By Bajram Angelo Koljenovic
The heart-rending true story
of a few unsung heroes
trying to do some good
in the maelstrom of chaos and violence
that is Bosnia.
Soon to be released in the Bosnian language, translated by Mayo Disdar, son of the famous poet Max Disdar. He also translated Krv Crne Gore.
This book is a dramatized non-fiction narrative based on the actual experiences and views of the author. He is also author of Blood Of Montenegro, an epic historical novel based on his familyís influence over three generations on the history of the Balkan states. Forgotten Soldiers is a personal look at the trials of a patriotic naturalized United States citizen from Bosnia, and his struggle to find help for the people of his homeland, the Bosniaks, as they fell to the genocide of Slobodan Milosevicís attempt to eliminate them. In his efforts, he worked with powerful international businessmen, statesmen, intelligence agents, mercenaries, assassins, and selfless freedom fighters.
Meet Giles, the ex-Green Beret who escorted a convoy of medicine and milk through mountains patrolled by Serb death squads; meet Ramiz, a Bosnian who sided with the Croatians against Milosevic, then found them not much less hostile to his kind; meet Peter, once one of Titoís team of undercover enforcers, who kept the pressure on expatriate Yugoslavians in foreign countries, and who still had covert connections to those who held the money and power in Bosnia.
Meet Angelo, a man of deep traditional honor, of commitment and action, a passionately patriotic American caught not in the middle of the fray, but far away in a beautiful place, and desperately determined to still have an effect.
Bajram Angelo Koljenovic
Angelo was raised in the Montenegrin highland village of Gusinje. Grandson of an Ottoman officer, son of a pioneer Communist, and one of the Muslim minority, he served in the Army of Yugoslavia before emmigrating to the United States in 1969. In Las Vegas, Nevada, he worked in the great casinos, teaching martial arts to the bodyguards of some of the celebrities who became his friends, looking out for the personal interests of some particularly important guests, and eventually owning his own restaurant.
Forgotten Soldiers is a very personal book, and its outlook is very subjective. Bajram Angelo Koljenovic is a deeply passionate man, motivated by the highest standards of personal, family, and national honor. He is also a man who cannot turn his back on suffering and injustice. His life has presented him with both the heights of good fortune and accomplishment, and the terrible depths of disappointment and tragedy. This book is a reflection of both of those, the chronicle of a man struggling in his heart and mind to reconcile those contrasts, and to use his experience to accomplish something worthwhile for the people of his family's homeland, and for the America he so loves.
Angelo was one of the young men of Yugoslavia who rejected the yoke of communism, and also the rise of extreme Serbian nationalism, so he emigrated to the United States of America. He has been the friend of many influential people and celebrities, and he has enjoyed living the most spectacular and glamorous of lifestyles. In his ultimately hopeless attempt to prevent and oppose the tragedy of genocide against his people in Bosnia, he worked with high ranking officers of the US intelligence community, and also with men who had once been among Marshal Tito's cadre of expatriate enforcers and assassins, like a man juggling fire and ice.
This is the story of many such people who have fought heroically for righteousness sake, and whose stories have for the most part been swallowed up by history in anonymity. It is a narrative adventure, a declaration of faith, an indictment, a confession, and an exhortation. It has been my honor to have had a small part in bringing it to print.
Angelo now lives in Las Vegas with his wife Man Kiu and their children, still doing the work he loves meeting people in the grand resort hotels and welcoming them from all over the world to his town.