Tom Willard The Stone Ponies

ISBN 13: 9780812564785

The Stone Ponies

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9780812564785: The Stone Ponies

Franklin LeBaron Sharps is a young paratrooper sent to Vietnam in 1965 with the celebrated 101st Airborne Division-the "Screaming Eagles." The great-grandson of Sergeant Major Augustus Sharps and the son of Brigadier General Samuel Sharps, a former Tuskegee Airman, Franklin fights a war on two fronts; in Vietnam, he is determined to repay the Viet Cong for their killing of his brother, and at home, he fights against his father's attempts to reconcile with the family he deserted.

Drawing on his own experience as a paratrooper in Vietnam, Tom Willard takes a brutally graphic look at the war in its early years: a time when the United States was sorely divided and its military heroes suffered bravely both abroad and at home.

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About the Author:

Tom Willard, born into a military family, quit high school to join the army and served as a paratrooper and combat medic in Vietnam. He was wounded in action and decorated with the Bronze Star with "V" device for valor, and the Purple Heart, among other medals. He is a University of North Dakota graduate who has lived in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

From Booklist:

In the fourth book of the Black Sabre Chronicles series, Willard continues to recount the often extraordinary personal efforts and professional exploits of five generations of a distinguished African American military family. Unlike his great-grandfather, a legendary cavalry officer; his grandfather, a World War I hero; and his father, an original "Tuskeegee Airman" and the first black brigadier general, young Franklin Sharps initially spurns a career in the military. After his older brother, Adrian, is killed in Vietnam, however, Franklin joins the 101st Airborne Division as a medic. Determined to avenge Adrian's death and to prove his independence to his estranged father, he initially enters the combat arena utterly unprepared for the barbaric cruelty of a bush war. Because the author is himself a veteran of the Vietnam War, the graphic battle scenes feature a gritty, realistic edge. The result is a stirring family saga as well as a compelling look at the controversy surrounding the conflict in Vietnam, especially as it applied to the disproportionate number of black soldiers involved. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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