No punches are pulled in this gripping account of Vietnam combat through the eyes of a highly decorated Marine helicopter crewman and door gunner with more than three hundred missions under his belt.
In 1968, U.S. Marine Ronald Winter flew some of the toughest missions of the Vietnam War, from the DMZ grasslands to the jungles near Laos and the deadly A Shau Valley, where the NVA ruled. Whether landing in the midst of hidden enemy troops or rescuing the wounded during blazing firefights, the work of helicopter crews was always dangerous. But the men in the choppers never complained; they knew they had it easy compared to their brothers on the ground.
Masters of the Art is a bare-knuckles tribute to the Marines who served in Vietnam. It’s about courage, sacrifice, and unsung heroes. The men who fought alongside Winter in that jungle hell were U.S. Marines, warriors who did their job and remained true to their country, no matter the cost.
From the Paperback edition.
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|Title of History eBook: Masters of the Art|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||Masters of the Art|
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Masters of the Art
My first impression of Sgt. Robert F. Starbuck was a worm’s-eye view of the soles of his boots. They came crashing through the double swinging doors in the middle of the Parris Island Recruit Receiving Barracks at about 3:00 a.m. January 14, 1966.
I was sitting on the floor of a squad bay along with eighty-four other recruits, having been told to do so by the sergeant major of Parris Island, who had left us there only a minute before.
Then there was a rumbling noise, like thunder, or maybe a herd of buffalo on a rampage, and Starbuck kicked through the door, both feet off the floor. He saw us sitting there and his face turned to a twisted, red picture of pure anger.
“Get up, get the fuck up. Get on your goddamn feet. Who told you maggots to sit down? Get up!” His voice had the depth of a bottomless well and the pitch of an acre of gravel.
Starbuck was six feet tall and about 185 pounds. He had legs like tree trunks and a perfectly V-shaped upper body, with wide shoulders and a narrow waist. His head was shaved damn near as closely as ours were, because he wanted it that way. Starbuck looked like what I’d expect a U.S. Marine drill instructor to look like.
I’m sure that thought went through my mind at the time, but it took second place to one other thought.
He was pissed! Somebody made the mistake of trying to say, “But the sergeant major told us . . .”
“Shut your hole, maggot. I don’t want to see your green teeth or smell your rotten breath.”
That was just the beginning. Right behind Starbuck was a shor