April 21, 2007
variation of gun-totin chaplain cover
Great newspaper article of the book, Gun Totin Chaplain and interview with author.

Order Gun-Totin' Chaplain
3 new reviews sent to the webzine...

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Gun-Totin Chaplain Review (Posted April 22, 2007)

Hi Jerry,

I just finished your book, and I must say that I am extremely proud of this accomplishment of yours. I felt that I came away more informed about the nature of that war, and your dedication to and passion for the welfare of your fellow service men and women came through loud and clear.

I related your experience to my own during that time period. The stress of internship, residency, and fellowship was very intense at times, but I was reminded by your book that the shots taken against me were, after all, only verbal! (Some of my professors had intimidation tactics not unlike drill sergeants.) At the end of that period in my life, I had developed my own passion: the health and well being of my patients and my community.

If we look back to our high school days we should have known that we would both grow up to be men with passions for improving the lives of other people. I remember your mantra from high school: "Grow old with me; the best is yet to be."

I also share your belief that young people today are impoverished by the lack of opportunities to serve others. Whether mandatory service would correct that, I do not know, but politicians who might advocate mandatory service would have a hard time getting elected these days.

I especially liked your quotes which headlined each chapter. The one for chapter 48 reminded me of a posting that I kept at my desk at work, attributed to the Greek philosopher Aeschylus and used by Bobby Kennedy at Jack's funeral (reportedly recommended by Henry Kissinger):

Pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop

Upon the heart until, in our own despair,

Comes wisdom

Through the awful grace of God.

Your book also brought to mind my belief that it is the American fighter person who should have been named the person of the century at the time of the Millennium as so well expressed by the Rev. Dennis Edwards, Chaplain, USMC:

It is the soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us the freedom of the press.

It is the soldier, not the poet
Who has given us the freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us the right to demonstrate.

It is the soldier
Who salutes the Flag
Who serves beneath the Flag.
It is the soldier
Whose coffin is draped by the Flag
Who allows the protester to burn the Flag.

I know that this is much too long for an email, but your book stirred these
emotions in me, and I thought you should know.

Best regards. Stay in good health...

JT(Ret. Physician and Philanthropist)

Gun-Totin Chaplain (Posted April 22, 2007)

Thanks so much for sending Gun Totin Chaplain book...received it on Wednesday. I will make sure that Ava gets it. I have started reading my copy. Does read like a novel...I like the way it is presented in short chapters....easier to grasp that way. For some reason I have always been intrigued with the vietnam war....the politics of it all...the aftermath.....I remember the movie Forrest Gump..the vietnam scene...the firefight seemed so realistic. In my mind....how did really young guys cope with all that happened? Thanks again for your generosity. WA

Gun-Totin Chaplain (Posted April 22, 2007)

Have really enjoyed reading your book. Different perspective from a Chaplain. I read about 3 or 4 chapters a night will probably finish reading this weekend. I can't imagine what it must have been like Vietnam..but not really. It was hot in the Persian Gulf when I was there in 1980...and our cooling system on our ship kept breaking down so really it was hotter inside the ship (felt like 140 degrees) than on the outside. I remember we had to conserve water, they allowed 2 minute showers..one to lather 1 to rinse off...they even had security patrol posted in the head to make sure each man was following the rules
Name Withheld

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Gun-Totin Chaplain by JA
Review of Gun-Totin Chaplain

Hi Jerry, since becoming a fire chaplain 3 years ago, I have been reading every chaplain book I can get my hands on. Your book Gun-totin' chaplain just became my favorite.

I could so relate to your "what the hell do I do now" approach to being a chaplain. I so often find myself on the "battlefield" with no answers and a ton of needy eyeballs looking to me for some kind of answer.

Do you ever travel and tell your story? I would love for the other fellow chaplains to hear your heart. Being a chaplain is the best ministry I have ever had.... but most times: I dont know what the hell to do. your fellow Chaplain. -- J. Hetschel
Gun-Totin Chaplain**Now at discount

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Gun-Totin Chaplain by JA
Latest Review of Gun-Totin Chaplain

Just received GTC. It's beautiful and so well put together. Looking forward to reading it. Of course, already read jacket flaps and looked at the photos. Photos sure brought back memories. Especially like the one of the sign "Chaplin." Reminded me of the guys who built a pulpit and pews for my first tent chapel out of scrap material they scrounged around our base camp at LZ Betty - Phan Thiet.

The photo of the Chinook reminded me of the day one was hanging over our tent area blowing sand and as many of us looked at it, it suddenly just dropped to the ground, caught on fire and killed five guys inside while we looked on in horror.

I didn't know you got two purple hearts. You never spoke of it to me unless I have forgotten. And that reminded me that I never got the one I earned - that is, if getting stabbed in the leg with a poisonous pungi stake qualifies. But, I wasn't there to get a purple heart. Excuse was, "paper work got lost." That was also the excuse I was given for not getting the air medal after I had meticulously logged all my hours from being up in the chopper getting out to where the troops were almost every day of the full 395 days I was in country. Plus off shore to a Navy destroyer that had no chaplain. Well, again, I wasn't there for an air medal. So why am I even recalling it? I guess it sorta irked me at the time. gp

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Gun-Totin Chaplain by JA
Review of Gun-Totin Chaplain

A couple I lent Gun Totin' Chaplain too raved about it and asked permission to lend it to another neighbor. Sorry, I told them fine but should buy a copy. They are all frustrated and crazy in thought as we are about Iraq and the entire Middle East countries, thinking we can change their culture. They too are frustrated as to what can we do??????????? we need a grass roots effort with those of our age groups that went thru the Vietnam times. Any guidance or leadership??? Give us some of your rebel leadership about the Middle East issue.

I loved and appreciated your book and your style.
lc, Col, retired, USA

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Gun-Totin Chaplain by JA
Review of Gun-Totin Chaplain

I experienced some of the same feelings, sensations, and thoughts during my time at the front lines in the ETO during WWII as you expressed in your book: the camaraderie among the troops, the concern that the front line officers had for their men and the almost complete turn about in the rear areas.

My assignment for several months beginning right after D-Day was to take sound systems to forward lines in the hedgerows of France and broadcast messages to the German troops for them to surrender. So, I went from army/brigade headquarter (maybe two/three miles from the front line) where my unit was stationed to the farthest forward point I could safely (???) get. Consequently, I saw the dichotomy in existence almost daily. It seems that experiences don't change much from war to war.

Your book got me to thinking about things that happened to me 50 years ago and I am surprised at how much I have dredged up. Names long forgotten, experiences, etc. S. L.

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