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Friday, December 19, 2014

Book Review - Dyslexic Dick - The Marine Corps Truly Uncommon Experience by Richard W Kraemer

Book Review
Dyslexic Dick - The Marine Corps Truly Uncommon Experience 
by Richard W Kraemer

Book Description
This autobiographic story is about my life in the Marine Corps, and it is unlike any other story you'll ever read about the Marines. It's not a war story, although it did take place toward the end of the Vietnam War. So, don't look for a John Wayne type character in the author, it's just not me. It was at a time when the draft had just ended, and this was the beginning of an all-volunteer armed service for our country. It's not a victim's story because I'm dyslexic. I'm much more of a man because I'm dyslexic and a Marine veteran, as the story tells.

The Marine Corps and my dyslexia helped me achieve great things in life. However, being a dyslexic Marine does have it's drawbacks, too. This story is a humorous, adventurous, and emotional account of my experiences as a Marine. But, it also tells what happens when things are not so honorable. I talk about being pulled from basic training, and shipped to the dark side of Parris Island, a place no Marine talks about. I talk of my horrible family tragedy, and the effect it had on me and the ones I loved.

I speak about both at home and abroad of romance, lust, love, and heartbreak. You'll read what it's really like to travel around the world on a Navy ship, seeing ports of call. The story is nothing like one told before. I tell of my accomplishments as a Marine, and also write of my long list of criminal activity. I wrote about the criminal underworld of the Marines, a few good criminals, but most were not that good. I talk about the thieves, loan sharks, and drug dealers living among us at our barracks and on the open seas. I told of stories about drinking, drugging, and fighting. I spoke of many honorable Marines and some pretty despicable characters. This is one true real life Marine Corps story, and I am proud to say it's my own.

Available to buy from...

Our Book Review
Dyslexic Dick 2 is a very hard hitting and truly honest account of the author's life from the time he joins the marines, it is an emotional roller coaster full of love, humour and tragedy.  The author has the strength and determination to succeed and not give in and he describes how you will either love or hate him.  He is very loyal to the people he trusts and feels a very strong attachment to his marine corp.  The traits and issues of having Dyslexia are clearly defined and help us understand the nature of the ailment.

I have read a lot of people's life stories but not one which is so totally honest and relieving. The escapades that the author gets himself into without him thinking about the consequences add a lot of humour and you find yourself thinking of the writer as a lovable rogue.

If you like an autobiography with no hold bars and written with total honesty you will love this book.

Our Rating

About the Author
I was born into a blue-collar middle class family in the mid-1950s. My parents'™ aspirations for their children were realistic for the time, the girls would grow up to be housewives, and the boys would grow up to be tradesman in some labor union. My parents did not think their children would ever go to college, because higher education was so expensive at the time that only the upper middle class or the rich children had a chance to have a job as a professional who worked in an office.

As I grew up at the time as an unknown dyslexic, struggling to keep up with my fellow classmates academically, I slowly became socially isolated, and ashamed of myself. When I was 13, my parents had finally discovered through psychological testing that I was dyslexic. They had three choices. First, send me away to a special school for dyslexic children, which was out of reach financially for a one-paycheck family with five children. Second, enroll me in special education in my school district, which had severally mentally disabled children, in which I would be taught how to iron, cook, break change of a dollar, and basic human hygiene. At the time, I had already mastered those life skills. Third, main stream my education with the rest of children with no special accommodation, and with hard work maybe graduate high school. My psychologist like some others in his profession, even to this day, suggested the 3rd option. My parents followed the psychologist advice, and also decided not to tell me or anyone else about my dyslexia. My parents thought that I would use the disability as an excuse and it would hold me back from my highest academic potential.

Now in my mid-50s, I consider myself a successful family man. I was a United States Marine Corps Vietnam Era veteran. I joined the Amalgamated Lithographers of America in 1979, where I worked as a printer. In 1989, I earned my A.A.S. degree in Business Management at Orange County Community College. I pursued a career in information systems in many Fortune 500 companies, working my way up from computer operator to the position of Director of Production for Automatic Data Processing Inc. in 1998. In 2003, I changed my career to become a top selling real estate agent for some of the largest firms in upstate New York. I live in Warwick, New York, with my wife of 36 years and daughter.

Yes, you might say, "Hey, you had dyslexia, had no special accommodations for your learning disability, you're a successful guy and your life turned out just fine." You are right, if you were to summarize my life accomplishments in a paragraph. However, how I achieved those accomplishments was, by no stretch of the imagination, easy for me. In my first book, Dyslexic Dick: True Adventures of My World, I tell of all the crazy things I had gotten myself into, the social and personality effects of dyslexia. In short, if I had a child with dyslexia in today's day and age, I would look for educational accommodations to help my child succeed in life. Because if you don't, you could be unleashing on to the world a social outcast, career criminal, a drunk, drug addict, a loner, someone who is continuously unemployed, or they might become a successful citizen like me. Yes, there is strong psychological evidence that suggest dyslexics have a very high rate of all of these counter-social traits, and that only 25% of dyslexics end up like me. In fact, it will become very apparent in my next book, Dick becomes all of those anti-social things above, until he meets the love of his life, even then some of those traits still don't go away.

After writing my first book, I wanted readers to take away from the story that a dyslexic child should not have to grow up and be denied an appropriate public education. What is shocking to know is that over four decades after my story took place, the same type of story is unfolding to millions of students right now in our nation. I had discovered that only the upper-middle-class and rich dyslexics would be educated using the Orton- Gillingham Multi-Sensory Learning Methods. These methods had been proven to teach people with dyslexia for over 60 years. It is a harsh reality that today's people with dyslexia have to face. Dyslexic Advocacy groups had been battling for decades, to get every dyslexic a public education that was appropriate. I thought the fight for dyslexics was a noble one, and I, too, wanted to advocate for people with dyslexia. I am now a Dyslexic Advocate. My first book was recognized by the New York Chapter of the International Dyslexia Association "Everyone Reading", and I had a book signing at their 2013 annual conference. On March 28, 2014, I published the second book of the series of my military career, Dyslexic Dick II: The Marine Corps Truly Uncommon Experience. I want the reader to realize what could happen to a young dyslexic adult who is not remediated. The other reason I write these books was the challenge it presented me. All my life, I had struggled with reading and writing. Even during college, I barely squeaked by to earn my degree. I loved to write stories, but my professors were not interested in the story, only the correct English protocol for scoring. Then years later after discovering, what dyslexia really was and the effect it had on my life, I took on the biggest challenge of my life. I decided to write a book about my life. After I finished the first book, I let a few people read it and they loved it. I then reflected on my story, and realized that it was a funny and exciting life I had lived. If it were a boring story, I would have never published it. Because I might be many things but boring was not one of them. So there you have it. I like to advocate for people with dyslexia and I love to entertain all people while doing it.

Richard "Dick" W. Kraemer   
Find the author on the following sites..

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  1. Wow I have to say this sounds really interesting even though I am not usually a fan or marine/army style books but I do love Autobiographies. Great review, thanks for sharing

    Laura x

  2. It seems like a good book and like the way you tell us about the Author too,


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