This read is an open reflection of a teenager turned Marine, set in the sixties. Author Bruce Hoffman candidly shares his transitions from "the rear with the beer" to the door gunner's seat in Vietnam.Hoffman had dreams of being an embassy guard in dress blues, but the role never materialized. Instead, he writes about grazing on the beer and women while evolving into the combat arena, with all its horrors, during a politically divisive time. I enjoyed this author's balanced blend of adventures from his young service life. He honestly relates to the mundane times, where drinking alone in the bowling alley or oriental bar are common place. Then, with brief orientation to the duties he would need to abruptly perfect, his story advances to the spectacular, where you kill or get killed.This book shares spicy details of what is sadly becoming forgotten or was never known. I recommend this decorated veteran's book to anyone who can handle a mature theme and find interest in a young man's journey to serve.
Reviewed by: Hodge Wood (2010)
Bruce Hoffman spent four years in the United States Marine Corps from 1964 to 1968. Two of those years were in Vietnam and Okinawa. This is a story about his adventures from Parris Island, serving in the rear with the beer, to flying as an Aerial Gunner in UH-1E Huey Helicopters. These four years left a lasting impression, some good some bad. It is a story worth telling.