author of Sundown Town Duty Station and The Ensign Locker.

According to the book description of Sundown Town Duty Station, “In March 1968, Navy Lieutenant Jon Zachery has just received orders to report to his new duty station in Meridian, Mississippi, for basic jet pilot training. But after he and his wife, Teresa, arrive in what they are initially told is a friendly little town, they soon learn what it means to live in a sundown town. When Jon and Teresa attend Mass on their first Sunday in Meridian and enter a pew occupied by a young colored woman "sitting-in" the all-white church, the Zacherys unwittingly step into the middle of a KKK campaign created to discourage civil rights sympathizers. As Jon works his way through six months of flight training with an antagonistic flight instructor, the Klansmen escalate their focus on the Zacherys, soon transforming their threats into violent acts. Near the end of Jon's tour of duty, tensions escalate further, culminating in a confrontation with deadly consequences. In this compelling story, a young lieutenant's faith, patriotism, morality, and love for his family is tested as he bravely battles the evil that lurks within the shadows of Meridian, Mississippi.”

According to the book description of The Ensign Locker, “In 1966, the destroyer USS Manfred  is bound for Vietnam. For junior ensign Jon Zachery, life is simple. He wants the American dream for his wife and for himself, and the Navy is just the first step along the way. After the ship enters the combat zone, however, Zachery lands in hot water with his superior officers. At the same time, he begins to have troubles with his wife. He finds himself in challenging combat situations with the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong, but he is most distressed when he discovers that one of his roommates is rabidly anti-war. Following two months in the combat zone, the ship gets a new commanding officer—and a new set of problems face Zachery and his shipmates. At first, his new commanding officer distrusts only the five ensigns in the ensign locker, but eventually he begins to distrust the entire wardroom. What happens next has a huge affect on the entire crew—ultimately resulting in the ship returning home to San Diego. Now Zachery must face the anti-war sentiments at home, and it may be the last straw for him.” 

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