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Chickenhawk: Back in the World: Life After Vietnam Hardcover – 1 Mar 1993
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The book tells the tale of Robert Masons time in Vietnam as a pilot of a Huey helicopter. He serves a 12 month stint there which was the normal length of service for a US soldier. The author has a good sense of humour and great wit, he regales some great stories and I quite often found myself laughing out loud. Of course this is a book about war and he does not pull any punches here. He describes in detail many many stories and sights that people will find harrowing. Painting vivid and graphic pictures of how young men died. He describes the overall feeling of futility from the war, about how the people they are there to 'supposedly' save, the Vietnamese people, don't seem to want them there at all. Quite often Robert finds it difficult to tell whether the Vietnamese people he crosses paths with are enemy or foe.
The book explains a lot the complexities of flying a helicopter under constant fire and enemy attack. Some people would argue that the helicopter pilots had it easy. I would not agree with this. I imagine it takes a huge amount of bravery to fly a large helicopter, which is a big target, into a hot LZ that is under attack from machine guy fire, mortars and heavy machine guns. Robert explains the toll this takes on his mental state.
If you are looking for a good book about the Vietnam war, and about the Huey, which was heavily used in the Vietnam war. This is the book for you.
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