by Marc Cullison [mcullison.com]
My second book is due out from the publisher, Imzadi Publishing of Tulsa, Oklahoma, on May 12, 2015. It’s called “The Other Vietnam War; A Helicopter Pilot’s Life in Vietnam”. It took over 40 years to be able to write this, but I’m glad I did.
When I went to Vietnam in January of 1971 I had no idea what to expect. Honestly, I was scared to death, because I thought that might very well be the way I came back. I was a 23 year old lieutenant, fresh out of flight school, and I thought I knew everything. Well, everything except what Vietnam was about. And after 4o years, I’m still not sure I know all of that. But I did come back, alive and as well as one could have been when he got back from a tour in Vietnam. I was fortunate in that I suffered no physical injuries. I don’t believe I suffered any mental injuries, either, but that is debatable among some of my close friends.
It was a difficult decision to sit down and bare that year of my life, revealing my fears, triumphs, stupidity, and achievements. But most of all, it was my private thoughts that I fought so hard to turn loose of. The thoughts I had of myself and my worthiness to be a soldier. Just about every man I know has a pretty high opinion of himself, and that’s a good thing because it keeps him in the running for success. But he also harbors doubts, those nagging little thorns in his ego that stem the flow of courage, letting him think too much about failure. Failure. That’s what I feared most.
I was green and untested. It should be no surprise that I faltered a time or two, but I learned quickly not to make the same mistake twice. Anyone who did that didn’t live to make the mistake a third time. And that’s what it was all about: what we did to stay alive. As a commissioned officer, I had many responsibilities in my unit, the 129th Assault Helicopter Company. It wasn’t just about flying. It was also about all the other crap that has to be done to keep the unit in shape and combat ready. It was about keeping the troops safe and comfortable, or as comfortable as one could be in a war zone. In addition to fighting, there’s also housekeeping that has to be done.
So, this is what the book is about. It’s the other war that I fought with myself between my conscience and my duty, my fear and mortality, and my ego and doubts. It’s not a very long book, but long enough to reveal my private self during those 11 months I spent flying helicopters in II Corps of Vietnam.
The publisher, Imzadi Publishing, has been fabulous and understanding. They have guided me through the ordeal of getting the book to market, and I am grateful to their incredible team for the superb editing and a striking cover. The book will be available in softcover and Kindle, NOOK, and Kobo formats. You can read a free preview at this URL:
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