Saturday, March 5, 2011

Blog Tour: Semper Cool by Barry Fixler

By Barry Fixler: Semper Cool: One Marine's Fond Memories of Vietnam

Welcome to Barry Fixler's Semper Cool: One Marine's Fond Memories of Vietnam Blog Tour!  I am so glad Tracee from Pump Up Your Book asked me to be a part of this tour.  I am ecstatic about hosting one of the blog tour dates for this book.  Please check out the book summary, review, author info and other related info below.  Happy Reading! =)

Book Summary:
(Taken from inside flap)

Semper Cool is the wrenching, sometimes hilarious and always thought-provoking true story of a mischievous teenager who enlists in the U.S. Marine Corps seeking adventure and his father's approval and finds both, plus more danger than he ever could have imagined.  Barry Fixler gets molded into a Marine at boot camp and sent to Vietnam, where he is assigned to a company that would soon etch its place in Marine Corps lore at the legendary Siege of Khe Sanh.

With its vivid imagery, Semper Cool thrusts readers into a "grunt's-eye view" of the blood, guts, tears and laughter of war, as told by a Marine who returned home a proud, patriotic man.  Be prepared to laugh and cry and ultimately thank God for the men and women willing to sacrifice their lives for the freedoms that so many Americans enjoy.

My Review:


At first glance, a person may only see three guys laughing at the camera.  Looking closer, and after reading the title, you realize these guys are Marines ... and one of them is holding a human skull.  I enjoyed seeing smiling faces on the cover of a book about the military.  Most of the time the people pictured are so solemn (and with good reason).

What most intrigued me about this cover was the knowledge about the photo the reader gained.  In the book, Barry (the author and middle guy in the cover photo ... yes, the one holding the skull) lets you know that the guy on the left died shortly after the photo was taken and the guy on the right lost both of his legs ... proving what Barry was told when he arrived in Vietnam: that he had a 1 in 3 chance of leaving Nam in tact, which meant without dying or losing any body parts.  Now, look at the cover again and tell me its not poignant or awe-inspiring.


I love the way this Marine's story was told.  Normally, I don't believe a book summary that declares you should "Be prepared to laugh and cry and ultimately thank God for the men and women willing to sacrifice their lives for the freedoms that so many Americans enjoy."  But, you know what?  I did just that.  I laughed.  I cried.  And, in the end, I did thank God for the men and women who serve in our military and for allowing me to have been born in America with all of our freedoms.  It was, truly, a humbling reminder that "freedom isn't free."


Well, I cannot name them all by name because the fact of the matter is that the "characters" in this book are the U.S. Marines.  I hold high regard for all branches of the military and those that serve under their banners.  My regard began with my grandfather, who was an Army man and fought in Korea.  All military personnel, past and present, are highly honorable and should always be treated with the utmost respect.


I think you may have already gathered that I love this book.  It has become one of my faves and one that I will recommend to many people.  You are missing out if you do not purchase and read this book.

About the Author:
(Taken from inside book)

Barry Fixler is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968 and fought on Hill 861-A during the legendary Siege of Khe Sanh.  After receiving an honorable discharge from the Marine Corps in 1973, Fixler used his G.I. Bill to finance his undergraduate degree from the Gemological Institute of America and joined his father in the jewelry business.  Today he lives with his wife Linda in Bardonia, NY, where he owns Barry's Estate Jewelry.

Other Interesting Info:

Barry has long been aware of his good fortune and has made point of sharing it.  He has aided numerous wounded Marines and soldiers, to whom his loyalties are obvious, but has also helped people who have had no connections to the military.  In recognition of his good citizenship and humanitarian efforts, Barry was named 2009 Veteran of the Year by the Rockland County Veterans Coordinating Council.

Barry is donating all of his royalties from Semper Cool to physically wounded combat veterans and the families of our fallen warriors.  You can go to the Barry Fixler Foundation website* to learn more and to monitor the progress of his million dollar goal.  Financial requests can also be made through the Foundation's website.

*You can click on the name of the Foundation above to visit the Foundation's website.

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