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Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at

Monday, July 7, 2014

The Enlisted Men's Club

The Enlisted Men’s Club (Military Fiction)
By Gary Reilly
ISBN #978-0984786077
Running Meter Press
372 Pages
Price $13.92
Rating 5-Stars

Private (James Palmer on his Dog Tags) Palmer, a draftee during the Vietnam War is stationed at the Presidio Army base in San Francisco, a dream assignment so we’re told. But for the young soldier, it may not be so. Palmer had already been through Basic and MP School. Still a private, he’s assigned to Company D of the MPs, with the 6th Army, and a member of STRAC. Company A handles the stockade, while Companies B, C & D rotate duties; one month on MP Duty, one month on training, and one month on details. He’s a young man away from home, a loner, and a man that likes to drink, while staying away from details, and out of view of lifer NCOs. Somehow, he seems to always mess up without really trying.

The story follows Palmer during all his mishaps during the stay at Presidio. Though he talks some about his Basic and MP School, it is his first duty assignment where we follow him through trials and tribulations, learning about the private person, and how he only wants to get through this period of Army life and back home to Denver again, without any stops in Vietnam. At the end of the story, however, he’s on his way to South East Asia.

This was a fun story by the author of The Asphalt Warrior series, well written, and easily followed. I’m not sure it’s for everyone, but I think anyone that ever wore a military uniform will love the book, as it brings back those memories of life in the Army as young men. The author based the story on his own military background, and his time as a military policeman. He also served in Vietnam, and we will probably see that portrayed in the second volume.

As a twenty-year career man, it brought fun memories back to my time in the Army, and my first duty assignment, though things were a little different, I’m sure. Most of my assignments were in Texas, post like Fort Hood, Fort Bliss, Fort Wolters, Fort Sam Houston, and elsewhere like Fort Brag, and Korea, with a tour in Vietnam. My only dream assignment was a three-year tour in France. But the Army is always the same. From a private, I became one of Palmer’s dreaded lifer NCOs, and I knew young men just like Palmer. I had to laugh as Palmer falls into the clutches of a salesman trying to sell him a gold four-leaf clover with a diamond in the center to send to his mother. I did the same thing at my first duty station in 1959, although I bought it. My mother still wore it until her death.  My wife wears it now. Palmer’s story will bring a smile to your face, as you also remember your military service. None of us were all that different. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson

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