- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (March 27, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1542697026
- ISBN-13: 978-1542697026
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,945,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Being There: Vietnam War and Other Stories Paperback – March 27, 2017
About the Author
Rod Carlson grew up in northern Minnesota, received a bachelor’s degree in history from Principia College and an MBA from the University Of Virginia Darden School Of Business. He attended the 40th Marine Officer Candidate Class and The Basic School at Quantico and earned the wings of a naval aviator in the fall of 1967. In Vietnam he flew medevac, resupply and other missions in UH-34D and CH-46A helicopters from bases at Marble Mountain and Phu Bai and off the carrier USS Tripoli. While in-country, he was promoted to captain. Following that tour of duty, he was deployed aboard the carrier USS Guam and flew post-earthquake relief missions in the Andes Mountains. His stories have been published in newspapers as well as literary, military history and veteran publications.
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Though most of the stories are set in Viet Nam, this book encapsulates the essence of the relationships formed while in the military. The stories tell of associations of men thrust together in conditions and situations that all but make your hair stand on edge. These stories seem unimaginable except to combat soldiers who have walked into battle and experienced war. Each soldier may have his/her rank, expertise or role in the war zone, but the aftermath of going into terrifying situations and coming out the other side leaves behind unseen bonds. Even to their fallen friends, these soldiers remain forever attached.
Rod’s use of description and the pacing of his storytelling bypass thinking and go directly to the heart. Through the lens of his words I could feel the terror which is constantly overridden with whatever it takes to get a person to fly a helicopter in a war zone and focus solely on one thing: their fellow man: getting to them, getting supplies to them, getting them out, getting them safe. The ongoing challenge of finding ways to accomplish that goal creates a hidden passion that allows them to continue to go out into the unknown of battle.
For this particular author, it seems that once that Marine credo is set in his heart: leave no one behind; it plays out even when he returned home, as shown by Rod in the stories of Killing Bob and Miller’s Last Stand.
Military outsiders are offered a peep hole view of not only some of the logistics of war missions on a Marine helicopter but also allowed entry into the inside emotions of being in battle, watching or hearing about friends who died, and moving from a world of necessary numbness to a seemingly normal life once back home.
Don’t buy this book if you have anything else to do, as your to do list will take a back seat as soon as you buckle up for an emotional roller coaster ride.