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Today could be your last

 

Stephanie Jewett rated it 4 of 5 stars

Shelves: 2012historical-settingmemoirnon-fictionpersonal-history

I read this because my dad recommended it- Bill Peterson was one of his crew chiefs (my dad was “Mr. Jewitt” in the book; our name gets misspelled that way a lot). Dad never talked about his experiences in Vietnam until very recently, even when we would ask about his medals he would just smile sadly and say it was a long time ago and that he didn’t feel he deserved his medals any more than any of the other men out there. I think he may have suggested that his kids read this book because that way we could understand a little about what he went through without him having to relive it in the telling.

Anyway, on to the book. I was really touched while reading it, and struck with the courage it must have taken to get up and face every single day knowing that it could be your last and would certainly be the last for many of your comrades. This isn’t sophisticated writing by any means, but so heartfelt, and heartbreaking. Thanks to Mr. Peterson for publishing his story so that those of us who love a vet could get a better insight into their experience in Viet Nam.

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Lots more reviews

Check out http://www.missionsoffireandmercy.com to see several more five star reviews from this Best Seller author. They are very realistic and well-written.

Heroic Job

 

Excellent Heroes Journey Memoir!, April 16, 2012

By

Lynne M. Black “Lynne Black” (Enumclaw WA) – See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)

This review is from: Missions of Fire and Mercy: Until Death Do Us Part (Paperback)

During my three tours in Vietnam I took many a chopper ride out to the AO as a grunt and always was glad I didn’t have your job. To this day I would much rather be on the ground facing the enemy than hanging in the air taking hits as you drop off or pick up our guys. I have the utmost admiration for all you guys and the heroic jobs you performed. Without you many of us would be just fertilizer in Southeast Asia. Thank you …

As a writer, I like the approach you took with Missions Of Fire & Mercy. The letters home and filling in the detail blanks is a great approach. It allows the reader to be with you on the flights as well as experience your relationship with those you flew with and your changing relationships at home. Once I picked the up I read it in one sitting. You get five stars from me.

Sincerely,

Lynne M. Black Jr.
5th Special Forces
MACV/SOG
One Zero
RT Alabama
RT Idaho

ENLIGHTENING

 

Valuable and enlightening: surviving the Viet Nam War,February 5, 2012

By

Doris T – See all my reviews

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This review is from: Missions of Fire And Mercy ~ Until Death Do Us Part (Kindle Edition)

Once I began reading this book, I could not put it down. Bill is a gifted writer and the scenes and emotions he described were so vivid that I made a deep emotional and spiritual connection with him.

His deep faith throughout the whole experience is an inspiration to me.

It was heartbreaking to see how the veterans were treated when they came home from Viet Nam. Many were treated shamefully and disrepected, after all they had done for their country. There were many times when I wanted to say “Thank You!” But, I was shy and scared to speak up so it was not often spoken.

I am so glad that Bill wrote this book. I hope that every Viet Nam veteran and veterans of more recent wars also, get a chance to read this book. I believe it will be a source of healing for many of them.

I believe that Bill was inspired by White Robe Six to write this book. And He is still watching over all those men who endured any war; and wants to bring them healing and wholeness.

Haunting Words

 

A must read for people to understand what those who served on Helicopters went through, November 2, 2011

By

Russ Warriner “Russ Warriner” (Maine, USA) – See all my reviews

This review is from: Missions of Fire and Mercy: Until Death Do Us Part (Paperback)

As author of Empty Tubes And Back Seat Memories: A life changing experience Empty Tubes and Back Seat Memories: A Life Changing Experience , I looked at reading, Missions of Fire and Mercy: Until Death Do Us Part by William E. Peterson with a different outlook than many who read this type of book. For me, I was sure that our paths had passed while in Vietnam because my unit supported his unit on MANY missions and at least part of our tour was during the same years.

When I first opened Missions of Fire and Mercy, there was a yellow paper with the haunting words, `White Robe 6 calling Yellow One . . . over.’ I did not read it until I finished reading the book. For some reason this was eating at me, but why? Then, I read the chapter about White Robe 6 and the light when on. I read this in Vietnam. For those who were there, you will know this as well. For those who were not there, I will let you be the judge of how powerful a meaning this has.

I felt Bill did a great job. Even though the book is a little graphic, which being a Vietnam veteran, made me want to put it down. (Some books I have tried to read, I could not finish. Some I could not read years ago, (This book is one of them) I now have made a second attempt at reading. However, with Missions of Fire and Mercy, I found myself riveted to the story. At times, I was sitting in the door of my own Huey with my adrenaline pumping. I served as a crew chief and door gunner on a Huey with the 1st Cav and am sure I was on at least one or two missions that Bill writes about.

Bill’s story follows the same path from small town American to becoming a crew chief in Vietnam in much the same way as many others with a Huey mechanics MOS. Our job was 24/7, cleaning and maintaining the aircraft assigned to you. Flying heart pounding missions day and night, ready to protect our aircraft and crewmembers with our M-60 when needed.

Every mission defined by mutual trust, a trust between the crew chief and his pilots and gunner, if we had a gunner. In my case, we were usually a three-man crew. However, life aircraft carried a four man crew. Without this trust, everyone on board could come home early in a way that no one wanted, or not come home at all. Many of us owe our lives to their courage and dedication under very difficult conditions.

This story interweaves the author’s own narratives and recollections with his own letters home while in Vietnam. Fortunately, his father saved these letters, which provide a chronicle of intense combat during his tour with C/227th. These letters provide the reader an intimate view of what Peterson was thinking at the time including, the fears, sorrows, and doubts he and his fellow aircrew members experienced as they prepared for and flew their missions.

Peterson notes that it has taken him 40 years to get around to telling his stories and states “…it is finally “OK” to let it all out.” He encourages other Vietnam vets to do the same as “a good way to get it out of your system.” He says, “My survivor guilt, nightmares, and flashbacks have helped me to write more vividly.” This he has certainly done.

Bill’s book is a haunting and moving. Through letters home, he tells of his life as a helicopter gunner/crew chief during the Viet Nam war. I highly recommend the book to anyone who is interested in understanding the stress that often accompanies the life of a soldier. It also explains why Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is so common among so many.

His book left me with a “NEW FOUND” deeper respect for the crewmembers of the lift aircraft that my unit supported daily. Because of my own PTSD, I closed this part of my life off and only started to open up these chapters in the past in the late 1980’s. After the VA labeled with chronic PTSD, I learned that writing gave me relief. Writing has become only part of my healing process, but it is a very important part for others like Bill and myself.

God Bless you Bill, it has meant a lot to read your story. It has helped me in ways that only people like you can understand.

 

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You can almost smell the blood and fear

 

 Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers’ Favorite Chopper Warriors

Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers’ Favorite

Chopper Warriors by William Peterson is a combination of stories drawn from interviews and the personal experiences of the author himself. It tells the real story of the Vietnam War, from the people who were there in the thick of it. Mr. Peterson has interviewed a wide range of personnel – grunts, helicopter pilots, crew and officers – to gain their stories of the tours they served, of the fear and the death that surrounded them. Chopper Warriors tells the story of the helicopter crews and pilots who were responsible for ensuring that there were not many more names on the wall in Washington. It tells of acts of heroism and of bravery, of special missions that stick in their minds to this day. Above all, it tells us that there was one underlying factor in the chopper warriors’ minds – that no-one was beyond bringing home, be it to their families or to their final resting place.

Chopper Warriors is a moving book. William Peterson has written in such a way that the scenes he describes are made real to those of us that weren’t there. You can almost smell the blood and the fear, hear the sounds of the rotors above. You feel as though you have been lifted from the comfort of your own home and thrust into the midst of one of the bloodiest wars in history. I take my hat off to Mr. Peterson and to all those who shared their stories with us, those who relived the horrors of what they saw and felt to bring us the truth about the war on the ground.