Hello Readers! My name is John Racoosin, I am the author of Combat Engineer, The Life and Leadership of Colonel H. Wallis Anderson, Commander of the Engineers at the Bulge and Remagen.
Welcome to my blog. I am not a blogger, and this is my first book. So I hope you’ll bear with me as I try to figure out this whole ‘writing’ thing.
The focus of this blog will be to use it as a “Readers’ Companion”. Most of the content I post will be related to the book, either directly or indirectly.
I welcome comments. As a first-time author, I found the entire process … interesting. So some of the things I post here will relate to the writing process, as well; at least my perspective of it, anyway.
If anyone out there would like to engage and open up a topic for discussion, fire away. And we’ll see how it goes.
A bit about myself: I loathe talking about myself. Ask my wife. She will confirm this. But, as part of the decision to publish a book, it comes with the territory. So – deep breath – here goes.
The decision to write this book about my grandfather took shape only recently (far too belatedly, I regret). In Fall 2015, my brother Robert called to invite me to accompany him on a guided tour during the following summer to the Normandy beaches, organized by the National WWII Museum in New Orleans.
Around the family kitchen table while we grew up, we were made aware of my grandfather’s exploits. But due to the attitudes of those two generations, this was a very subdued discussion. My grandfather’s generation simply didn’t make much of a fuss about any of it. There are memoirs and accounts, but those seem to be reserved for a few seniors. My parent’s generation was similarly low-key. As a result, Anderson’s actions were severely downplayed. I was aware, generally, of his service, but I neither had nor sought any details.
In the nine months I had prior to our Normandy beach tour, I took the opportunity to finally read and even research more about Anderson, and the European campaign. My brother and I also extended the tour on our own, to drive around France, Belgium, and Germany, to places he had traveled during the war. Somewhere along the way, everything fell into place: there’s enough material for a book, he deserves it, I can do it, and if I don’t then the information will remain scattered and untold.
OK, that’s enough for an introduction.