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Reader Reviews

Roger has received many enthusiastic emails from readers. Some are old friends, some family, some neighbors, and some people who didn't know him at all. Their words are so heartfelt and reveal so much about the effect the book has had on them that we are compelled to share these responses here. If you've read the book and want to share your impressions, don't hesitate to write us at


January 25, 2016


Hello Roger, a friend sent me your book as a present. I was deeply moved by what you wrote. I am of Jewish ancestry and my mother's father lost a brother and my mother's mother a sister in the concentration camps. All my life, my grandmother wouldn't watch any shows on the Holocaust as she was afraid of seeing her sister in the pile of bodies. I grew up in the Bronx and there were people I knew as a child with tattooed numbers on their arms. I can't even start to imagine how you felt standing there in a camp. My father was also in WWII. He was in the medical corps and carried stretchers. My mother said that when they were first married he'd wake up from nightmares screaming. I was also married to a Vietman Vet for 13 years and know the effects of PTSD. No one should have to go through that. I recognize that with a monster like Hitler, something had to be done, but in general, war is so unneccessary. Thank you so much for writing this memoir, which must have been both painful and cathartic to put into writing. - Hali Hammer, Berkeley, CA


January 12, 2016


Dear Roger, your memoir was sent to me and I devoured it in one reading last night. A terrific story and courageous in the telling. Very moving your encounters with Mila and Ostricher as well as the countless combat situations. All in all a terrific read, and as a bonus, the discovery of your Christian Science upbringing. With best wishes and a thank you for sharing your story.  — Tom Bissinger, San Francisco, CA


December 2nd, 2015


Dear Mr. Boas: Just finished your book Battle Rattle. Makes me glad I never had to go through what you did. It is because of men (and women) like you who are willing to sacrifice so much that the world is a far better place today than it could have been. 


 —John C. Nickel, California


December 2nd, 2015


I have almost finished Roger's book, which is one of the best anti-war books I have read. He still has the voice of a young man when he is writing of his youth and I have just arrived at his description of the landing in France. He carries the reader so well up to here that the sight and sounds of those wounded men on the beach is shattering. To be reminded of how war eviscerates all who participate in it seems urgently important in these turbulent times. Roger's vivid description of what happens when basic decency comes face to face with man at his most savage, is heartbreaking. How many young men and women have survived hell and then have to face the challenge of living with the memories of who they were before, during and after? How difficult it must be to walk around in a post war world as if they were actually okay with it all. Roger's memories are a testament to the fact that even the victors and survivors of war pay dearly for their win. But imagine where we would be if they hadn't. Brave men, every one of them. We owe them so much.


— Minna Pinger, San Rafael, CA

December 1st, 2015


Dear Roger: I discovered your book a mere few hours ago while jumping around the Internet, downloaded it and read the whole thing in one reading. This is the first I have stirred in the past three hours. Oh. My. God. I had *no* idea that my neighbor of so many years on Washington St had even fought in WW II, let alone that he was the first witness to the unspeakable horrors of the Holocaust. I can't imagine what it would have been like to see that and be Jewish...albeit a Christian Scientist! I have been in tears for the last half hour at the horrors of the war and in awe and appreciation of your service to stop Hitler. I am in tears still from reading about how you went back to all the sites and graves and towns to make your peace with the past...or at least come to terms with it. But mostly I am in tears [out] of appreciation for your *courage* to tell your story. Bravo. And *Thank You*.


— Deb Seymour, Seattle, WA

November 9, 2015


I returned to Pebble yesterday and have already finished your wonderful and emotional memoir.

Please accept my gratitude for having taken the time and energy to produce this masterpiece.  You could have been like countless others with courageous stories and kept silent. But you didn't.


— Michael Berolzheimer, Monterey, CA

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