The Other Vietnam War by Marc Cullison #BlogTour #BookReview

I am so delighted today to provide a review for you by the C.E.  at my blog stop for The Other Vietnam War: A Helicopter Pilot’s Life in Vietnam by Marc Cullison on Sage’s Blog Tours.

Book Details

  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Imzadi Publishing, LLC
  • Publication Date: May 10, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • ISBN-10: 0990846539
  • ISBN-13: 978-0990846536
  • ASIN: B00XI1T7F2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank – #242 in Kindle eBooks, Biographies & Memoirs, Historical, Military & Wars, Vietnam War

Book Blurb

The Other Vietnam WarEach of us who served in Vietnam was the guy next door, the average Joe, not a hero. The boy who might date your daughter or sister. The young man who might mow your yard. In Vietnam, we weren’t out to be heroes. We just did our jobs.

For a helicopter pilot, each day was like all the others. You flew the mission and never stopped to think that it might be your last. You didn’t think about the bullet holes in the helicopter, the cracks in the tail boom, or about any of it until night, lying in bed when you couldn’t think of anything else.

The Other Vietnam War is the story of the introduction to a new country, a backward culture, the perils of a combat zone, and the effects on a young lieutenant fresh out of flight school. It does not labor the reader with pages of white-knuckle adventures, as so many other fine books about the Vietnam War do. It instead focuses on the internal battle each soldier fought with himself to make sense of where he was, why he was there, and if he was good enough.

The administrative duties of Commissioned officers, while tame compared to the exploits of valiant pilots who wrote about them, caused a deep introspection into life and its value in an enigmatic place like Vietnam. Aside from the fear, excitement, deliverance, and denial that each pilot faced, the inner battle he fought with himself took its toll. Some of us thought we’d find glory. But many of us discovered there is no glory in war.

My Review

The talk in the lunch room was of a place called Bietnam or some such. Never heard of it. However, the US Congress in its infinite wisdom was getting us involved and nobody knew why.

The draft was reinstated and the young son’s of WW II veterans were on the chopping block. Some ran and some stayed. The author spells out the calamity facing a generation that did not endorse or embrace a “conflict” halfway around the world. Marc Cullison faced many of the same conflicted reactions that most of us felt. Why do I want to join the military and fight in a place that has no direct impact on my country? Mr. Cullison explains, “the Vietnam war was a tragedy, a shallow and profane act of war as any war is.”  We were not threatened nor did we have anything to fear from Southeast Asia!  Why did we have to get involved and escalate into that part of the world?

Four years of being a helicopter pilot in Vietnam was what his pledge to honor and serve elicited, and Marc examines his thoughts and feelings as he served his tour. This memoir does not describe so much of the actual air battles as it does the result of war on the men who served. As I read his account I was reminded of some of my own service-related experiences during the same time. Away from home for the better part of four years, I served in countries that I had never aspired to visit. But orders were cut, oaths were taken, and we were sent into the melee.

Like Marc, I served because I had promised to uphold and defend our Constitution and way of life. After boot camp, it was painfully obvious that the orders from “my superiors” were not necessarily superior. My specialty did not send me “in country” to face the trials that Marc witnessed, but the periphery.

Marc says, “when you sign up for military service, you are supposed to be ready to defend your country and even die for it.” It’s a time of terror in equal portions of boredom and excessive moments of retrospection and the author shares his insights in equal measure. (One of my orders was to return to a base in the mountains of Taiwan in a stage two typhoon alert as the mountain roared with the sound of a hundred freight trains and downed electrical lines crossed the roadway.) The futility of the experience upon our return to the states with people spitting on us and calling us baby killers really pissed me off.  There were people in wheelchairs with missing body parts and blind and deaf who had had no choice in their deployment and our citizens waited at the airports to shame us.) I can understand where Marc is coming from. However, living in the orient taught me one thing. Most people simply want to live their lives and go about raising their families.

The book is often graphically profane, but I agree with the author that it frankly reflects an honest look at the legions of men sent to defend their spot in the jungle. It may also serve as a valuable education, particularly for those who are considering joining the military. The services are a valid way to serve our country; contribution seals loyalty and provides a window into the wheels of management. (Avoiding the draft was not then an option, but neither is it the responsibility of the young citizens of our nation to help bolster the coffers of the corporations that profit and proliferate the development of weapons of war.)

I highly recommend this book as a means of understanding the conflict that persons of that generation faced during that extremely divisive time. Certainly, I would serve again, and after 9/11 tried to re-enlist because our country had been attacked. Read this book and experience the futility that most wars can be.

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Rosepoint Publishing:  Five of Five Stars Five Stars of Five Rating

About the Author

Marc CullisonMarc Cullison is a baby-boomer who grew up in an era when education was everything and duty to country was a responsibility. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering at Oklahoma State University, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army Reserve Corps of Engineers through the ROTC program. During his four-year tour of duty, he served as helicopter pilot with the 129th Assault Helicopter Company in II Corps, Vietnam, in 1971. He returned from overseas to an assignment as a military assistant to the resident engineer at Kaw Dam and Reservoir near Ponca City, Oklahoma, where he met the woman he would marry there. After two years in Ponca City, he was honorably discharged and returned to Oklahoma State where he received a master’s degree in architectural engineering and honed his technical skills as a professional structural engineer. Then into quality control at a manufacturing plant which led him into computer programming. His most recent career was a math and science instructor at Connors State College in Warner and Muskogee, Oklahoma, from which he retired in 2014. He lives with his wife in a self-built log house near Sallisaw. Sage's Blog Tours

Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour and thanks to Sage’s Blog Tours for the opportunity to read and review this novel!

©2018 C.E. Williams the CE

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What State Are These Authors From?

crown-point-courthouseI’ve spoken before of the “Grand Ole Lady” (the Lake County Courthouse), resplendent with the striking brick red facade (love this building!), but probably not The John Dillinger Museum, a focus of the 1930’s with Dillinger memorabilia enclosed within the building in Crown Point. If you recognized that as being in northwest Indiana, you’d be correct.

LaToya JacksonAdmitted to the union in 1816, Indiana can claim a number of authors, many of whom hail out of Gary, about as far north as you can go without wading out into Lake Michigan. Of the well-known Jackson family born in Gary, Janet gained fame as a singer/songwriter and LaToya as both author and songwriter.

Alex KarrasAlex Karras, who gained fame as a pro-ball player, wrote a journal that was published in the Detroit Free Press and much later, a novel entitled “Tuesday Night Football.”

Kurt Vonnegut Jr.Kurt Vonnegut Jr, born 1922 in Indianapolis, wrote for more than 50 years and although he published many novels, plays, short stories, and non-fiction, was probably most famous for the dark “Slaughterhouse-Five.”

Vonnegut dropped out of Cornell University to enlist in the army and was deployed to Europe to fight in WWII. Captured by the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge, he survived the Allied bombing by seeking safety in the meat locker of the slaughterhouse in which he was imprisoned.

Of course, there are whole alphabetized lists of authors from Indianapolis from Charles W. Akers, also a (WWII–navy) veteran, wrote what is called one of the three best books about Abigail Adams, “Abigail Adams, an American Woman,” Marguerite V. Young, American writer and academic and Dan Quayle, former VP, who wrote his memoir, “Standing Firm” in 1994.

Lest you think the famous authors of Indiana were only from the big cities, there are also lists of writers from Anderson to Terra Haute. Disappointed though, I didn’t see any from Crown Point. Do you know the authors of your area? ©2017 Virginia Williams Resource Box

A Bit of Earth – Review

A Bit of EarthA Bit of Earth by Wendy Crisp Lestina

Genre: Currently #26694 on Best Sellers Rank for Biographies & Memoirs

Publisher: Lychgate Press

Publication Date: October, 2016

Submitted by author for review

A Bit of Earth by Wendy Crisp Lestina

Maybe because I’m not, I love stories of strong, independent women. In particular, the ’60s were a time of major upheaval in the standard structure of the home with more women than ever grabbing the car keys and **gasp** heading to work.

Giddy from escaping total nuclear annihilation in the ’50s, the ’60s went the extreme from flower children to the assassinations of our leaders. Increasingly, women no longer had a mandate to stay home, produce babies, cook, clean, and “stand by their men.” And like a number of social activists and feminists, the author discovered she too had to have more than diapers and a garden.

The memoir of Wendy Crisp Lestina, “A Bit of Earth,” is composed of folksy vignettes, some of which originated as columns written through the years, and tells the story of a remarkable list of accomplishments. There are a few times the chronicle lapses into a back-story; something that perhaps is meant to explain the next. This is a woman of intelligence with places to go, people to meet, things to do, and the powerful influence to do it. Continue reading “A Bit of Earth – Review”