FLYING DEATH THE VIETNAM EXPERIENCE
I wrote the true story of my growing up in Connecticut, joining the Marines and deploying to Vietnam. The time frame for the war is the mid to late 60's. A young man maturing during this turbulant time encompassing the Civil Rights Movement, The increased involvement in Vietnam, the Assassinations of Political Leaders and the social changes in this country.
There has been many stories about Vietnam. This is a different view of the war as seen through the eyes of a Combat Helicopter Crew Chief and Gunner. This is not your typical I went to war story. Flying with Marine Helicopter Squadron HMM-164 through some of the major battles of the war; 1967 The Battle of the Hills, 77 day seige on Khe Sahn and the 1968 Tet Offensive. This story takes in the pressures of the flight crews on their everyday flights.
Did anyone ever think about the people that are flying in this complex flying machine called a helicopter? What does it take to keep them flying? Pilots, Crew Chiefs and Gunners all working together as a team.
No matter what conflict that a helicopter and its crew flies into; the job, the level of responsibility and the feelings are the same. A helicopter has one mission and that is to support the troops. The Angels from the sky, risking their lives with every take off. Too many died trying to complete this mission.
The perils of flying, some of the dangers of being in combat as well as some of the social problems of the times are brought to light.
Take a walk in my shoes - What does it take to fight two wars at the same time?
Questions arose -- Why is there a double standard to live in this country called the United States of America? Who is an American? What does it take to be treated as an American by other Americans?