Book Review, A Line in the Sand

By John Penny Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association VHPA

A Line in the Sand by Robert A. Serocki, Jr. is a graphic and powerful narrative of his experiences in the USMC leading up to and during Desert Storm. It was a war most watched on TV. Importantly, Serocki is reminding us of the price in body and mind that he and his fellow Marines paid.

Serocki grew up in a Detroit suburb and had his fair share of hard knocks along the way. When his parents divorced, he spent summers in Michigan with his father and lived with his mother in Arizona during the school year. As he grew older he became interested in joining the Marines. His mother would not sign for him when he was 17, so he signed up on his own when he turned eighteen. He describes Marine boot camp as "thirteen weeks of hell" but he was full of pride on graduation day. His MOS was Combat Engineer, and he trained in mountain warfare. His first two years were relatively uneventful; that would change.

His unit was the first to arrive in Eastern Saudi Arabia in August 1990 and they would be the last to leave. They soon moved north to an area 80 miles south of the border of occupied Kuwait the Marines called "the twilight zone." It turned into a purgatory of waiting, sweating in the 130 degree heat, digging in again and again, adjusting their positions, and practicing for the assault. Sleeping in holes in the sand, they discovered other enemies: rats, scorpions, and dung beetles. But the worst part, was not knowing when the war would actually begin. When it did, Serocki and his fellow Marines moved forward clearing bunkers and mine fields; one by one, repeatedly in a barren land of black smoke and danger.

This book is a very personal story of Serocki and his war. He expresses an obligation to tell a story that those who didn't come home are unable to tell. He uses some of his very blunt letters home to show the realities of war, which are often unnerving and gut wrenching. It has taken twelve years for him to feel complete again and another four years writing his story, which he calls his last battle. I recommend this book.

Awesome Read! Hidden Gem for anyone's collection! By Derek Hampton

One of the grittiest and raw tell all war stories I've experienced as a reader. Serocki's time as a Marine in Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm is one  hell of a physical and emotional roller coaster from beginning to end. This uncensored behind the scenes story from boot camp to the front lines to finally being shipped home is a must-read for any military enthusiast or avid reader wanting to learn more of a soldier's experience on the front lines of an American War. Can't wait to check out more writing from this author.

Book Review: A Line in The Sand

By Bob Riggle Vietnam Veteran (US Army)


Robert Serocki grew up and lived his life in the same way many of us did: Playing war games with his buddies, protecting his little sister from bullies, and being bullied quite often himself. And, like us, he survived. Upon graduating from high school, he did what many of us also did. For whatever crazy reasons, he enlisted in the military. Robert Serocki was going to be a Marine!

Serocki shares moments of his introduction to the "Marine Corps way" during his time in boot camp. You know, like getting poked in the eye with the rounded end of a coat hanger. Getting punched to the ground by your DI, only to have him yell at you to get the fuck up, cause he never gave you permission to fall down. Yeah, they seem a bit humorous now, but they were guaranteed to fill a scared young man's boxers with a decent-sized load.

In August 1990, he and his unit were one of the first to arrive in (and ultimately one of the very last to leave) Saudi Arabia in preparation for what would become Desert Storm. It was a land he lovingly came to refer to as "the world's biggest litter box. Nothing but sand, shit, and bugs that eat shit."

Robert's inclusion of the letters to and from home really help to emphasize the urgency, dread, and fear he must have felt. They detail daytime temperatures of up to 130 degrees, "rats as big as a man's foot," and living through dysentery and food poisoning simultaneously.

"I had been turned into someone else. I was a bloodthirsty killer. I have lived with death's odor... I have given my life for freedom... I was nothing but a shell filled with death, hate and despair and was about to be unleashed into the real world." These were Robert Serocki's thoughts and state of mind after returning from the Gulf. While this is Robert Serocki's story, I can't help feel that it could also be any one of ours.

Book Review-A Line in The Sand

By Jondavid Du Vall, Lt. Col, USAF (RET)

Logistics Officer Association

Serocki's debut book takes the reader through his upbringing and Marine Corps training so the reader can land on a hot tarmac in preparation for Operation Desert Shield/Storm. Interwoven with songs and verse that provided comfort and inspiration, Serocki shares his hometown letters from family and his candid experiences on the front lines. you will laugh, giggle, worry, and even pray along side Serocki as he brings life in combat to life with his vivid writing.

This is a perfect read for anyone wanting to join the military, understanding the emotions of preparing to deploy, conducting war, or just trying to get back home from war. Whether your a Soldier, Sailor, Airmen, or Marine, Serocki covers all the bases and leaves you wanting to know how his journey is going now. There are many veterans who can heal from reading Serocki's story... and many more Americans who can be inspired and understand the cost of freedom.

A Line in the Sand  Book Review by Don Vetter:

In this story you learn how the author's childhood experiences led him to the decision to become a Marine. We find out how the Marine Corps takes young men and turns them into elite warriors. Once deployed to the middle east, in preparation for "Operation Desert Storm," his world would be turned upside down by the events that would follow. Sleeping in holes dug in the sand and dealing with temperatures up to 130 degrees. His journey is an intense emotional roller coaster as days turned to weeks then months not knowing when the war would begin. Dealing with the worst possible living conditions, being constantly fired upon by the Iraqi military and seeing your fellow Marines killed by incoming artillery shells. It's an up close experience of the war that was not portrayed on the news. This book was hard to put down once I started reading.

"The Sword and the Anvil"  Through trial and error with an extensive amount of research time put in, Robert has developed a comprehensive game plan to tackle the root cause of PTS.  He personally takes the reader through his 13 step process to help them heal and prevent the effects of PTS from depriving them of a fulfilling and prosperous life. 

Robert has covered every angle from diet and exercise to mental conditioning through meditation.  This book will help you to reduce the dependence on prescription drugs and other stimulants such as alcohol and marijuana. Let him be your guide to defeat PTS and follow his lead to get your life back from the trauma that led to this condition. Start right now and don’t look back. Your life is worth it!

Donald J. Vetter Entrepreneur and member of the Heritage Foundation

Book Review, The Chrysalis

By Don Vetter, Entrepreneur

As his nightly dreams help guide him towards his purpose in life, Robert takes you on a personal journey through his daily battles with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression. His goal is not only to educate but to have the reader relate to his experiences in order to help them heal and live a more fulfilling life. He won his battle and so can you.

First Response  "A line in the Sand"

As a Military mom and founder of Operation First Response I was extremely moved and grateful for this eye opening book on the Gulf War. I work with many Gulf War Veterans and this book has helped me to understand their journey from the battle field to the home front. For all those seeking knowledge on the Gulf War this is a must read!! Thank you Robert for your service to our Country and for your continued service by sharing your story.

Marine Veteran Writes Three-Part Novel on his Life By Daniel Ochoa Reporter for the Ahwatukee Foothills News(See article atwww.ahwatukee.comunder Arts and Life 3/12/2014.

The Sword and the Anvil  is a courageous and honest guide to begin the healing process for anyone who is suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Courageous because former Marine Robert Serocki, Jr., who was on the front lines and later battled PTSD, was brave enough to reach deep into his mind and heart to bring the healing with his well-researched book.

Jim Parisi, Broadcast Journalist “PowerTalk Radio”

Robert Serocki, Jr. Book Reviews

Chrysalis: Book Review by Derek Hampton

Serocki's second addition, Chrysalis, is a fine and intriguing follow up to his first piece of work. It focuses on his emotional path of confusion, aggression and ultimately progression through the day-to-day struggles with PTSD and life as a Marine after fighting on the front lines of the first Gulf War. It provides the reader with relatable life struggles against reality and Serocki's experiences to  motivate and inspire those suffering to get through them. PTSD or not, Chrysalis has something to offer for everyone.

You can now purchase my book, Sword and the Anvil in a PDF format for $9.95! That's cheaper than anywhere else. The PDF will be emailed to you once we receive your email through the PayPal form. ORDER NOW!

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