Renee began the Throwback Thursday meme on her blog, “It’s Book Talk” to share some of her old favorites as well as sharing books published over a year ago. Sounded like a good reason to join! My TT posts will not come from current ARCs or new releases. Means I’ll be going back over some of my oldies but goodies, my favorite authors, and some of my favorite stories from authors you might not have previously experienced. Many of these short reviews were made for Goodreads. Hopefully, you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out.
This week I am highlighting June Collins, another terrific author who produced this Vietnam memoir, Goodbye Junie Moon, which was reviewed on Goodreads. She has actually written two others, the first The Khaki Mafia with Robin Moore published by Avon Books in 1972. Ms. Moon consistently runs approximately 4.5 stars for books sold on Amazon with Junie Moon Rising at five stars.
Originally posted January 18, 2014.
Book Blurb: “…A curvaceous Australian dancer entertains the troops in Vietnam. She uncovers a get rich quick scheme involving the sergeants running the American Army clubs. Discovering that she has reported them to the CID, they place a high price on her head. She learns they are watching the only airport out, preventing her escape. Then fate steps in, triggering an unexpected turn of events. Goodbye Junie Moon is a memoir which reads like fiction and is guaranteed to keep you turning the page. This true story is verified by numerous newspaper and magazine articles. Racy, action-filled, heart stopping, poignant; it is all of these! WARNING! The prolog is steamy. The remainder of book is not. However, if sex or four letter words offend you, choose another book. This story is set in a war situation and reflects the emotions and language of real life in that situation.” (Note: I usually object to sexual or graphic content. I did not find this was particularly offensive.)
I’m a Vietnam era wife of a Navy veteran. June’s philosophy regarding married men had me chewing nails, but you can’t fault this Aussie for loving our American enlisted and non-coms and fighting at the peril of her own life for that of those boys.
Born, raised, and married in Australia, little in the way of education, and nothing in the way of sophistication, this young outback woman fled the third catastrophic miscarriage and failing life of a rancher’s wife to seek some kind of existence far away from her sheltered past.
Using the only tool her family had given her, that of years of dance lessons, she parlayed the most basic of dancing positions into what eventually became an extremely lucrative bar/restaurant of her own in Vietnam during the height of the conflict where she found herself in a position of witnessing first hand one of the worst kick-back situations existing in the U.S. Army club and entertainment industry.
The “Khaki Mafia” seemed above the law until June found a way to get a report through to the CID and Senator Ribicoff, who brought her to Washington for a series of hearings, eventually paving the way to new safeguards so the situation could not happen again in any future conflict.
Her love and support of our men in the field was amazing; descriptions of the camps had you sweating while swatting mosquitoes; the appreciative roar of her welcome shows deafening. We know what Bob Hope brought to the men; we’ve heard the amazing stories of Martha Raye. It’s too bad June’s role in both the entertainment and clean-up of the industry is not common knowledge as well.
I loved this book and was happy to give five stars. I still recommend Goodbye Junie Moon as one of the most gritty and bone-chilling exposés of that unfortunate corruption within our military services.
About the Author: (From Amazon and Goodreads Author Pages) “June Collins made international news headlines in 1969 when she became a whistle-blower and testified before a U.S. Senate Committee. She pointed the finger at a group of corrupt American Army sergeants who had made millions in Vietnam by demanding kickbacks from all booking agents and sales people. June, an ex exotic dancer, had provided rock bands to the US military camps during the war. After destroying her business by listening to her conscience, she made a comeback when The Khaki Mafia, (co-authored with Robin Moore, author of The French Connection) was published and became a best seller book. “During her many years living in Asia, June had become appalled by the plight of the abandoned street children. In her home country, Australia, adoption was near impossible. Therefore, she chose to remain in the USA. Eventually she was able to adopt six children, ranging in age from three to thirteen, from India, Korea, Columbia and the USA. “Once the children were grown she again turned to writing and has again written two more books about the Vietnam war. Goodbye Junie Moon is the non-fictionalized story about her encounters with The Khaki Mafia. The sequel, Junie moon Rising, shows her recovery from PTSD after the war ends and she tries to fit back into civilian life. “Following a turbulent life, she now resides in relative tranquility on a mountain top overlooking the ocean in Queensland Australia.”
More Throwback Thursday Blogs
Renee at Its Book Talk
Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe
Rebecca at The Book Whisperer
Lynn at Fictionophile
Sam at Clues and Reviews
Holly B at Dressedtoread
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