BY: ROBERT GOSWITZ
An ancient king of Vietnam commanded his subjects to cover their arms and thighs with dragon tattoos. The accepted belief of the time was that the Dragon Spirit protected farmers against evil spirits in their rice paddies.
In 1971, Private Ed Lansky seeks protection from a different form of evil, “Something” to guide him through his year in country. Each time the war tries to kill him or burden him with guilt, the dragon appears, guarding and guiding him. A weight lifts from his soul as he discovers the power of the Dragon Spirit…his Warrior Shield.
TAYLOR JONES SAYS: In The Dragon Soldier’s Good Fortune by Robert Goswitz, Ed Lansky is a private in the army in 1971 on his first tour of Vietnam. Scared of dying, as all young soldiers in their first combat duty often are, he speaks with an Asian woman who tells him about spirit dragons who protect soldiers. Shortly thereafter, Ed sees a dragon protecting him. But can a spirit dragon really protect him from real live war?
Much more than a simple tale of war and the men who fight it, this is an intriguing and compelling story of life on the front lines. It is one you won’t be able to put down.
REGAN MURPHY SAYS: The Dragon Soldier’s Good Fortune by Robert Goswitz is the story of a young man fighting in Vietnam in the early seventies. Private Ed Lansky hasn’t been in Vietnam even twenty-four hours when he is arrested for smoking marijuana. Even though the charges don’t stick, Ed realizes that he is going to be very lucky if he even survives a few weeks in country. Talking with an Asian friend of a fellow soldier, Ed is convinced that a dragon spirit is protecting him. During his year in Vietnam, Ed learns a lot about himself, as well as life in general, and fully grows up. But how long will his dragon protect him, and what will happen when leaves Vietnam and finally goes home?
Well written, intense, with an authenticity that borders on uncomfortable, The Dragon Soldier’s Good Fortune is a compelling and powerful story that will stick with you for a long time to come.
Quang Nam Province, Republic of South Vietnam, August 9, 1972:
The muzzle flash of the Degtyaryov fifty-one-caliber heavy machine gun lit the air like a small lightning strike, piercing the green screen of banana trees separating the gun from two GIs crawling toward it.
Ed Lansky and Israel Nunez rested at the edge of the trees listening to the fifty-one’s hot brass ping the dirt during the uncommon wrath of each thunderous volley. Nunez pointed at Lansky’s watch, held up two fingers then crawled along the tree line curving out of sight.
Lansky watched Nunez crawl away, unsure of what to do next. He needed to create a distraction, that was the plan, but what that would be he did not know. As Nunez snaked past the hole where the big gun had been buried until this, the last day, he could still feel the concussion released by each round.
The three-man Viet Cong gun crew had his patrol pinned down in the rice paddy behind him.
As he moved along, Nunez said a short prayer of gratitude to his Salt River Pima ancestors. They had visited his dreams often, and he now knew what they wanted. In these dreams, Nunez was welcomed into a traditional willow branch and thatch hut joining a circle of his ancestors sitting around a fire. The fire was smoky, obscuring his vision, but he thought he saw his great-great-grandfather in warrior face paint rise and thrust a black lance into and out of the fire. The tale told about this iconic weapon was that his great-great-grandfather had used it to kill Apache at the Battle of Tempe Butte.
The lance was passed to his great uncle dressed in the blue uniform and yellow neckerchief of a US Army cavalry scout. His uncle admired the craftsmanship of the lance, its charcoal-colored oak shaft with blue quartz inlay and the shiny black obsidian spearhead attached to the shaft with fine copper wire. The obsidian blade was still sharp and ready for another battle.
Uncle passed the lance to Nunez’s grandfather, a World War I veteran wounded at Belleau Wood. Grandfather was dressed in his Doughboy uniform with a row of medals above his left breast pocket. He raised the lance over his head and let out a lusty war whoop echoed by the others.
The lance was passed to Nunez’s father dressed in the US Marine Corp battle gear of World War II. His father had told his son of being halfway up Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima when a group of GIs, including Ira Hayes, also a Salt River Pima, raised the Stars and Stripes.
Passed man-to-man, generation-to-generation, the lance was now held out reverently for Nunez to take. He always lost sight of the dream scene here, feeling suddenly cold and lonely, hurled into a deep darkness, free-falling through time. This falling sensation woke him with his heart pounding, short of breath, and a feeling of confusion.
He stopped crawling for a moment to examine the black stock, black pistol grip, and black hand-guard of his M-16. This was his obsidian lance. It had been given to him to silence the gun and square the circle. His ancestors had granted him the blood and iron to take the fifty-one out.
Now forty yards behind the gun, he worked his body into a comfortable firing position. Looking down the barrel, he lined up the rear sight notch with the forward sight bead and swung it onto the gun pit. The enemy gunners were hidden below the gun pit berm. The shot he wanted wasn’t there yet. His squad was getting hammered and running out of time. Nunez now saw that his plan was a mistake.
It depended on Lansky to create a distraction that would pop the VC out of their hole. This would give Nunez his kill shot, but so far Lansky had not moved. Still concealed in the banana trees, Nunez stood to see how his patrol was surviving. He thought about charging the gun pit but hesitated, hoping Lansky would do his part. If Lansky didn’t get going soon, Nunez would have to seize the initiative.
Sergeant Tiny jumped out of the far rice paddy, sprinted across the broad dike, and disappeared into the next paddy. It looked like he was going to try to flank the big gun not knowing Nunez and Lansky had already done it.
Tracers from the fifty-one arced toward Tiny but arrived too late. A long angry burst blasted the dike uselessly, the gun jammed with a loud clang.
Nunez heard excited voices jabbering in the gun pit, exhorting the gunner as he wrenched the bolt forward and back to clear the jam.
Vernon Huddle flopped out of the far paddy and joined Tiny by leaping across the dike. The bolt banged forward as Charles Laughton jumped out of the water, trying to follow Tiny and Huddle.
A short burst bracketed Laughton’s legs. One of the rounds made contact taking his feet from under him. He spiraled head over heels onto the paddy dike, his weapon turning in the air and landing in the water. Huddle leapt from the protective cover of the paddy dike, snatched Laughton, and began dragging him to safety. The Viet Cong gun crew responded by firing a long volley of accurate fire toward the two Americans.
September 7, 1971:
A sly look sparked a nasty comment, gasoline on the flame of intolerance. Racial angst exploded. First one, then two, then a throng of black GIs leapt to their feet, blood in their eyes. White soldiers rose in a rage, fists balled in anger. Chairs flew, tables slammed on concrete. Wild punches cut the dense humidity. The fury of the effort made most swings miss. Men rolled on the floor; jumped through the air; kicked a downed adversary; shouted cries of pain, of fear, of loneliness—a primal roar. Table after table of GIs in the midnight chow hooch joined the brawl.
Deep into his first night in Vietnam, Private Ed Lansky felt surrounded by darkness. He’d plodded through his midnight KP detail in a weary languor, sleep-deprived, jet-lagged, and sunburned.
Now he stood behind the food service counter next to the cook, Sergeant Chen, eyes ablaze, spooked out of his lassitude, watching the first action of his war.
Five MPs ran into the open-sided mess hooch, M-16s at port arms. One of them fired three rounds through the corrugated aluminum roof.
Most of the combatants stopped. One lone couple continued, a black guy had bulldogged a white guy to the floor, too angry to release his headlock, until the MPs separated them.
The white boy stood furious, glaring embarrassed that all eyes were on him. He breathed heavily, and his short hair stood on end.
A sergeant’s bark broke the silence. “All right, you assholes. Fall out!”
Both sides were herded away, across the sand in two separate groups, and faded into the night.
Lansky said, “Are they going to lock all those guys up?”
Sergeant Chen smiled at Lansky. “No, FNG, they’re going to yell at them then put them back on perimeter guard duty, those guys are our palace guard.”
“Okay, that’s a little frightening. Hey, why do you keep calling me FNG?” Feeling nettled, Lansky exhaled loudly.
“Because that’s what you are, a Fucking New Guy who don’t know nothing.”
Lansky towered over Chen and outweighed him by thirty pounds, but looking down on the stout little mess sergeant made him realize confrontation was a mistake. The hard edge in Lansky’s green eyes faded to acceptance. Respect was earned here, not given. He wiped perspiration from his broad forehead and subtle brow.
Sergeant Chen chuckled then stepped closer to Lansky. “Now, FNG, we also are of two different races, are we going to have our own little riot?”
Lansky leaned back. “No, no, we aren’t.”
“Good choice, FNG, good choice.”
Lansky and Chen straightened up the chairs and tables, mopped the floor, and began putting away the leftovers.
As they rinsed the pots and pans, Lansky looked at Chen. “Maybe I didn’t notice, but what were they fighting about?”
“Probably nothing. All it takes is a few wrong looks, and we got a race war on our hands. It’s happened a couple times before. They come in from guard duty where they had a lot of time to think about how lonely they are. Puts them in a bad mood. They may be high. Blacks hold a grudge for being here to fight whitey’s war. Some whites are prejudiced, but most are so self-absorbed they don’t give a damn about the black man’s anger. Those guys took a stand tonight, took a stand for the wrong reasons, in the wrong place, at the wrong time, but I admire them for drawing a line in the sand. What about you, Mr. Newbie, have you decided how you’ll take your stand?”
“What do you mean?”
“Look.” Chen lifted his left arm in front of Lansky’s face. A long, intricate, red dragon tattoo wound down his arm. The dragon had large eyes, a long snout, flared nostrils, a scaled snake body, and bat wings. It rose in the air with a fish in its mouth above a lotus pond. “Are you a dragon or a fish?”
Lansky looked confused.
Chen turned his right arm into view and rolled up the sleeve on his T-shirt. On his right bicep, Chen displayed a golden dragon with a salamander body and large orange eyes that stared down his arm at a small musk deer. “Are you a dragon or a deer? Dragons eat deer.”
“Sorry, Sarge, I’m a little overwhelmed at this point. Didn’t sleep on the plane last night. I’ve been awake about thirty-six hours. I’m too frazzled to think.”
Chen seemed amused. “That’s okay. I may have something for that. Got a guy coming by here in about ten minutes to get me high. Maybe a little reefer would help you settle down and see my point.”
“What about all the MPs that were just in here? Isn’t it risky?”
“Listen, FNG, we run this place. I do this every night. It’s no problem. Nobody will be around.”
“I don’t know.”
“My man will be here soon. Let’s go out for a breath of fresh air.”
Lansky had lost his capacity for rational evaluation; anxiety had diminished his faculties. He didn’t feel good about taking a risk, yet the fight in him was gone. Take a stand? He wasn’t capable of resistance.
The screen door whacked shut as they slipped out the side of the secured kitchen area. A yellow fingernail moon glowed in an ebony sky. A sprinkling of stars flickered in the background. Crickets chirped, and moths swarmed the floodlights over the mess hall.
They waded through the sand to the 600-gallon trailer known as a water buffalo and shared a drink, using the same cup.
Someone approached them in the dark.
Chen called out, “That you, Whitey?”
Lansky turned to see a blond-haired GI in a tie-dyed T-shirt, jeans, and flip-flops standing in the dark. He stepped into the perimeter of light. Whitey’s hair glowed. Even in the dim light, it was bright, shiny, and sun-bleached. An irregular part ran across the left side of his scalp. This unsteady line continued down across his face, where vague shadows gathered in the pockets created by the rise and fall of the line as it formed the obtuse chin, cheeks, and lip. It was as if that sliver of a moon had magically transported this man from some sunny San Diego street to this spot.
“White-man, meet an FNG,” said Chen.
“Hey, FNG, welcome to Cam Rahn Bay.”
“Yeah, well, can’t say I’m glad to be here. How do you get away with being outta uniform?”
“Just like Stateside at Cam Rahn, man. Long as I do my job, I don’t get no hassles. After hours, I can wear anything I want.”
“Told you we run this place. Hey, Whitey, think we should let old FNG here do some dew with us?” Chen smiled.
“Never can tell about an FNG, might fuck up. How about we have him stand a coupla’ meters down range in case he blows up while we’re smokin’?” Whitey laughed.
“Yeah, never can be too cautious when you’re a short-timer. Hey, Whitey, how short are you, again?”
“Fifty-one and a wake-up!”
“Oh, not bad, but don’t beat me, I’m forty-two and a wake-up.”
They looked at Lansky.
“Well, if you mean how many days do I have left, I’ve got about three hundred sixty-four and a wake-up.”
“Nooo, nooo, nooo, FNG, fuckin’ up again. You’ve been here one day, so it’s three hundred sixty-three and a wake-up.” Chen smiled. “You never count the last day.”
They all laughed.
“Not so bad now, is it?”
“Makes me feel a whole lot better.” Lansky was catching up to their irony.
“Well, we’re all gonna feel better in a minute. C’mon, Whitey, quit shamin’!”
Whitey pulled a blackened tobacco pipe and a small bag with brownish green herb from his pocket.
They looked around carefully, then Chen gave Whitey a light and the pipe went around, each man bringing the embers to a glow. Great bursts of smoke filled the air around them. The drug took effect immediately.
Lansky felt as if he was floating above the scene, dangling in the air, relaxed, looking down on the three figures, a birds-eye view. Those creatures down there didn’t have a care in the world, their problems seemed small, concerns were remote, and troubles were floating away. Conversation was free and loose, laughter came easy, a moment of peace.
Chen relit the pipe for Whitey. Then it happened. Lansky’s floating dream was shot down by three armed figures moving quickly around the corner of the mess hall. Back on earth, he noticed a pistol pointed at his nose.
Whitey froze next to him. Chen was gone, and a loud ruckus was building in the mess hall. The pistol sharpened Lansky’s perception of the scene coldly and quickly as he observed the MP holding the weapon, aimed at him. A kid no older than nineteen with rimless glasses stood under the helmet.
“Don’t move! Put your hands up! You’re under arrest.”
Lansky slowly obliged, looking dumbly at Whitey, who appeared very calm.
Lansky attempted to fight through his fear, to size up the situation. He had nothing illegal on him, but Whitey did. The running and shouting in the mess hall meant Chen had taken off with the pipe.
Two of the MPs were chasing him. They waited, silently listening to the scuffle of boots and curses as the MPs struggled with Chen.
Lansky studied the MP who stood uneasily in front of him: a curly-headed, skinny weed-of-a-boy, twitchy, unable to hold his weapon steady.
The look on this child’s face was one of jittery resignation that belied the police uniform and pistol.
Whitey must have also noticed a crack in his façade. “Hey, mind if I get a drink of water at the buffalo over there?”
“What? No, don’t move!” The kid shifted his weight nervously.
“Hey, you got us, man, I’m not going to try anything, my stomach’s upset, and I want a drink of water, okay?”
The kid looked into the mess hall where the scuffling had stopped, yet loud voices continued to echo out the door. He looked at them, unsure of what to do.
“Okay, but don’t try nothing.”
Whitey strolled across the sand, picked up the ceramic coffee cup on the trailer hitch, and turned himself a drink from the spigot. The trailer sat on the perimeter of floodlight illumination. Whitey had the pocket containing the bag of grass turned away from the MP, and his hand rested on his hip just above it.
The MP’s concentration was now split between two points.
Sipping slowly, Whitey snaked his hand into his pocket, with two fingers pinching the bag.
The kid watched him closely but occasionally turned back to look at Lansky. Whitey’s hand lifted the bag from his pocket and dropped it outside the perimeter. The MP missed it or chose not to pursue it.
Lansky and Whitey exchanged a brief deadpan glance of relief, then Whitey walked back toward them. Shouting voices moved closer.
The handcuffed Chen kicked the screen door open as he was dragged and pushed out of the mess hall. “Told you why I ran! Told you three times! We had a big race riot in the mess hall tonight. When I saw them guns, I thought it was blacks coming back to get us.”
The prisoners were lined up in a row.
A short, intense-looking sergeant released his grip on Chen and holstered his .45. He lit his pipe, and the match flame illuminated bright black eyes, triumphant, pulsing with the excitation of the kill. “So what were you doing out here tonight?”
As he spoke, the sound traveled through the pipe, giving his words a reedy lisp.
“Takin’ some air after midnight chow, Sarge,” said Whitey.
A sarcastic grin came over the sergeant’s face. He sucked saliva through the pipe stem, confident, juices flowing.
“You’re under arrest for suspicion of smoking marijuana. Hardesty, take ’em back to headquarters, get some ID, and file ’em. I’m going to inspect the scene.”
“Yes, Sergeant Snuflewicz!”
They were marched through the dark. Waves of fear and soporific disorientation swirled in Lansky’s brain. A large green form flashed over his head, the air disturbed by the flap of a wing. When he looked up, he saw nothing but stars in the night sky. Now I’ve gone too far, he thought. I’m seeing things.
At HQ, they were searched, questioned again, and placed in holding cells—a series of wood frame and chicken wire cages. Each man had a separate cell, but only two had a thin mattress on the floor.
Chen’s did not. He protested vehemently. “Hey, what-the-fuck? I’m ten months in country. I should get a mattress before an FNG!”
The large, sleepy, black guard looked at Lansky.
“You an FNG?”
“Gimme that mattress.” He opened the door.
Lansky couldn’t believe it. He handed the mattress to the guard and sat on the concrete, staring ahead, dazed by the accumulated trials of the day.
Chen and Whitey whispered about the details of the story.
Occasionally, Chen would slide over and update Lansky. “Remember, say as little as possible, just a couple of dudes appreciating the moon, okay? It’s no sweat. Whitey dumped his bag before he was searched, and I dumped the pipe in a big vat of fry oil. We’re clean. And by the goddamned way, FNG, can you now see what I was talking about? You need to take a stand. I have my dragons to protect me, what do you have?”
“When we were being marched in here, did you see anything fly over us?”
Chen looked confused. “What are you talking about?”
“Something big flew over my head, it was green.”
“No, I didn’t see anything. You need some rest.”
After thinking about it for a while, Lansky decided Chen was right. His brain was fried, and he must be hallucinating.
Time to focus on survival. He wasn’t going to let the army or hallucinations get the better of him. This dark moment was a temporary condition, a pause in the flow of bright circumstance that found him when he needed it. Lansky believed himself the beneficiary of a natural law granting him a life filled with serendipity. Things didn’t always go his way, but the steady accumulation of happy coincidence favoring him was well established. People noticed that his card fell at the right time, the wheel stopped on his number, his line drive to left landed just fair, and a stroll down Main Street got him a warm kiss. Currently, he was an infantry replacement in jail on his first night in country, but if he waited patiently, this too would change.
At some point, Lansky found sleep.
© 20108 by Robert Goswitz
Dwight Jon Zimmerman:
“Eloquent, disturbing, vivid, and brutally honest, The Dragon Soldier’s Good Fortune is the story of an enlisted soldier’s experience in Vietnam and his struggles following his return home. Not since James Webb’s Fields of Fire have I read a novel of the Vietnam War with such gut-wrenching power and sensitivity.” ~ Dwight Jon Zimmerman, New York Times bestselling writer
Jack Woodville London:
“The Dragon Soldier’s Good Fortune, by Robert Goswitz, is a classic tale of a man in combat who slowly comes to realize that the Viet Cong are not his only enemy. With wonderful storytelling, the novel hooks you from the first page as Ed Lansky, one of the last men drafted and sent to Vietnam and utterly ignorant of what he was getting into, is busted for smoking pot on his first night in country and is tagged as a troublemaker. When he is shuffled off to one of the last American infantry units still walking combat patrols, the reader becomes a part of Ed’s platoon, where Ed soon learns that there are only two kinds of people in the world: those immersed in the terror of combat, and everyone else. Ed survives with the help of a visitor as he and the platoon struggle through an inexperienced officer core, disintegrating NCO’s, racial disgruntlement, a hatred for lifers, and the kind of laziness that get men killed. Find and be a part of this engrossing story of men whose real battle was to stay alive long enough to come home.” ~ Jack Woodville London, author of The French Letters Series
James C. Washburn:
“Vietnam doesn’t get more authentic than The Dragon’s Soldier’s Good Fortune. If you want reality, this is it. From the oppressive day-to-day grind interrupted by the nihilistic lows and highs of battle, this book forces its way into our consciousness and leaves us imprinted as if having been there. For those whom Vietnam is not personal, the turmoil of that chapter of history will become unquestionably real. For those with firsthand experience, the details will jar memories out of dusty corners and reawaken questions concerning the morality of the war. We ride the whirlwind of Vietnam on the back of Private Ed Lansky, the “new guy,” as he moves from inexperienced and naive to sharp-witted and perceptive. We sweat with him on patrol and feel the effects and torment of the horrors of warfare in a young mind.” ~ James C. Washburn, author of Beyond the Last Oak
“The Dragon Soldier’s Good Fortune is a gripping first novel from author Robert Goswitz. It takes the reader behind the scenes and into the mind of soldiers fighting under the stress of combat in a foreign land. It exposes the reader to real struggles between men fighting the same enemy yet sometimes unable to deal with racial differences in their own Company. Goswitz’ Asian cultural references to the protector dragon and its magical realism add a compelling flair to the storyline of Ed Lansky and the rest of the men who served in Bravo Company. The climactic battle scene in the rice paddy grabbed me by the throat. A fantastic debut novel!” ~ Jim Landwehr, author of Dirty Shirt: A Boundary Waters Memoir and The Portland House: A 70’s Memoir
Reverend Bill McDonald:
“A one-of-a-kind Vietnam War novel in the very best way! Combat is used to take the reader on a mystical and spiritual adventure where faith, trust, courage, and belief are born and tested! This is not just a war story—it becomes a level of consciousness. I enjoyed this book immensely. Not a common story and certainly a much deeper reading experience than could be expected. The author truly delivers an inspirational story.” ~ Reverend Bill McDonald, Founder of Military Writers Society of America, Author of Warrior: A Spiritual Journey and Alchemy of a Warrior, Minister, International Motivational Speaker, Vietnam Veteran
Jennifer Rude Klett:
“Ed Lansky, a mild-mannered, likable college graduate from Wisconsin, takes a leap of faith to serve in the Vietnam War as an infantry private when drafted in 1971 in order to avoid a lengthy eight-year officer commitment in the US Army.The Dragon Soldier’s Good Fortune tells his story. Initially shuffled around units—not surprising in the Army—Lansky ends up as a radio and telephone operator with Bravo Company in the 195th Brigade, the last unit to leave Vietnam. From the beginning, Lansky claims to be lucky. But is it more a case of Something or Someone watching over him? He struggles with extraordinary stress, attempting to numb the horror of violence, racial tensions, and confusion and fear through various vices of the time, until a senseless, accidental death on an ambush patrol snaps him back to reality, forcing him to acknowledge his unpleasant emotions. He must move beyond his “Midwestern nice” and begins the process of looking fear in the face. Although the book is fiction, the story is written by Vietnam veteran Bob Goswitz and contains plenty of truths. It moves beyond the clichés of the Hollywood ’nam stereotypes, including descriptions of Vietnamese folklore and culture. It also provides glimpses of Lansky as a boy growing up in Wisconsin; hunting “up north” with his father and attending Milwaukee Braves baseball games. And despite its dark, heavy subject matter, including the after-effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, the book also contains hope, brotherly love, sacrifice, renewal, healing, and forgiveness. The crisp, fast-moving, descriptive writing style with plenty of punchy dialogue makes it a hard book to put down. The Dragon Soldier’s Good Fortune deals with combat and culture issues unique to the men and woman of the Vietnam War, but also speaks to universal soldier realities shared by all who have served.” ~ Jennifer Rude Klett, author of Alamo Doughboy: Marching Into The Heart Of Kaiser’s Germany During World War I
Vietnam 1972. A young American soldier’s tour of duty takes a turn when a magical dragon becomes his guardian angel over the rice paddies and jungles of the Vietnam War. Private Ed Lansky, laid back, reluctant college draftee from Wisconsin arrives in Vietnam as American combat troops begin their withdrawal from the war. Soon finding himself on dangerous missions “in country,” Ed begins to realize that he is being watched over by a mythical Vietnamese dragon who repeatedly shields him from imminent danger or worse. Ed’s faith in his dragon will see him through the war and deliver him the wisdom to cherish each precious, fragile moment of life upon his safe return home. Filled with authentic,entertaining vignettes of platoon life, The Dragon Soldier’s Good Fortune is more than a well told Vietnam tale. It is a young man’s ode to life against the odds, his passage from certain darkness to promised light.” ~ John Kochman, Cohen Media Group, www.cohenmedia.net
“Robert Goswitz’s moving novel The Dragon Soldier’s Good Fortune provides a unique look into the life of a soldier during the Vietnam War. The peculiar culture of US soldiers in Vietnam, the tensions, the camaraderie, the stress and difficult conditions are all brilliantly depicted. Goswitz’s tale is an emotional journey that draws a reader into the soldier’s inner world as he struggles to deal with the brutality of war. Woven into Goswitz’s story are elements of Vietnamese folklore, in particular a dragon, which forms part of the main character, Ed Lansky’s emotional landscape—a totem animal of sorts that appears when Lansky needs him the most. Perhaps the greatest value of this beautifully written story is the way it deepens our understanding of the ordeals soldiers face. Readers will inevitably come away with a greater empathy for all those who served our country, past or present.” ~ Lara Strong, Author of Spirit of the Turtle
“The Dragon Soldier’s Good Fortune is an outstanding depiction of the Vietnam War told from Goswitz’s personal accounts. To read this is to live it through his eyes time and again. We, who have not experienced war or who have only served in the armed forces, will never truly grasp the continuous memories that bombards the tortured souls who have. The only way we may be able to empathize is to read such works of literature and garner a much higher respect for every man and woman who has ever served during times of war. I highly recommend all, from teens up, to read this and say thank you to next person you see in uniform for enabling you to live in safety and security as a US citizen.” ~ Jeanie Loiacono, Loiacono Literary Agency, US Army veteran