West Pac: A Young Sailor's Journey
Author: Scott F Schmidt
Publisher: Broadhead Books (2009)
Binding: Paperback, 196 pages
When a carrier goes to sea, those who work on the dangerous flight deck are at an average age of twenty years old. To add to the danger, those who work with aircraft ordnance, the bombs and missiles of these planes, are at even more risk of injury on the pitching deck. This is a true story of one young man, an aviation ordnanceman, who went to sea on his second cruise in 1978 at age twenty. What he discovered in the hot Pacific and Indian Oceans would change his life forever and set him on a path to discovery. Follow the author on his personal and poignant journey as he explores the universal truths of those who must succeed under arduous conditions.
Author Scott F. Schmidt, who has previously written several very good thriller novels under the pen-name Trevor Scott, has given readers a look back into his own young life. In his memoir, West Pac: A Young Sailor's Journey, he shares the life he lived through an unique period in our social history - the 1970's. He takes us, through his narrative, to the year 1978 when he goes to sea on a aircraft carrier as a 20-year-old sailor. We get everything - even the warts and mistakes of his youthful lust for life.
We get a real sense for what that life experience was like for him. We get to follow his journey though the aid of notes taken at times directly from his old personal journal, along with some of his original poetry. He then elaborates and expands upon them in each chapter. It is an easy style to follow and it captures the mindset and emotional state of that younger man who explored his manhood and grew up in this true coming of age story.
The book was not written to be family friendly and has more of an adult edge to it. The story is an entertaining and introspective look at a man growing up and dealing with Navy life. Certainly some men will be able to identify with what the author went through and felt back then; but it might also give women readers a better an inside look at how some young men think and act under certain circumstances.
The author obviously has a talent for writing and this book will hold your attention.
Reviewed by: Bill McDonald (2009)