The Military Writers Society of America have chosen seven Koehler Books as Finalists in the categories of Historical Fiction, History, and Biography/Memoir.
A Hoot in Hell’s Island – Colonel Kirk Gibson Warner and Robert D. Gibson
Col. Kirk Warner (USA, Ret.) is a partner and senior trial lawyer with Raleigh’s largest law firm. He is the author of Zone of Action: A JAG’s Journey Inside Operations Cobra II and Iraqi Freedom. He served in Iraq during major combat operations and the liberation and as deputy legal counsel to three Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He commanded units from company to brigade levels in the combat zone and stateside. Kirk and his wife Diane live in North Carolina with their yellow lab Wally.
A Rock in the Clouds: A Life Revisited – Joseph R. Tedeschi
Joe Tedeschi began his college education at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, before initiating his Army career at West Point, graduating in 1957. He earned his master of science degree from Iowa State University in 1963 during his service to fill roles in nuclear, biological, and chemical operations and materiel acquisition. Upon retiring from military service as an Army colonel, he worked fourteen years in the defense industry, developing a counter-battery radar for three European nations, and then entered the deaconate program in his Catholic diocese of Trenton, New Jersey, where he served for eighteen years, retiring in 2020. His first book recounts how his 1966 combat tour in Vietnam was cut short by a violent airplane crash, his near-death experience, and the fifty-five years of learning answers to the ultimate question, “Why am I (still) here?”
Combat Engineer – John Racoosin
John Racoosin is a westerner transplanted to the Virginia Peninsula, where he lives with his wife, Juliet, and, periodically, children and dogs. A retired Navy frogman and civil servant, John only belatedly felt compelled to write of his grandfather, the subject of his book. While family lore surrounding the mild-mannered patriarch hinted at the depth of his significance, only five years’ research revealed the full story of one of America’s unsung World War II heroes. Combat Engineer is Racoosin’s first work.
Honor Through Sacrifice – Bob Lofthouse
Robert E. Lofthouse has for four decades managed projects as an IT professional nationally and internationally while serving the business planning and delivery needs of enterprise IT projects for the nonprofit, commercial business, and government sectors.His initial professional writing experience covers more than fifty years and includes sports articles published in local and regional media from Pennsylvania to Kansas and Missouri. Honor through Sacrifice is his first publication in book form, prompted by his love of history and keen desire to extend the legacy of his subject. Rob knew Gordon because their mothers were sisters, so this story is personal.
Strike Hard and Expect No Mercy – Galen Peterson
Galen Peterson is a West Pointer who went on to lead a tank platoon in combat in Iraq and later commanded a tank company. The M1A2 Abrams tank became his warrior’s chariot and leading soldiers his passion. During two deployments to Iraq, he was involved in some of the heaviest fighting of the war in Sadr City in 2008. In 2009, Galen was invited back to West Point as a guest lecturer to General Frank’s Battle Command and Officership class. Suffering from the effects of a brain injury sustained in Iraq, he was medically retired. Not ready to give up serving, Galen started a new career as a police officer in Colorado and currently still serves in the Denver Metro area. He finds inner peace by spending time with his family, fishing, camping, biking, and model railroading.