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General Discussion > A memorial day at Fort Drum

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message 1: by Denise (new)

Denise Gelberg | 23 comments The CG of Fort Drum, Walter Piatt, extended an invitation for me to visit the post after he and his wife enjoyed reading my book, Engagement: A Novel.

My husband and I had the pleasure and honor of being his guests on April 18th.

We were met at the main gate by our escort for the day, Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Kyle Upshaw, a 1999 grad of West Point. LTC Upshaw brought us to Memorial Park to meet the General. CG Piatt walked us through the park, explaining the beautiful sculptures that had been created to memorialize the service of the 10th Mountain Division. Following that we went to the post's headquarters where the General pointed out photos of service members who had earned recognition for their extraordinary service. He then took us to his office, which overlooks the parade grounds, and explained the history of the 10th Mountain Division, established in Colorado during WWII to train soldiers who could climb icy mountain faces and travel to battle on skis.

LTC Upshaw took us to lunch at the 2/14's "Commando Cafe," where we got the chance to sit down with two 2LT's, young officers who were attached to the rear detachment of the Second Brigade. The 2/14 was the unit Tomas, the protagonist in Engagement, was attached to. It has a long and honorable history going back to the Civil War, something the soldiers we met are very proud of.

We got a chance to reconnect with the General and meet his wife, Cynthia, at the LeRay Mansion. I found this extraordinary, since General and Mrs. Piatt are leaving the post on May 1, after the change of command ceremony. The moving van was at their house as we toured the mansion together. They couldn't have been more lovely or hospitable despite the disruption of moving their entire household. They thanked me for telling the story of the sacrifices made by the 10th Mountain Division's soldiers and their loved ones.

The Piatts will be heading to VA, where the General will be promoted to a three star general as his assumes the role of Director of Army Staff at the Pentagon.

LTC Upshaw had a surprise for us. When we got to the Fort Drum museum, we were met by Chaplain (CPT) Moshe Lans, the rabbi for the post. There are only about 10 Jewish chaplains in the entire US Army, so this was remarkable. As those of you who've read Engagement know, the Jewish chaplain plays a major role in the lives of the protagonists. I was touched that LTC Upshaw arranged our meeting with Rabbi Lans, who could not have been lovelier.

All in all, it was a day my husband and I won't soon forget. To be treated as honored guests by the 10th Mountain Division was an extraordinary privilege.


message 2: by Harry (new)

Harry Rothmann | 19 comments Denise wrote: "The CG of Fort Drum, Walter Piatt, extended an invitation for me to visit the post after he and his wife enjoyed reading my book, Engagement: A Novel.

My husband and I had the pleasure and honor o..."


Denise - Seems that you are surely becoming a member of US Army! I am proud of the way that the commander, his wife, and others in the 10th brought you on board. Now, what's your next book going to be about?


message 3: by Denise (new)

Denise Gelberg | 23 comments The CG, his wife, and the LTC who escorted us for the day all couldn't have been nicer. Every soldier we met was enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge of their unit's history.

I'm working on the next book. It's about a brilliant scientist whose discovery is ridiculed in the 1970s, perhaps because she's way ahead of her time. A major theme of the story is the role luck plays in any individual's life. in hindsight, sometimes things that seem to be bad luck lead a person to take a different path that ultimately turns out to be fortuitous.

Are you working on a new project?
Best,
Denise


message 4: by Harry (new)

Harry Rothmann | 19 comments Denise wrote: "The CG, his wife, and the LTC who escorted us for the day all couldn't have been nicer. Every soldier we met was enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge of their unit's history.

I'm working on..."


Interesting. No right now I'm still working on trying to get WARRIORS AND FOOLS into the Academic world!


message 5: by Denise (new)

Denise Gelberg | 23 comments It surely would help if a professor teaching a large survey course on Vietnam championed your work. Perhaps someone teaching at a school with a large ROTC program?

Your perspective should be read.

I wish you the best of luck, Harry.
Denise


message 6: by Harry (new)

Harry Rothmann | 19 comments Denise wrote: "It surely would help if a professor teaching a large survey course on Vietnam championed your work. Perhaps someone teaching at a school with a large ROTC program?

Your perspective should be read...."


Thanks.


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