SacredBlood_Cover 25.0 out of 5 starsThe Human Aspect of War

on August 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Al Lohn does a masterful job of showing the human aspect of war, with very interesting stories of each war the U.S. participated in. He emphasizes the humanity while showing the suffering, and it is this common humanity which really makes one think about this method of settling differences. The soldiers, in the midst of all of this, also question the wisdom of their causes after seeing and experiencing what happens. Families are torn apart, causes are questioned, love is experienced, and international brotherhood is experienced. The horrors of war are made personal is a way the reader can easily identify with, as we all have common needs and desires. Were the causes being fought for worth the death and horror and suffering, and were the leaders’ motives legitimate? Very interesting reading!

Honor our men and women in uniform for they gave us liberty and keep us safe.

Veterans flag


The Prize of Freedom!

Freedom, I gave you my husband,
You gave me a neatly folded flag.
Oh, what a trade!

Freedom, I gave you a courageous heart,
You gave me a few well-chosen words.
Oh, what a trade!

Freedom, I gave you the love of my life,
You gave me a medal on a blue ribbon with thirteen white stars.
Oh, what a trade!

They played taps and lowered his body into a cold grave,
Oh, what a price to pay for freedom.

They called him a fallen hero,
They called me the fallen hero’s widow.
They called his child the fallen hero’s son,
Oh, what a price to pay for freedom!
Al Lohn

Why do writers write?


Why do they? For the money?

I am sure some do. Patterson, Steven King, J K Rowling, Grisham, and others, all make a good living. These four became multi millionaires from their writing.

Yes, some writers make a living from their writing. However, according to the writer’s guild, 80% of all writers are starving artists. Their royalties amount to a few miserly dollars. They have day jobs and write whenever they can find some time. Some write after work until late in the night. There are young moms that write whenever their little ones take a nap. Others start writing when they retire because now they have the time to do so.

However, if the writer’s guild is correct, only 20% make a living from writing. Does that mean that 80% of all books are trash? No, not necessarily, off course I grant you, there is a share of rubbish floating around. However, a large percentage of books are a good read and don’t get the recognition. The reason for that could be that they self-published and do not have the PR or circulation. Many writers use small-press publishers that do not have the retail circulation that the major ones have. Do to downsizing most publishers leave the marketing and advertising in the hands of the writers who have neither the knowledge nor the time to handle the marketing end of the business. So, why do writers put so much work into a book for a next to nothing-monetary reward?

A book is like an iceberg. When a reader looks at a book, all he/she sees is the tip sticking out of the water. Seven-eighths of it is the work hidden below the water; like Editing-rewriting-more writing-thinking-researching-ideating-and dreaming. Oh yeah, writers dream a lot, even with open eyes. If you ever see an author’s mouths moving, and you hear no words coming out of it, don’t lock them up. They are not crazy. They are just conversing with the characters they created.

So why do they write? If you ask them, I am sure their answers vary greatly. Do some hope to strike gold with their book? I am sure there are those that do. Is it the love of the craft for others? I am positive that many love the writing process. For me, writing a story is like watching a movie. To find the answer, we have to examine when, and how, they decided to become writers. I am sure, some were avid readers in their teenage and young adult years, and advertently became fans of authors that they wanted to emulate.

Others might have majored in writing and started from there. Maybe some picked it up later because they fell in love with the written word. And some got into it by accident as I did. In my case, I never gave writing a thought. In fact, I hated writing in school; I absolutely despised it. So why did I start writing you ask?

I retired in 1998 after a fifty year carrier in corporate life and bought a computer. I played around with it, and after crashing it often enough, I learned how to use it. Creating a family tree was my first project. Since my wife and I are both German immigrants, our children and grandchildren would not know where to find the information of their ancestors. In the process, it dawned on me that the names on the piece of paper would not mean much to them without their ancestor’s stories. That is when I started to write the stories of our ancestors down in a novel format. Much to my surprise, I enjoyed the writing process. So I gave writing a try.

Since I experienced the horrors of WWII, spend two years in the US Army, plus two in the Army Reserve, I could spin enough yarn to fill a few novels. My extensive travels during my carrier to more than 50 countries, gained me an inside into many cultures, and getting to see many sites allows me to write convincingly. That is how I became a writer.

I believe the passion to tell stories is ingrained in human nature. From the time of the earliest human, back in the caves, people had a burning desire to create stories and share them with others. Evolution has not dimmed that need as more authors are stepping forward, attempting to be published.

Albert Camus (Pronounced= al-BAIR_ka-MOO), the French Algerian author, journalist and playwright, who won the 1954 French Nobel Prize for literature said it best.

“Writers write, because they must.”


##### Now available at – – #####

Jacob n Jalila-flat

As the Muslim world collides with Jacob’s homeland, friend turns against friend, and love, caught between the two warring Ideologies, becomes a victim.

After Jalila’s family moved from Jaffa to Ramallah, the love of two young lovers is torn apart by a misguided doctrine. Friends turn to enemies when one seeks to restore his family honor, while the other tries to protect a life.

Jacob, an officer in the Israeli Special Forces, finds himself fighting Jalila’s world to protect the existence of his homeland. Pain and sacrifices overshadow their lives.


Veterans flag

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As his men advanced in the rugged, barren terrain, the sound of spraying bullets suddenly appeared from nowhere. He froze and stood motionless as he watched the Taliban bullets mow down his men…or were they al-Qaida insurgents?

He had ordered his men into a killing zone and could do nothing but watch. He heard their cries and looked into their pain stricken faces as the bullets minced them into pieces. The demons of war did not let him rest; the trauma of Afghanistan blended now with the horrors of Iraq.

He heard a resounding blast tare open the entrance to the hospital; smoke billowed from the fiery remains of the massive explosion. The smell of tritonal and cordite from the TNT and gunpowder, hung in the air. Spattered body parts, arms, and legs were everywhere. Dear God in Heaven! Was that the decapitated head of Charlie Brown hurling through the air…or was it Marissa’s Charlie? Now he could see Sergeant Washington’s disfigured face sailing across, followed by the shattered remains of Sergeant Walsh…Sergeant Maskin…then Lieutenant Uthman…and Colonel Franklin. His agony was unbearable. But the worst came last. Helplessly, he screamed out in pain as the torn up body of Marissa catapulted through the air with her terror stricken eyes begging for help.

“Lieutenant! Lieutenant, wake up! Wake up son; it’s only a nightmare. Come on, wake up!” From the dark abyss, Sean opened his transparent blue eyes. The face of a colonel, with caduceus on his lapels, looked at him.

The worst was yet to come. The young lieutenant was escorting the remains of Sergeant Marissa Collier Linz, a beautiful, young, single mom, and his fiancé who he loved very much.

The first gun salute ripped him out of the nightmare as he sat in front of the open gravesite. The remaining two gun salutes felt as if they were ripping through his body. Tears ran down his cheeks as the bugler played the final taps, and the officer of the burial detail presented the flag to little Charlie, Marissa’s young son.

“Don’t put Mommy in that hole,” shouted little Charlie. “Pleeeaaase, don’t put Mommy in that hole. It’s cold and dark in there. Seaaan, please stop them. Please Sean don’t let them put Mommy in that hole.”

The cries of the little boy made Sean shiver. They followed him wherever he went.

The Price of Freedom!

Freedom, I gave you my mommy,

You gave me a neatly folded flag.

Oh, what a trade!

Freedom, you took my mommy’s courageous heart,

You gave me a few well-chosen words.

Oh, what a trade!

Freedom, you took the love of my life,

You paid me with a medal on a blue ribbon with thirteen white stars.

Oh, what a trade!

They played taps and lowered her body into a cold grave,

Oh, what a price to pay for freedom.

They called her a fallen hero,

They called me the fallen hero’s son,

Oh, what a price to pay for freedom!

Al Lohn

The Old Lady and the River – A remembrance of love, joy, fear, and pain.


Chapter One

Liesel Halston sat in a rocking chair and stroked the image of a handsome young man with her gnarled fingers. Eighty-four years had put heavy lines into the fine-featured face of Liesel Halston and arthritis had crippled her hands, but her stylish silver-gray hair and clear blue eyes still showed signs of a remarkably beautiful woman.

As she gently rocked, her eyes wandered from the picture in her hand, to the photos on the desk. A sad smile appeared on her face as her eyes roamed from the photo of a young Captain in Marine blues to a young Major in a World War II uniform. With his service cap cocked to one side, the young Major smiled back at her. The dark hair, the same facial features, and the disarming shy smile showed a strong family resemblance to the Marine. With tears in her eyes, she lovingly caressed the pictures on the desk.

When she turned her attention back to the photo in her lap, two tears trickled down her face. She kissed her fingertips and transferred the kiss to the young man in the picture. A Major dressed in desert fatigues. Love emanated from the picture. She prayed silently, “Please Lord keep him safe.”

The horror of Liesel’s past haunted her during her dreams. A cynically smiling SS officer in a black uniform hunted her. She saw him holding a door open to an inferno on the end of the road. He motioned her with his finger to come, but before the flames could devour her, she saw Oma Rachel and Opa Samuel walking into the flames. The devil in the black uniform laughed aloud and held a swastika flag high above his head. He gestured Liesel again with his crooked finger to follow him. However, her Papa swept her up and carried her to safety.

Chapter Two

Liesel lived with her daughter-in-law Kate in Bryn Mawr, a suburb of Philadelphia. The picturesque two-story colonial house surrounded by a white picket fence boasted a wrap-around porch and faced an oak-lined street. Lovely flowerbeds burst with a rainbow of colors in the front yard, bright reds, deep blues, bright yellows, and vivid violets. Clusters of birch, honeysuckle, and a lilac bush filled the air with an intoxicating fragrance. The flowers and trees reached upward toward heaven soaking up a gently falling rain.

A large, wooden, rocking chair held a place of prominence on the porch, as did a white swing suspended from overhead by hooks and chains, the late-summer breeze causing them to sway gently back and forth. In the backyard were signs of a child evidenced by a swing set and slide that stood next to a playhouse. The open door begged a little girl to come and play.

Kate, a widow and a real-estate broker by trade, owned the house. She and her late husband Tom had one son, Bill, a Major in the 3rd Infantry Division. He was currently fighting somewhere in the desert of Iraq. Since Bill left for Iraq, Sandra, Kate’s daughter-in-law, and her four-year-old daughter Christy had moved in, as well.

Christy walked quietly up to her and put her little arms around her Grammy. Nestling her tiny face against Liesel’s shoulder, she looked up with her large brown eyes, and said, “Don’t cry, Grammy. Daddy will come home soon.”

In the adjacent room, Sandra and Kate had observed the gentle assurance the little girl gave her pain-stricken Grammy. Despite doing her best to be strong, Kate couldn’t stop her tears from flowing. She hugged Sandra and gently stroked her back kissing her forehead. They’d not heard from Billy in two weeks. Officially, the US troops had defeated the Iraqi army, but Saddam’s loyalists and insurgent-terrorists were still attacking.

Chapter Three

The photos on the bureau took Liesel down memory lane. She remembered when her sheltered childhood turned upside down and when the losses she’d endured broke her heart.

His life flashed by in front of her when she looked at her grandson’s picture. She saw that cute baby in her arms. His parents were the happiest people on earth. Billy grew up so fast. Before she could blink an eye, he’d entered kindergarten. Then came his first day of school. She remembered the tall cornucopia Kate and her had made for him. They had filled it with treats just as Liesel’s mom had done for her. His first day of school was such a momentous occasion.

The years passed by so fast. Before she knew it, Billy graduated from high school and entered West Point. Dressed in his uniform, he was such a handsome lad. He looked just like his father and grandfather; tall, slim with dark hair, and his beret always cocked to one side. He had that same wicked captivating smile on his face. Handsome Billy and Sandra with her beautiful blond hair, blue eyes, slender body, and only an inch or two shorter than Billy. Together they made such a stunning couple. “Billy, we all miss you so much. If only your grandpa and dad could see that beautiful little munchkin of yours, my little sunshine,” whispered Liesel. “Lord, you cannot ignore this sweet little girl’s prayer. She is asking You to protect her daddy. Please God, bring Billy home.”

Looking at the young WWII Major, Liesel drifted off into the twilight of yesteryear. “Lord, why did You take Tom away from me? Half my heart died with him. Then You took Tom Jr., and the other half died. Why? I lived so long with a broken heart; please take me; do not hurt Kate, Sandra, and little Christy. Gone are so many of my loved ones, Mama, Papa, Opa Friedrich, Oma Anna, Opa Samuel and Oma Rachel. Oma Rachel’s ashes are somewhere; only You, Lord, know where they are; I miss them all so much. I do not know why You allowed Hitler, this barbaric monster, inflict so much pain on so many people. Why did You let him destroy my beautiful country and my carefree childhood? Why? Why? There are so many painful whys.”

Chapter Four

Composed now, Kate and Sandra watched Liesel as she sat in her rocker holding the picture of her husband in her hands. Her face was pain-stricken and her thoughts were far away. They walked over and put their arms around the old woman’s shoulder. They stroked her cheeks and Christy laid her head in Grammy’s lap. A tender smile chased away the pain in Liesel’s face. She looked down on Christy and said, “Thank you Lord for surrounding me with the gift of love. Protect them from all grief and pain.”

“Mom, why have you never gone back to visit Germany?” asked Kate.

“There are too many painful memories.” She shook her head, and said, “So much pain.”

“However, there have to be some happy memories too. Maybe a visit would bring closure to your grief.”

“Yes, there are also happy memories; but…I…I am afraid to open up old wounds,” the old woman whispered.

“Why don’t we go together? I’d love to see where you grew up. And it would be such a wonderful experience for Christy.”

The little girl looked up at her with those large round eyes. Grammy Liesel swallowed hard and caressed Christy’s hair. She said quietly, “I don’t know. Maybe it would help. What happens if it rips open all the old wounds? If it weren’t for those painful memories, I would like to see ‘Meine Heimat’ once more.”

“Mom, if it becomes too difficult for you, we pack up and leave. But I think you should try.”

Liesel looked from one to the other and stroked Christy’s cheek. She had a difficult time deciding. Sandra said, “Grammy, I can make arrangements. You, Kate, and Christy can go, but I want to stay here, in case Billy calls. What do you say, Grammy?”

Christy begged, “Please Grammy; say yes, pleeeaaase.”

Liesel smiled and said, “Okay; let’s try it then. Sandra, Billy will call, and he will come home. We have to think positive.”