Charles and Gordon are two former Marines that both have a great respect for the Marine Corps, both feeling that their lives were changed by their short four years in it. Charles met Gordon at his daughter's baby shower in 2008. After further numerous meetings and family dinners, they got to know each other and shared their memories of the Marine Corps and their service in two different war zones. They found their lives in some ways parallel each other and in a short while a decision was made to attempt to put Charles' story into a memoir. Charles and Gordon have no formal writing experience except that both former Marines took advantage of the GI Bill and got their Baccalaureates, with Charles going into retail sales and Gordon becoming a teacher, obtaining his Masters in Public Administration, and eventually going to work for Florida's Department of Education.
Charles and Gordon have collaborated on this memoir. This is a story about Charles W. Anderson and his journey from a pot liquor baby to one of the Chosin Few in the battle of the Chosin Reservoir, one of the most memorable battles for the 1st Marine Division in the first year of the Korean War. Gordon has transcribed Charles' journey as told to Gordon in over 13 hours of tapes, from Charles' childhood through his time in the Marine Corps in one of the most infamous battles of the U.S. Marines, on to his remaining years in the Corps while stationed in Hawaii and Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. These tapes captured Charles in emotional states at times as he remembered the horrors of battle and the personal battle he experienced fighting as he crawled 18 miles to reach a field hospital with a subsequent evacuation and treatment for the frostbite he contracted in both feet. This is a first attempt for either former Marine to write a book. Gordon and Charles have sought and found helpful hints and suggestions through a number of professional writers and editors that took an interest in their project. Although Charles' story spans a long life of 82 years, with the help of some referenced historical documents and books, Charles' story comes to life in a very few pages.