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Vietnam Veteran Memoirs

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A fresh and engaging, relentlessly paced story of a Vietnam Veteran's personal experiences and exploits while doing two tours of duty, one as a Cobra gunship pilot, in war torn Vietnam. This is an entertaining read that keeps you turning pages and leaves you eager for the next chapter. The author is a highly decorated veteran of two years in Vietnam who realized it was time A fresh and engaging, relentlessly paced story of a Vietnam Veteran's personal experiences and exploits while doing two tours of duty, one as a Cobra gunship pilot, in war torn Vietnam. This is an entertaining read that keeps you turning pages and leaves you eager for the next chapter. The author is a highly decorated veteran of two years in Vietnam who realized it was time to record his memories of those times. Unlike many books written about the war, Payne’s book is a lesson of inspiration spiced with humor. It details the challenges he had to overcome and the lessons he had to learn.


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A fresh and engaging, relentlessly paced story of a Vietnam Veteran's personal experiences and exploits while doing two tours of duty, one as a Cobra gunship pilot, in war torn Vietnam. This is an entertaining read that keeps you turning pages and leaves you eager for the next chapter. The author is a highly decorated veteran of two years in Vietnam who realized it was time A fresh and engaging, relentlessly paced story of a Vietnam Veteran's personal experiences and exploits while doing two tours of duty, one as a Cobra gunship pilot, in war torn Vietnam. This is an entertaining read that keeps you turning pages and leaves you eager for the next chapter. The author is a highly decorated veteran of two years in Vietnam who realized it was time to record his memories of those times. Unlike many books written about the war, Payne’s book is a lesson of inspiration spiced with humor. It details the challenges he had to overcome and the lessons he had to learn.

30 review for Vietnam Veteran Memoirs

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ray Daley

    Well written, extremely good read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Olga Miret

    Vietnam Veteran Memoirs. A Book of Miracles. The Adventures of a Florida Flatlander in Vietnam. Mack W. Payne Genial war adventures without the drama. I must say from the start that I met the author in a social networking site and he was offering his then work-in-progress novel to people who might be interested. Having completed a degree in American Studies and being fascinated by the US involvement in Vietnam this was an offer I could hardly refuse. When I got the book I can say it was a welcome Vietnam Veteran Memoirs. A Book of Miracles. The Adventures of a Florida Flatlander in Vietnam. Mack W. Payne Genial war adventures without the drama. I must say from the start that I met the author in a social networking site and he was offering his then work-in-progress novel to people who might be interested. Having completed a degree in American Studies and being fascinated by the US involvement in Vietnam this was an offer I could hardly refuse. When I got the book I can say it was a welcome and refreshing surprise. Although I don’t know Mr Payne personally, after reading his memoirs I felt as if I had met the man himself. What comes across strongly throughout the book is the author. He explains in the introduction that he had not thought about writing a book on that period of his life until he gave a speech at a Toastmasters club and he decided to talk about his experience of his two tours in Vietnam, in part to dispel the myth that everybody who had been in Vietnam had been ‘screwed’ as he puts it. The speech was a big success and people kept asking him for more. The origin of the book is clearly reflected in its pages, because you can nearly hear Mr Payne talking. It is written in a straight forward, colloquial style, peppered with anecdotes and full of personality. This is neither a critical in depth analysis of the US intervention in Vietnam, nor a factual and neutral account. This is Mr Payne’s narration of his experience and adventures during his two tours in Vietnam, and he does not shy away from offering his opinion on peers, operations, celebrities, news…You might agree or disagree with him, but I get the sense that although he believes everybody is entitled to an opinion, he won’t change his easily. Mr Payne thanks his guardian angel (Gabriel) for surviving his two tours, acknowledges the losses with regret, portrays funny and scary episodes that deserve several movies, and tells the story of a tenacious and stubborn young man who knew what he wanted and got it through sheer determination and bloody-mindedness. His eyesight wasn’t fantastic but he managed to get into pilot training. He wanted to fly Cobra helicopters and he did. There are touching (although understated) moments, and instances of self-discovery, but the author does not dwell on them. There is no romanticising the experience and no dramatisation either. You are there to do a job, your duty, and you then move on. I recommend this book to anybody who is looking for a personal account of the Vietnam experience and is happy to read an unusual, but not less valuable, take on events. ‘Vietnam Veteran Memoirs’ proved an unexpected read for me. I will never forget some of the vignettes he narrates, and I definitely will never forget Mr Payne. I was offered a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Byron Edgington

    Here we have a war memoir written by a fellow who enjoyed not one but two tours in Vietnam. Many Vietnam vets spent two tours there, nothing odd about that. But Payne’s double dip in the war is unusual and intriguing: He spent a year in Vietnam the first tour as a Lieutenant in the Quartermaster Corps, the branch of the Army responsible for bedding, pay, uniform and equipment issue, beans and bullets and various documentation & paperwork matters. His second tour as a Captain and an aviator put h Here we have a war memoir written by a fellow who enjoyed not one but two tours in Vietnam. Many Vietnam vets spent two tours there, nothing odd about that. But Payne’s double dip in the war is unusual and intriguing: He spent a year in Vietnam the first tour as a Lieutenant in the Quartermaster Corps, the branch of the Army responsible for bedding, pay, uniform and equipment issue, beans and bullets and various documentation & paperwork matters. His second tour as a Captain and an aviator put him in the cockpit of an AH-1 Cobra gunship, where he was responsible for blowing up stuff. This may be the only memoir of Vietnam delivered from each end of the Army supply chain. Payne has a quirky, irreverent writing style and voice, and inside this book readers will quickly see and hear a fellow who gives speeches about his war experience. Indeed, much of the writing comes off the page as if it’s being delivered to an audience of VFW members. Payne’s use of military jargon, understatement and drollery fill the pages, and for anyone unfamiliar with the morbid sense of humor and ironic posturing of helicopter pilots, this book will educate quite well. (Full disclosure: this reviewer is a retired Army aviator and Vietnam vet, one tour flying Hueys, which was plenty, thank you ever so much.) Payne’s politics are mostly reserved, but when they intrude on the pages they’re out there, full throated and unapologetic. He didn’t like Walter Cronkite very much, and don’t get him started on Jane Fonda. Indeed, like a lot of Vietnam vets, he seems to believe that America’s free press single handedly delivered the war to the North Vietnamese. This is nonsense, of course, but Payne does make a point here. Our enemies are indeed attuned to the average American’s level of support for our foreign adventures, and those adversaries take full advantage of apparent cracks in national unity. Maybe that’s all the more reason, in the age of social media overexposure, our leadership ought to pay attention to a national feeling of tepid support as well? It’s a good book, mostly, a book that could have been much better with a good edit, but well done and readable. Maybe a sequel, with Payne’s reflections on Vietnam after many years and many speeches to the VFW? It’s a book that should be read, a part of our nation’s history that needs to be written down and remembered. Byron Edgington, author of The Sky Behind Me: A Memoir of Flying & Life

  4. 4 out of 5

    John

    Couldn't get past chapter 6. The author had to be among the most arrogant, obnoxious and annoying junior officers serving in Viet Nam during our involvement there. No one he encounters was competent and he was the ultimate authority on all things which he encountered and described. Perhaps it got better but I couldn't make the investment of time.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Will

    Not a horrible book, but it's painfully obvious he's not a professional author. Quite a few typos in my E copy too. As a soldier, dude stands way closer to the Snuffy Smith side of the scale than the Audie Murphy side. And I have a strong suspicion there was a bit of embellishment and faded memory at work in this one.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marc

    Engaging stories, very military jargon-heavy but clearly the author knows his own experiences and relates them well. For those interested in the career progression of an Army Quartermaster-turned-pilot, this is an interesting read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Gary Desrosiers

    It's hard to believe the author is a motivational speaker. He writes like a fifth grader.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Woodard

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mavism

  10. 4 out of 5

    al laforge

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bill

  12. 5 out of 5

    Clay Simpson

  13. 4 out of 5

    Timothy p. Shea

  14. 4 out of 5

    Gayle E. Locke

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rambo John

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

  17. 4 out of 5

    Judy

  18. 5 out of 5

    Enzo Warren

  19. 4 out of 5

    Papafets

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lynette Brown

  21. 4 out of 5

    Don Johnson

  22. 5 out of 5

    Timothy J.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

  24. 4 out of 5

    bernice r harkins

  25. 4 out of 5

    Fred Goslin

  26. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Love

  28. 5 out of 5

    Denise

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jack Knapp

  30. 4 out of 5

    Saleigh

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