I Don’t Write Sergeant Rock Comic Books!

That’s right. I don’t write Sergeant Rock comic books. Let me explain further. This is a recent unrated review I posted on the Goodreads site about my novel Raeford’s MVP:

“This is a love story and a story of finding one’s self and a future after facing the death and carnage of war–the Vietnam War. Billy Coker’s wild high school years led him down the primrose path to the war in Vietnam, and when it was over, he was left staring into the black abyss of PTSS and a futureless life. Little does he realize his redemption may depend on two women: a little six-year-old girl who has lost her father to that same war and a little fat girl he shunned in high school. It is the third book in the Vietnam War Series and one of my favorites.”


A novel about love, war and redemption.

You may ask why I would review my own book. The purpose is simple, but first let me begin by saying: There is no rating attached to the review nor is there a recommendation—only a story summary. The reason for the review is to clarify my purpose and style of writing in the Vietnam War Series. I have received a few review comments for Raeford’s MVP and my other works whereby an extremely limited number of readers express disappointment that my stories are not purely “war” stories.


Here are a couple of comments: “Is this a War Novel or a Romantic Novel?” (Valley of The Purple Hearts) and “This author…has a tendency to morph a Nam novel into a romance novel.” (Raeford’s MVP). I believe the problem lies with reader expectations. Some want nothing more than stories of combat and its immediate results. The problem with this is two-fold: wars and combat do not happen in a vacuum whereby they affect only the combatants, and the effects of war and combat seldom end when a soldier returns home.

Soldiers have lives before and after they are soldiers, and soldiers have families, wives, and lovers who are just as much a part of their lives as are their combat experiences. And while most soldiers return from combat to civilian lives and move on without outwardly displaying the effects of that experience, most all are changed in some way by it. Frankly, I write my novels to fit these realities and not the voyeuristic pleasures of readers who believe war games like “Call of Duty” or comic books such as “Sergeant Rock” reflect the horrific reality of combat and its aftermath.

With that said, I must caution readers that all these novels do in fact contain very real and graphic descriptions of combat. Many readers have said my stories seemingly place them in such a state of mind that they feel they have participated in the actual combat scenes. These accolades are deeply appreciated, because to understand the entirety of the experience is to better understand the combat veteran, but I stand by my opening statement: I don’t write Sergeant Rock comic books!

Send me your comments, and check out all my novels available in Kindle, paperback and hardcover editions on Amazon.com at  https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00H2YO2SS.

Rick DeStefanis

2 thoughts on “I Don’t Write Sergeant Rock Comic Books!

  1. Rick

    I have read three of the five books in the Vietnam War Series. As a Vietnam veteran who served three tours in Vietnam covering the years 1964 thru 1968, I applaud your approach to this war. I entered the war as a young (21) year old Special Forces soldiers and a “True Believer” in “God, Truth and the American Way” My father was a WWII vet who flew 54 combat missions flying A-20s in New Guinea and the PI. He was in the 417th BG. He retired from the Air Force in 1966 and died at the age of 93 in 2014. The military was a life long dream. I serves in Special Forces from 1963 until retiring in 1993.
    Though I diverge somewhat in my comment, I wanted to say how much I appreciate your views and the war and how the soldiers view it, as I appreciate the views of the home front. By late 1966 or early 1967, came to believe that the US was not interested in winning a war. And after Tet in 1968 I decided that though I had volunteered for each of my tours, I was no longer willing to volunteer for any further volunteer tours, but I was resigned myself that if I was sent I would go. In 1969 I went to OCS, graduating 3rd in my class and chose Infantry Branch much to the horror of many of my classmates, who would choose the Mess Kit Repair Branch if it was available. I was Rif’d in 1975 returning to my enlisted rank of Staff Sergeant. In 1977 I volunteered for and accepted by Delta Force. I participated in the Iran rescue mission and was on the ill fated C-130, I also participate in the Grenada invasion where I was severely wounded during our attempted insertion into the prison.
    I am not attempting to blow my horn, I just want to add my thanks for your contribution to the “telling like it was” gang.

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