May 12, 2014

It's your birthday, Francis!

Francis D. Sommer
May 12, 1983 - February 11, 2011

You are always in our hearts!

May 7, 2014

New and not-so-new writings remember Francis in time for his birthday and Memorial Day

Two excerpts from my current work-in-progress, a memoir entitled Losing Francis: One Family’s Journey through a Decade of American War, have recently appeared on-line and in print. In addition, proceeds from the sale of two previously published books will be donated to the Kansas City VA Medical Center in Francis’s memory. 

“Leavenworth,” which explores the setting and history of Leavenworth National Cemetery, where Francis rests, appears in the Fall 2013 issue of Rathalla Review and is available on-line for free here:

“Remedial Army,” which describes Francis’s letters from Basic Training at Fort Benning, appears in the Spring 2014 issue of New Plains Review. Here’s a brief excerpt:

He wore a short-sleeve dress shirt, pressed olive-green slacks, and a cadet cap. Our photos reveal his misgivings about being seen in this outfit, which he wore for the first time that day, a requirement of the weekend pass. His belt buckle is askew and his shirt partly untucked in one picture. The confidence he’d enjoyed for weeks on Sand Hill in workout gear or BDUs was now diluted by his first venture onto the main post in a blank uniform, devoid of color or rank—so obviously a trainee that he made an easy target even for a clerk in the commissary, who treated him with disdain and a clear sense of impunity about doing so as he got fitted for boots.

“Remedial Army” is only available in print and can be ordered here:

In addition to these recent articles, proceeds from the sale of Where the Wind Blew: A Novel and American Holidays (a short story collection self-published under the pseudonym Rob Driscoll) will be donated to The Francis D. Sommer Memorial Fund. To support the cause of assisting homeless veterans, purchase of these books only through Tallgrass Books at Amazon.

Here are the links: 

(Remember--please place your order only through Tallgrass Books 
to ensure that your donation reaches the Francis D. Sommer Memorial Fund)

Thank you for remembering Francis 
and for all you do to support our homeless and needy veterans!