In 1968 I took an oath to protect the Constitution and the United States from enemies both Foreign and Domestic. As far as I know, there is no expiration date. My fellow citizens seem to be crippled by fear that Fox news, Social Media, CNN, and all the other parts of big voice help spread. The fear generated by the opportunist, self centered millionaire Donald Trump is drowning out the voice of reason. His inane rhetoric has polarized the American people with Islamophobia pitting Christians against the 1.6 Billion Muslims in the world. He is an ignorant racist who would have us believe that closing the borders to all Muslims and building a wall to keep out Mexican rapists is not only the answer, it is illegal, non Christian, and the beginning of the backlash that will sweep him from the stage that he has never had the credentials to occupy. It is not only the thoughts of a man with a psychiatric disorder in which the patient experiences delusions of great power and importance but highly Unconstitutional. He has not only never governed, but doesn’t understand such basic facts as: “He who doesn’t understand history is doomed to repeat it.”

One must remember that the struggle of organized religions has been raging for centuries. At most, there are 70,000 idiots called Isil spreading terror against the Western Christian nations. The joke is that they all believe in the same God and don’t realize it.
It seems that in 638 Muslim armies conquered the Holy City of Jerusalem. The Christians did not like this and the resentment in Europe and grew and festered over centuries of fear. This presented a threat to the Papacy and the control of money, power, and World Domination.
In 1096 it exploded into what Historians call the First Crusade. Pope Urban of France called on a Holy war to recapture the Holy City. Does this sound familiar? He formed a Christian Caliphate and promised that if you went and fought in the Holy Land you would be forgiven of past sins and guaranteed a spot in Heaven if you killed Non-Believers. The only thing missing was the 72 Virgins.


Every week on the Raw Man Blues Show broadcast on 94.9 thebridge broadcast in the Pacific Northwest and heard world wide on the internet as a podcast, young Alexander Nagle reads a portion or Raw Man at the top of the second hour. The show can be heard live from 6-8 PCT every Sunday. Come on in and join the fun. There are Tee-Shirt giveaways and a chance to win an autographed copy of Raw Man.

This week we will be featured at Beach Books in Seaside, Oregon. Make sure that you tune in to the show this Sunday evening and enjoy the Blues. It is what saved my life in Vietnam.



Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.

Helen Keller

With the success of Raw Man exceeding my wildest expectations, I thought I was written out. I never studied writing and what I wrote was from the heart. Then the great songwriter Peter Himmelman said this:

“I’m thirty pages from the end of this thing and I’ve got to say, it’s one hell of a piece of writing. Not only is the story incredible, I knew it would be. But the gift Fred Rivera has for words was. …well, it was a bit of a shock. It’s beyond rare to find someone who’s never toiled in the world of letters, taking endless writing courses and so on, to be this naturally gifted. My sense is that Fred’s musicianship, his ability to hear and to give over what he’s heard, is at the root of it all. There’s a rhythm to all good music – as we know – and the same thing goes with good writing. Fred’s the Buddy Rich of the printed page. Raw Man The Book will hypnotize you and put you in the places Fred’s been. Prepare yourselves. He’s seen a lot. Maybe too much. My blessings to him and his family.

After the thrill and the shot of adrenaline I felt after winning the two important awards in San Francisco, I met a successful author at the San Francisco airport. I asked him when I should start writing my next novel. He said, “You write it, promote it for a year, and then start your next book. No sooner and certainly no later.”

Well it has been a year.

This and the reviews on Amazon, and of course the constant encouragement of my publisher Thornton Sully, have given me the confidence to start my new novel. Working title: The Road to Que. Experience has taught me that this will by a Working Title only. Raw Man war written over eight years with the title of Youth In Asia I have started writing and I have every one of you to thank for setting me on this course in this stage of my life. Namaste



Amberlyn Parker

Raw Man Review

History 112 – Meyers

Raw Man is a brutally honest book showing the reality of the Vietnam War and the aftermath of the people involved. It is a glimpse into Fred Rivera’s life during the war, in the battlefield, and on the home front including the good, the bad, and the ugly, but mostly the wildly ugly. This book gives us insight on coping with tragedy and fighting for life and our country through a writing style we can relate to without even being present during this time.

One of the major aspects of war that is really highlighted in this book is how death becomes sort of meaningless while amidst battle and a how a person becomes numb during constant stress and chaos. While writing a letter to his mom, Rivera admits that when a person is shooting at you, you don’t realize it because that is commonplace in the day to day. In response to that, it seems that life is cheap because casualties never cease and there will always be a person to fill a void in need. Rivera’s dear comrade Herman puts this comprehension of life and death into words with the small line on the bottom of page 23; “Same o’ same o’. Lose one nigger, get another. Uncle Sam just keeps ‘em coming.” The value of life by itself was not appreciated in the monstrous setting of the Vietnam War. Value was determined by work done, and enemies killed. An example from Rivera’s life in the jungle that demonstrates this thought is when he brings up Dale Darnel, the hyper weird guy, on page 66. Rivera recaps a night where he was playing cards with fellow soldiers to relax and forget the stressful day and Dale persistently asked for water with no luck. Getting frustrated, Dale pulls the pin to a live grenade and asks for water again. Obviously panicked, the boys beg for him to put the pin back into the grenade but he gave them no break and handed them a live grenade to dismantle before detonation instead. If not properly dismantled, the grenade would have killed them but it was just used as a pawn in a game. This is a near death experience that people genuinely fear for and it was just part of their ordinary day. If the grenade had gone off, they would just be another casualty of war and replaced because the show must go on. This is their outlook on the value of life that is regarded so highly today.

Another one of the major themes that is present throughout this book are ways of coping for people in the war, post-war, and families of the war. During the war, the struggle was evident and multiple methods of ‘clearing the mind’ were used. Rivera, and men just like him, clung to the idea that if there was at least one good thing about Nam, it was the great weed. Smoking was considered a way to get out of ones body for a moment or two after a long day of battle. It was also a ceremony for those that were dear and lost during the daily struggle. A passage from page 73 really sums up the way they feel about coping and drugs and that is, “We talked about Doc Lewis not being with us anymore and we smoked a bowl to him. We smoked a bowl to Bobby Haynes and one for Wayne Saunders. By then we started losing guys, as they had smoked so much weed they were passing out left and right.” Drugs ranging from alcohol to opiates, and probably even worse, were rampant among these men and became a crutch to ease the pain and heartache. Obviously, Vietnam was a very different time but this is a relationship that carries on into today’s society with heavy homeless drug addiction and marijuana becoming legalized. Drugs will remain a societal crutch, always have and always will.

Rivera talks about how coping on the home front required a different approach than abusing substances, although it was practiced as well. With the Vietnam War being publicized through media more than ever before, people could see the horrific events taking place in South East Asia. Citizens supported, and many opposed, returning troops just trying to make it home. Rivera writes about his return where a young woman spat in his face and deemed him a ‘baby killer.’ This woman had no evidence that Rivera was what she had said but the war was a very negative subject to society and anti-war protests were growing rapidly. Groups like Mothers for Peace, Students for a Democratic Society, Black Panther Party, Chicano Anti-War Group, etc. had a very large role in the states at that time. At home, Rivera joins the Vietnam Veterans Against the War to cope with the aftermath that he had found himself in. “I had mixed feelings about taking part in an anti-war demonstration after just over a week of being back in the World. But now that I was home, I could not see any good reason for the war and the killing to continue” (pg. 231).

This notion identifies a new theme in Rivera’s book where the atmosphere of America was changing and there was a new type of war to deal with: anti-war protesters and the law. Rivera talks about the day he joined an action at Griffith Park where the VVAW were throwing their badges, medals, and ribbons they earned into a coffin as an act of defiance. This is day that he realized his war was not over, for the law enforcement of Los Angeles (which he refers to as East L.A.’s occupation army) retaliated against all of the individuals’ involved, whole families and all, for exercising their First Amendment rights. After being beaten, pepper sprayed, kicked, cuffed, and jailed, Rivera gives insight to the protester’s basic concept while talking to his father which is: “there is a war going on right here, in this country, in this community. Until today, I never saw the strength of opposition to the war I just abdicated. I believe the American people can bring an end to this vicious war” (pg. 231). This is a war that didn’t require violence but inherently possessed it because of opposing views on what is right and what is law. The key slogan: struggle is not in Vietnam but in the movement for social justice at home.

When Rivera realized that the war had shifted drastically in the US, he was on the receiving end of brutality. What was supposed to be a Peace Movement guided by the teachings of Martin Luther King and Gandhi, turned into an attack on thousand of non-violent protestors. The war he had helped fight for was now fighting against him and the echoes of Vietnam rang like a bell. The transformation from the beginning of the book to the end, from the ally to the enemy, is the major comparison that needs to be addressed.

Rivera’s writing style makes this book worth the time because he is great at recapping his past in a very fluid manner. The information he chose to include grabbed my attention and made the book hard to put down. I felt as if I was in the jungle myself from all of the detail he provides. He had a way of balancing all of the gruesome, bloodcurdling events that took place during his draft with all the positive insight he took from the war and people around him. By including his own letters his mother kept, the reader is able to look at this era through his eyes and interpretation. This is a way to analyze history that isn’t focused in any textbook. Raw Man would definitely be considered a great read.


You know I said I would help fight bad paper. This is the first salvo hooking up with the Vet Centers around the country and joining in the fray helps my own PTSD.

A Veteran came to my house and said another Veteran came to his house and took him in to file his disability claim. He told my guy that once he got his, he was to go and grab another Veteran and bring him in and I was him. In turn I have brought several people into the VA and told them the same thing.

Next big battle is Bad-Paper.


► Bad-Paper Discharges Impact on Treatment

Veterans groups claim in Federal Court that the military is trying to keep a lid on “bad-paper discharges” it handed tens of thousands of service members who likely suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder before
the medical community recognized that condition. Vietnam Veterans of America and the National Veterans Council for Legal Redress brought the complaint on 4 MAY against the U.S. Department of Defense and
three military branches. They say that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs denies disability compensation and other benefits to veterans who received other-than-honorable (OTH) discharges, but that many who received such “bad-paper discharges” are the tens of thousands of service members suffering from undiagnosed PTSD. PTSD was not recognized as a medical condition until 1980, according to the complaint. While Congress has created internal boards to consider applications by veterans seeking to revise their discharge papers, the veterans say these boards “have collectively failed to prioritize or take seriously discharge upgrade requests from veterans diagnosed with PTSD stemming from military service.” From 1993 to 2014, the Boards for Correction of Military/Naval Records approved fewer than 5 percent of these type of applications from Vietnam veterans, according to the complaint. Crediting a class action they filed last year,
the groups note that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel issued a memorandum in September 2014 that instructed the boards to give veterans with PTSD “liberal consideration.” The groups say they in turn filed requests under the Freedom of Information Act for records showing how the boards adjudicated PTSD related applications before and after Hagel’s so-called “PTSD Upgrade Memo.” Disclosure of these records is essential for the public to assess DOD’s compliance with the directive and
assist veterans seeking to apply for discharge upgrades,” the complaint states, but the government has thus far allegedly failed to provide responsive, non-exempt records within the statutory time period. “Without
information about how DOD, Army, Navy, Air Force, and their respective boards have handled PTSD-related discharge upgrade applications, the public cannot hold these entities accountable for the fair and just 14 treatment of veterans,” the complaint states. The groups note that the records implicate an estimated 80,000 Vietnam veterans, many of whom are elderly, indigent and suffer from medical problems. Without records
showing whether these veterans’ discharges are being reconsidered, the groups say that Hagel’s memo is “merely a symbolic gesture.”
The last communication that the groups had with the Defense Department was on Dec. 29, 2014, when the agency said it was working on the request. The Air Force allegedly urged the groups to narrow the scope
of their request. The Navy told the plaintiffs it was closing the request as duplicative of the one filed with the Defense Department, and the Army declined to process most of the request as “unduly burdensome,”
according to the complaint. The groups say they narrowed their Dec. 8, 2014, requests to the military branches in March and April, but have not received a response. They are represented by Michael Wishnie of the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization. [Source: Courthouse News Service |

Christine Stuart | May 06, 2015

Victor Diaz

Post 3918 Service Officer

Vero Beach, Florida 32962


Okay everybody, I have been doing a blues show every Sunday Evening on 94.9 the Bridge that goes live in the Pacific Northwest but you can catch it on the internet on the site below. I have kept it low key as I have been catching up on new technology with the help of my friends Billy Holder and David Kraklow Jr.. Things have changed since I used to have the Nightcrawler Blues Show on KRTM 13 years ago. This week I finally (I think) found my groove and I invite you all to listen. I get down with some funky shit. You know I got busted two weeks ago by the FCC for saying shit? I love it. Yet another new adventure for a 67 year old man who thought he had done and seen it all.




Fred Rivera 1st and 2nd Place

The San Francisco held Award Ceremony of the International Latino Book Awards this last weekend of June 27 is one of those fantastic memories that will stay etched in the minds of my wife Lynda and mine for the rest of our years. (Baring Dementia) But I believe that somewhere in the folds of my brain, they will remain.

We stayed at the Park 55 18th floor with a beautiful view of the bay and the fireworks after each Giants game. Lynda secured a wheelchair as soon as we arrived and it was to  be my method of transportation back and forth to the Mascone Center where the ALA, American Librarian Association was having a their annual convention. What luck! My publisher Thornton Sully of A Word With You Press took a booth all four days of the convention and on Sunday, after I won the Mariposa Award for Best New Author and placed second as Best Novel, a feat more prestigious than it might sound, as the contest had over 1800 entries and 192 judges and still ranked Raw Man that high.

As he has since my book release party, Victor Villasinor kept close eyes on me and along with Jonathan and Isabelle Friedman, he a Pulitzer Prize winner and both, the most loving and nurturing two people I have met since my first encounter with Thornton Sully who gave me the confidence, and team to make this manuscript at first titled Youth In Asia, into Raw Man, the book that has propelled me into the world of literature.

As I write in the epilogue, “Twenty-two veterans commit suicide every day in this country. If this book helps touch one life, it has done it’s job.