Check out this interview with Imzadi Publishing’s author Marc Cullison, author of The Other Vietnam War.
Check out this interview with Imzadi Publishing’s author Marc Cullison, author of The Other Vietnam War.
We couldn’t agree more with this review! 5 Star all the way!
The Other Vietnam War is available today, buy your copy and let us know what you think too!
Marc Cullison’s compelling book about his experiences as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam is now at #264 in it’s genre for Kindle downloads. Download your copy today and see why so many people are downloading and responding to this soldiers unique approach to telling his story, it has already received fifty reviews!
To participate in this blog tour, hosted by Sage’s Blog Tours, visit the following blogs and see what they post.
July 17th Review Tales ~ BOOK SPOTLIGHT
July 18th Breathe, Love, Create & Display ~ GUEST POST
July 19th Mythical Books ~ BOOK SPOTLIGHT
July 20th Rosepoint Publishing ~ REVIEW
July 22nd Celtic Lady’s Book Reviews ~ AUTHOR INTERVIEW
July 23rd Reecaspieces ~ REVIEW
If you have read this book read the reviews and let the blogger know your thoughts. If you have read this book and haven’t left a review for it yet….what are you waiting for? Go directly to the bottom of this page (do not pass GO), there you will find a link that will take you directly to Amazon’s review page….leave a few words, it means more than you can imagine to the author.
If you have not yet read this compelling story, here’s a sneak preview for you!
THE MISSION RIDE
It was the mortar round that exploded just behind us that shattered my concentration. If I had drunk any more coffee before we left LAH, I would have pissed my pants. My stomach tied itself into a knot and I think my asshole did too. I checked my chicken plate, that protective slab of whatever it was that covered my torso. I had never worn one before. I wanted to know that the heavy hunk of armor was still resting in my lap protecting my chest. It was held in place with two Velcro straps that wrapped around my body. I had already sweated out what beer I had downed the night before and now I was working on the coffee. My Nomex flight suit, as thin as the fireproof material was, still felt like the inside of an oven. The chicken plate just added more insulation and turned up the heat. Somehow, I didn’t mind just then.
For nearly a week I had been assigned to Suds, the units IP (instructor pilot.) He showed me the layout of the AO (area of operations) and drilled me in safety procedures. We would go to an abandoned airstrip in secure territory and practice autorotations, much like I did in flight school. He would roll back the throttle, simulating an engine failure, and in the few seconds before we hit the ground, I would have to bottom the collective, reduce airspeed, find a safe landing area, and aim for it. At about fifty feet from the ground, I’d flare the aircraft nose high to bleed off forward airspeed. Then of course, it would begin settling and just before the ship hit the ground, I’d shove the cyclic forward and pull more pitch to cushion the landing. I got pretty good at it after the fifth time.
This is one of the most important safety procedures a helicopter pilot must know. Without power, as my instructor in flight school used to say, “The Huey has the glide path of a streamlined crowbar.” You can fly only a short distance, and you have one shot at setting the bird down. If you’re lucky, you’ll walk away from it.
We also practiced tail-rotor failures. Suds would keep his feet locked on the foot pedals and I would have to make a safe landing. Since I had no pedals to counteract the yaw of the bird when I reduced collective, the idea was to reduce throttle and keep forward motion during landing so the tail of the aircraft would maintain alignment with the direction of motion. So about three feet above the runway, I had to control the direction of the bird with the throttle while flying it onto the runway and letting it slide to a stop, just like landing an airplane. You just hoped the skids didn’t catch on an obstruction on the runway. Then you’d be trying to figure out how the aircraft turned over. I got pretty good at tail rotor failures, too.
The hydraulic failure, though, was a bitch. Without the assistance of hydraulics on the flight controls, flying a Huey is like wrestling a grizzly bear. I’ve never actually done that, but I’m pretty sure I know what it would be like after flying a Huey without hydraulics. I should have done some weight lifting before shipping over.
While all of this was going on in between the rains, I got my orientation about RPGs (rocket propelled grenades), which would make mincemeat out of a Huey, and the radar controlled .51 caliber guns that Charlie kept hidden around the area. You could monitor their frequency on the radio and listen for the squeal. The first one detected you. The second one tracked your path. The third one was followed by a stream of bullets. The whole process took just a few seconds. Then there were the 122 mm rockets. You didn’t ever want to be in the path of one of those babies.
A week of that shit wore me out and bored me to death. I imagine Suds got his fill of entertainment from all of my screw-ups. I was no longer in flight school trying to satisfy the instructor. I was in Nam and this was getting ready for the real deal, whatever that was going to be. Not once did Suds yell at me or chew my ass. I don’t know if that’s because I was good enough that he didn’t see the need, or he was just a nice guy. I did find out later that Suds was, in fact, a nice guy. That didn’t make me feel real good about my performance. Or my confidence, for that matter.
After he’d had his fun with me, I got word the next morning that I was to report to operations with flight gear. I walked in and looked at the assignment board, a large Plexiglas sheet behind the operations desk that listed aircraft numbers, pilots, crews, times, and missions. I wasn’t on it. I looked at Captain Latham, the Operations Officer, his fatigue shirt already soaked with sweat around his armpits and back this early in the morning.
“They told me I was supposed to be here,” I said.
He glanced at me. “Hang tight. Maybe something will happen.”
Lieutenant McNally stuck his head in. “Latham, put Cullison with Suds.”
Then he looked at me. “Oh, Cullison. Hey, first mission ride today. You ready?”
I looked at him, his buck teeth hanging over his lower lip and those wild eyes like some cartoon character trying to pull an answer out of me.
“Hell yes,” I said. I thought I saw a glimmer of doubt in those big eyes, not that I could really tell. Most of the time his eyes looked the same, big and wild. I’ll bet if the little bastard cried you wouldn’t know it, except for the tears, if he had enough compassion in that egocentric little body of his to produce them.
After a week of hanging around and flying circles in the sky and practicing not crashing a UH-1H, I was ready for something. Everybody looked at me, the FNG (fucking new guy), wondering if I could cut it. That made me wonder if I actually could. It was time to test my mettle. I just hoped I didn’t screw everything up.
That’s what it was all about, right then. Screwing up, or worrying about when you would. I faced a lot of challenges in flight school, but this was no longer a practice session. Actual combat. Real, live bullets. I had always wondered what it would be like. To get set for battle, I mean. It wasn’t like I was going to go charging into enemy lines or anything like that. I was going to be flying a helicopter in an enemy fire zone, or at least I would be the peter pilot. I would still be up front behind all of that Plexiglas and thin sheet metal. Not much protection, except for the armor plates around the seat. The knot in my stomach got tighter and the thought of real bullets just got more real. You think about this stuff, but not really. Not in the sense that you actually think about it. It’s just there in the back of our mind giving you doubts about your worth as a pilot while you wonder what it’s like to be dead. And if you really are worth a shit as a pilot.
Author and Vietnam Veteran, Marc Cullison will be appearing at the 1st Methodist Church in Muskogee, Oklahoma May 17th to do a reading from his book “Vietnam Again” and host a follow-up discussion. All are welcome to stop by!
For more information about this event contact Deanna Dean 918-682-4444 or just stop by and spend some time with Marc as this former helicopter pilot talks about his travels back to Vietnam forty years later. Books will be available for purchase and Marc will be happy to sign your copy for you.
Date: Thursday, May 17th
First United Methodist Church, 600 E Okmulgee St, Muskogee, OK 74403
It has been a busy busy time for Imzadi Publishing this spring beginning with the release of Marc Cullison’s follow-up novel to The Other Vietnam War: A Helicopter Pilot’s Life in Vietnam, Vietnam Again.
The Other Vietnam War gives the reader some insight into what Marc went through in Vietnam. Not simply the struggles one would expect with experiencing life and death situations but the ethical dilemma’s one would experience as well. It is a truly unique perspective on the Vietnam War.
Vietnam Again takes place 40 years later when out of the blue Marc receive’s a phone call inviting him to accompany other Vietnam Vets on a trip back to the scene of so much trauma and upheaval, back to a place he thought he would never return to…a place he never wanted to return to.
Another fascinating read from Mr. Cullison!
This series takes place in Ironton, NJ, a dilapidated old steel town swamp deep in well developed, deep characters that anyone can relate to. Yes, that was a nod to The Swamps of Jersey, the first book in this series.
Mr. Daigle, like his character Det. Frank Nagler, doesn’t shy away from tough subjects, this book is certainly no exception.
The Weight of Living opens with a young girl dressed only in a tank top and shorts found sitting in a dumpster. She is freezing in her exposed state, shaking from the cold on a snowy New Jersey night but she sits frozen in place as though afraid to move from where she is. How did she get there? Why didn’t she ask for help? Why won’t she talk to anyone? The search for the girl’s identity begins a journey that leads Frank Nagler deep down into Ironton’s underbelly where long held secrets have been protected for decades.
I warn you, once you pick it up you won’t want to put it down. This series is addictive!
Whew! See, we have been busy at Imzadi Publishing and we have something for everyone! If you have something you would like to submit to Imzadi Publishing visit our website for our submission guidelines, we are always looking for new manuscripts in any genre.
Oh, one last thing! Please don’t forget to take a moment to leave a review after reading a book. Reviews do not need to be lengthy, they can be just a few words but they are extremely helpful.
A torrent of books about the Vietnam War has flooded the market, most of them documenting battles, strategy, and personal journals of life during the war. There are far fewer books about soldiers who have returned to that country of conflict four decades later. Most men and women who served during the Vietnam War were only too glad to leave and never look back. I was one of those people until last year when an unexpected phone call had me considering something I never thought I would do…return to Vietnam.
The two weeks I spent touring Vietnam made me re-evaluate my life and everything I thought I knew about that country and its people. I found answers to questions I had long buried in my mind and found myself absolved of the indignity I had carried all of those years. A vision into America that I had always suspected, but had never seen opened up before me.
The book, Vietnam…Again, follows our flight into Hanoi and the two-week journey south to Ho Chi Minh City, with stops at Dong Hoi, Quang Tri, Hue, Qui Nhon, Nha Trang, and Phan Thiet. Our tour guide, an NVA veteran, became a valued friend and showed us how Vietnam has evolved and prospered since the war. I found a gracious people who welcomed us as friends and shared with us the beauty and hospitality of their country. This book explains the maturing of Vietnam and visits the ancient cities with the striking architecture and craftsmanship that helps define the Vietnamese people.
Each 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.