From Publishers Weekly
"One rocket had hit dead center between the shoulder blades of a VC, and as it exploded, his commie soul was left in a geyser of mud, blood, and human debris." With remarks like these, Carlock brings to gruesome life his stint in Vietnam, 1967-1968, flying gunships and "slicks," or troop-carrying choppers, for the Army. A 19-year-old volunteer who expected adventure with a spice of danger, Carlock instead found horror and learned fear. He flew fragile machines without parachutes, with no limit on the number of missions, in a war whose purpose was opaque. He is brutally frank about his feelings and actions. To Carlock, Vietnamese on the ground were targets, and he describes his kills in the tone of a big-game hunter. But if his enemies were faceless, they were human as well: eager to shoot him down, to burn him alive in the wreckage of his ship or to execute him should he try to surrender. This grim narrative is a compelling reminder that the essence of war is killing from fear of being killed, and that killing is never a remote process, even when done from the air. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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From the Inside Flap
Chuck Carlock volunteered to become a helicopter pilot in August 1966, convinced that by the time he finished training, the Vietnam War would be over. Little did he know that he would see some of the war's most intense action, including the Tet offensives. Carlock portrays countless dangers, from an elusive enemy and treacherous terrain to blinding weather, faulty equipment, and friendly fire. He rides the pendulum between fear and fearlessness during his many brushes with death. Along with the danger and tension, Carlock tells us about the camaraderie and humor shared by men who lived on the edge. Carlock's stories will sometimes shock you, sometimes bring a smile to your face, and sometimes make you angry. Learn about "secret" missions into a neutral country. Discover how the Walker spy ring cost American lives. Most of all, find out what it was like for a twenty-one-year-old farm boy to find himself suddenly immersed in vicious daily combat, making decisions that determined the fate of hundreds of lives.
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