This is a historical novel which chronicles the Vietnam War and its effect upon the individuals who fought in the war and those who chose not to serve. It is definitively a first-hand account of what it was like to enter manhood in the shadow of this unpopular war. The book covers the psychological costs of combat visited upon those who fought and the damage to the psyche of those who decided that the war was not worth risking their lives to serve their country. This novel covers 12 years of military service. The last active-duty mission of the main character, Blake, was the aborted attempt to rescue 53 hostages held by Iran in April 1980. The book will inform the reader of exactly what happened in the Iranian desert on that fateful day. Finally the book describes the main character’s struggle to overcome posttraumatic stress from a year’s worth of combat. The fact that 40 members of his squadron have their names etched in the Memorial wall in Washington never leaves him.
I was born in New York City and raised on Long island. I spent four years at Marietta College and two years doing graduate work at Ohio State University. I gave up my 2-S deferment and joined the United States Air Force in January 1968. I successfully completed navigator training in September 1969. I had orders to fly the AC-119G gunship but I contracted cancer and was retired from the Air Force. I spent eighteen months recuperating from several operations. I gave up a 100% disability and rejoined the Air Force as a rated navigator. I flew 177 combat missions as a fire control officer aboard the AC – 130A gunship. From 1973- 1977, I taught celestial navigation. From there I spent the next three years in Air Force rescue. I left the Air Force in 1980 and after a brief stint in the private sector, I worked as an air-traffic control specialist for the next twenty-seven years. I am married for over thirty-five years and have a step-daughter and a son.
Awards: • The Distinguished Flying Cross with one Oak leaf cluster • The Air Medal with seven Oak leaf clusters • The Air Force Commendation Medal • The Purple Heart • The Conspicuous Service from Gov. Mario Cuomo • Two nominations for the Silver S