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“….(This) is a story of one man’s chosen path from the different avenues of life. Although it reads like one-way epistolary fiction, this is the true-to-life autobiographical story of Commander R.W. Herman. His coming of age tale begins in the winter of December 1965 in Minneapolis. As the whole country witnesses the turmoil over the conflict in Southeast Asia, he receives a letter from the U. S. Selective Service System. He feels no need to open it, for he knows exactly that it runs in the vein of Uncle Sam needing the services of young men like him. Being the youngest of three children, he has the unusual situation of caring for his insulin-dependent older brother, who requires constant attention. Exhausted from the demands of his studies and caring for his brother, he had to move in with his uncle Sherm, and that unopened letter will help settle his future at least for a few years. The Unopened Letter by R.W. Herman not only deserves a rightful place in the annals of epistolary fiction but in the archives of the Center for American War Letters. As one of the 27 million young men who chose to answer the call of duty, Herman’s epistolary account is an invaluable record of the service and dedication of a young American, who, at a crucial turning point in his life, has made a difference in his own humble way. Herman’s accomplishment is not about depicting the horrors of war, but to make the men of his generation and this present generation understand that the war that did not meet expectations is never lost in vain. It allowed young men like him to grow wiser from the experience. A precious insight into a wartime account, this book is a must-read for anyone who has served this free country.
--- Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite-- Five Stars
“… After a difficult home life that manifested in difficulties at school, Rich Herman receives a letter that he knew was coming following his dropping out of college. The Vietnam Draft Notice remained in its envelope and Herman made the decision to enlist in the Navy, allowing him the opportunity to serve in a manner he felt more suited to…Herman offers an interesting and different vantage point of the Vietnam era in The Unopened Letter. I was certain when I picked this book up that it would bring me back to the bloodshed and horrors of a war that claimed millions of lives. Instead, Herman shows us service branches that were still very important to securing and maintaining US interests in other regions. There's still a decent amount of trouble as the book describes instances of overt racism, a rescue, and a dark moment when Israel took brothers in arms down with friendly fire. The respect for the branches that are on the front lines is really amazing. Gone is the rivalry between branches as Herman's first deployment includes Marine Corp service members, many of which will never return home. I enjoyed the letters and perspective and was especially pleased to watch Herman's growth as he charters his own path with a clear objective when he returns to the States.
--- Asher Syed for Readers’ Favorite—Five Stars
“…The year was 1965 during the Vietnam War Era. Rather than serve his time in the Army, he enlisted in the Navy for a four-year stint. The Unopened Letter is about the experiences that RW Herman went through as a young man who made a commitment to the United States Military at the age of nineteen… Readers will relish this first-rate story about a young man who was at a crossroads in his life….The Unopened Letter is written in the style of a fiction novel that includes letters written by Herman to his parents throughout the time that he spent in the Navy. Readers get to see how much of a morale booster it can be for individuals to be able to communicate with family and friends and stay connected with them while spending time away from home. Readers are also given a glimpse into the behavior that was expected to be adhered to by the men on shore leave, and the consequences they faced when protocol was not followed. The commitment and hard work by Herman and the men who served with him is inspiring, and some gnarly situations that Herman finds himself in are not glossed over. The Unopened Letter is an exceptional story of a young man’s military journey from enlistment to honorable discharge.”
---Dianne Woodman for Bestsellers World