1 Nov 2015

A story of a bygone era


There are moments where a writer does a story to such perfection that you end up in the character's shoes, and Richard Herman is that for me. I first picked up Warbirds when when I was a teen and had read every book he had written since, or so I thought I did. The Trash Haulers is new.


Captain Mark Warren and his crew are trash haulers, airlifting supplies and personnel on their C-130 Hercules, the workhorse of tactical airlift. 
Flying a Huey, the helicopter that symbolizes mobile warfare in Vietnam, Wilson Tanner is a Dust Off pilot who risks all to rescue the wounded. 
At Se Pang, Colonel Tran Sang Quan comes into conflict with inept superiors as they initiate the People’s Army of Vietnam’s long-planned General Offensive and Uprising. 
This is the beginning of the Tet Offensive. 
Both sides face more than the enemy as superior officers manoeuver for political advantage, and where cowardice, prejudice and treachery infiltrate the ranks – on both sides. In the air and on the land, raw courage, tenacity, and honor are the marks of humanity that deal with the wreckage of war. 
The above is from Amazon, which you can find it here. While the characters almost appear one-dimensional throughout, the point of the story is to give the reader a glimpse into the lives of the men and women who had done their part during Vietnam. Nowhere in the story did Richard Herman glorify war, and how can you when you are using a premise of lifting wounded out of a war zone? Look, it's not as character driven as his earlier works, but it was a story told to perfection.

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