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John 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 has spent the years since Vietnam working in various management positions within the automotive industry and has recently received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. John is a member of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154 and lives with his wife, Janice, in Sterling Heights, Michigan. They own a 1997 Harley Davidson Heritage and are both members of the Great Lakes Chapter of South East Michigan Harley Owner’s Group. Both retired in 2013 and enjoy not working anymore. John has authored and published two books on Smashwords: "Cherries - A Vietnam War Novel" and "When Can I Stop Running?"
R A Peters
on July 14, 2014 :
As a modern Iraq war vet, I usually can’t relate to these old Vietnam War stories. Until this book, that is. Wow! It’s not just the “smack the magazine on the helmet” attention to detail, but the timeless realism that roped me in. If it weren’t for the jungle and mosquitoes, you could be crawling around with soldiers in Afghanistan or Iraq.
My only complaint is the story’s length. While there’s no apparent “filler,” cutting the less important details would really pick up the pace.
Since the war was before my time, I can’t speak to the accuracy of the novel… but that doesn’t matter. Fiction, memoir or a little of both, Cherries still makes my top 10 list of best war novels. Whether a veteran or civilian, this is one great adventure tale.
(reviewed 14 days after purchase)
on May 11, 2010 :
In his book, 'Cherries', John Podlaski takes you the reader, right into the battle with him and his platoon on their journey through the fields, rice paddies and jungles of Vietnam. From his arrival 'In Country' as a 'Cherry', to his return home, and the uneasy, brisk, return to civilian life, John offers an insiders account of the true horrors of war. However, he also lets the reader see and feel all the other emotions of battle and military life, as only someone who 'was there' can relay them. Your 'In Country' journey with John as you read his story is so fascinating and riveting that you won't be able to put it down once you start reading through it's pages. I know that I'm going to have to read it all over again to make sure that I didn't miss anything on my first journey through 'Cherries'. I feel this is a must read situation for anyone who wants to really know what it was like to be a soldier in the Vietnam War.
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)