Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publish Date: October 13, 2005
Order From: Kindle
Synopsis: Echoes From The Infantry is the tale of one Long Island World War II veteran, the misery of combat, and the powerful emotional bonds that brought him home to Rockaway Beach and the love of his life, Madeline Brandt. It is about a father and son, and their ultimately redeeming struggle to understand each other's worlds - one a world at war, the other shaped by its veterans. Nappi moves artfully between the present and past, weaving a fictionalized tale of this Long Islander's struggle to reconcile with the demons from long ago and his family's neverending battle with many of the intangible burdens caused by the private life of a man they never really knew. He touches our hearts with a story of courage and perseverance...a story of men who faced the greatest challenge of their generation. Excerpt Link to Chapter One
Author Bio: Frank Nappi has taught high school English and Creative Writing for over twenty years. His debut novel, Echoes From The Infantry, received national attention, including MWSA's silver medal for outstanding fiction. His follow-up novel, The Legend of Mickey Tussler, garnered rave reviews as well, including a movie adaptation of the touching story "A Mile in His Shoes" starring Dean Cain and Luke Schroder. Frank continues to produce quality work, including Sophomore Campaign, the intriguing sequel to the much heralded original story and the just released thriller, Nobody Has to Know, which received an endorsement from #1 New York Times bestselling author Nelson DeMille. Frank is presently at work on a third installment of his Mickey Tussler series and his next thriller. He lives on Long Island with his wife Julia and their two sons, Nicholas and Anthony.
Guest Post: Why do you think the military didn't do more for soldiers returning from WWII?
World War II was a watershed moment in Unites States history. The sacrifices made by thousands of American soldiers in both the European and Pacific theaters ensured that the life to which all of us in this country have grown so accustomed would continue.
For the average person, the war ended with the last gunshot fired. Life resumed its normal course for most Americans after May 8, 1945, when the Allied Forces accepted the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany. It was a time for celebration, and for welcoming home our brothers, sons and husbands who had endured great hardship on the battlefields of war torn Europe.
It wasn’t long, however, before those hardships and sacrifices were forgotten. Our country was interested in putting the war behind us and moving forward. For the average American, this was something well within his/her capabilities.
The soldier, unfortunately, continued to struggle - an arduous, silent battle that remained nameless until many years later, when psychologists and other health care experts discovered and began studying a syndrome that would ultimately be labeled PTSD.
The WWII soldiers who returned home were fortunate enough to elude the cold hand of death but remained mired in the psychological cloud of combat for years to come. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder took the form of night terrors, introverted behaviors and the inability to function in a conventional way, something that destroyed both families and careers. The military, and the rest of us as well, simply did not see. And those few who had an inkling that something was wrong did not bother to ask the right questions. One of my very dear friends, the late Eddie Hynes, a member of the 95th Infantry Division, said it best:
“Frank, when we returned home, everyone treated us like royalty. They were so happy to see us, and so appreciative of what we did. There were parties every night in my neighborhood for weeks after I came back, honoring us. Me and my two friends who also served were the toast of the town for quite a while, hopping from house to house, eating, drinking, laughing. It was truly something else. But, then the parties stopped. They just stopped. And everyone went back to their regular routines -- everyone, except us.”
My novel Echoes From the Infantry delves into this silent struggle with private demons, chronicling one Long Island veteran’s lifelong attempt to extricate himself from a past that would not let him be.
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