23 December 2008

Chickenhawk - Robert Mason

The full title was "Chickenhawk: a Shattering Personal Account of the Helicopter War in Vietnam".

I picked up this book while I was in technical training to be a helicopter mechanic in the US Air Force. I thought it would be a nice story. What I learned was that the Vietnam War sucked on many levels.

I was being tought to work on the very same helicopters that were in the book. It confused me though. We were being tought to do everything according to regulations...but then there was this real world account of what really happened...and the WAS NO REGULATION.

Reading this book gave me a diferent perspective. I never took the words coming from my superiors the same again. They were saying exactly what they were supposed to say...but there was always a "real world" scenario that would play out.

Even later, when I became one of the superiors, I understood why the company line needed to be stated...but I stiull never believed it. I would pass on the information I needed to pass on, and then do what I needed to do to make the job easiest and safest for the people working for me.

Chickenhawk spoke the truth.

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