Xlibris Publishing introduces Robert Brooks, author of From the Frozen Chosin to Churchill.
What inspired you to write your book, and how long did it take you to finish it?
I have been a student of a few disciplines. I am drawn to Science, Theology, Philosophy, and History. I was working on a self defined history study for myself regarding U.S. History. With the kids grown, I found a lot of free time needing filling. I have always enjoyed writing and research. I have access to many military men and women. I have always been interested in stories of not just the military, but many people throughout different cultures and backgrounds from around the globe. It has always been my personal task to have them tell me something funny about their past. As a former nightclub manager, I have more than a few stories myself. In fact, I was teetering with the idea of writing a book just about my experiences working with the public.
So again I pass Ray’s path with some of his family. I discover he is not only a Viet Nam veteran, but also a Korean War Veteran. Up till that point, I had only met two other Korean veterans. I had little knowledge on the Korean War. They call it the Forgotten War. Ray’s daughter-in-law tells me that Ray is part of the Chosin Few. I had never taken the time to research Korea until she said that. At our next interaction, I suggested he should have someone write his story for him. His response was, “Come by and we will have a cup of coffee.” I didn’t take him up on that offer.
In 2009 I started my research project in the study of US history. I started with the founding fathers. I quickly realized that one cannot offer a solid base in US history without giving a good amount of time into researching the US Military History as well. Working from pre-1776 and coming forward to today.
In each era in history I would use the next major military event as my stopping point. It was in the middle of those studies that his daughter-in-law tells me that he is with the Army at the Chosin, and not the Marines. That sparked my curiosity. So I asked Ray, “So you were with the Army in Korea?” He responded, “Yes sir. I was with Colonel Faith.” That was the spark that lit the flame.
I finally ventured to his business. What I found was astronomical. My first interview with him was very casual. I was 95 percent convinced that I would do it. I made him this offer. I will do it, and I will do it non-gratis. IE I would not charge him to write it. My conditions were simple. Successful or not, he would at least have an heirloom to hand down. Perhaps it will be more. My hopes are humble. It was important to capture history while it was readily obtainable. I knew that our old soldiers are dying off en mass. I also argued that I wanted the story line to incorporate the general history of the US to give a reference point to the reader. He agreed.
I had decided my personal research would have to pause until I got this piece finished. With the book releasing, there has been more than a few request of me to do work on other soldiers and other topics. This piece started in December 2014. I delivered the transcript to Ray on his 83rd birthday. May 2016.
What is the one message you would like to convey to your readers?
History, once lost can never be recovered to the level of accuracy than it could have been once it passes, and sometimes it is lost forever. We need to understand soldiers and war better.
Xlibris Publishing will return with Robert Brooks in Part 2.
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