As a boyhood friend of your brother, Tim, I recall when we were 15 years old, and you were home on leave, I believe just finishing your flight training and going to your first assignment at Ft Riley, KS. I can still see you in your "Dress Greens", with the shiny Officer Brass on the uniform. At the time, Tim and I were too young to realize what it took to earn the right, not only wear the uniform, but to earn your first "Bar". Many times when I donned my own uniform, (which now hangs in a museum in Valley Center, KS) the image of you standing in the living room in Uniform with your Mother, vivid in my memory, came to mind. I recently spoke with Tim. His eyes tear, and voice cracks, describing how proud he is of his older brother. I know Mary feels the same way. Your description of flight training was memorable, and brought back memories of my own. Your description of combat can only come from experience and describes combat well. Only those of us who have been there know the indescribable feelings one has. Being engaged is very loud, very fast, and very lethal. As Patton says; "All other fields of endeavor shrink to insignificance when compared to War". Your book brought back memories I know we have all tried to forget. No matter what military service one served, Medals one has, there can be no other Honor bestowed on one, than to be called a "Soldier".
I salute a true Warrior, and know that I would jump in a foxhole with you any day. You are truly a Soldier's Soldier. Your book was well written, informative, and a must read for all Veterans.
For those who fight for it, Freedom has a special flavor the protected will never know.
Oliver (OJ) Hurt
CW/4 (R) MI (CI)