Author: John Rider
Publisher: Booklocker.com, Inc. (2007)
Binding: Paperback, 268 pages
The year is 1968. Wired in-series, trip-hammer shocks jolt the country...the capture of the USS Pueblo, Tet, LBJ declines to run, the murders of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy.
In Vietnam, a USAF pilot gets news that, to him, is every bit as jarring as those electrifying events: An airline wants to interview him for a cockpit job. In Dallas, three weeks from now. They have no idea he's in Vietnam. He still has fifty-six days and a wake-up before he can leave. Jack Boland is a Forward Air Controller pilot, part of a small USAF detachment stationed with a U.S. Army brigade, at a base camp in the jungle, seventy-five miles north of Saigon. Flying small, vulnerable spotter aircraft, the FACs fly over the jungle, looking for VC -- and when Brigade grunts get in trouble, bring in jet fighters to get Charlie off their backs.
The story is at times funny, as well as brutal, terrifying, idiotic, and in the end, tragic..Catch-22 in Vietnam.
D.E.R.O.S. by retired Air Force pilot Lt. Col. John Rider takes you into the skies of the Vietnam War in 1968 as a Forward Air Controller flying a Cessna 0-1 Bird Dog. This fictionalized story revolves around the well-defined character of 1st Lt. Jack Boland. Cynical, obnoxious and self-serving, he receives an unexpected appointment with an international airline based in Dallas, Texas to interview for one of a few open pilot positions. Needless to say, the airline is unaware he is currently serving in Vietnam. How he manages to attend the interview and return to Vietnam is the main focus of Riders book. A variety of secondary characters with their own problems and agendas entertain the reader and moves the book quickly through its approximately 250 pages.
Rider does a great job creating the character of FAC pilot Lt. Boland, a man with no regard for rank or the feelings of others.
Past members of LRRP units, the Red Cross or Thai Army may not appreciate their exaggerated portrayals, but remember; this is a book of fiction.
Reviewed by: Tony Lazzarini (2008)