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Guts 'N Gunships Audiobook

Guts 'N Gunships: What It Was Really Like to Fly Combat Helicopters in Vietnam

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Publisher's Summary

In the summer of 1967, Mark Garrison had dropped out of college at Southern Illinois University just before entering his third year. He had run out of money and had to work for a while. These were the days before the lottery and the draft soon came calling. In order to somewhat control his own future, he enlisted in the US Army's helicopter flight school program. Little did he know that this adventure would be the most profound experience of his life.

Garrison flew hundreds of missions for the 119th AHC, stationed in the Central Highlands at Camp Holloway in Pleiku, Vietnam. He was awarded 25 Air Medals, four campaign Bronze Stars, and The Distinguished Flying Cross, among numerous other awards. His narrative takes you through the whole process, from basic training, flight school, flying combat in Vietnam, and his return to the United States. His description includes many incidents in combat flight, including being hit by rocket propelled grenades and being on fire in the air, over hundreds if not thousands of enemy troops. But this is not all. He elaborates on the daily lives, emotions, and nuances of the pilots and what they considered their mission to be.

Guts 'N Gunships is a must listen if you are to have a realistic understanding of what flying helicopters in Vietnam combat was all about.

©2015 mark v garrison (P)2015 mark v garrison

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (258 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 04-25-16
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 04-25-16 Member Since 2016

    I am an avid eclectic reader.

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    "Fascinating"

    This is a memoir of a helicopter pilot from the Vietnam War. Garrison tells what it takes to be a helicopter pilot in combat. Garrison covers the time from his enlistment, boot camp, helicopter school to his combat missions in Vietnam. The author goes into detail about combat action and also includes wartime humor, and the loss of friends.

    The book is well written. I noted that the author flew hundreds of mission for the 119th AHC, stationed in the Central Highlands at Camp Holloway in Pleiku, Vietnam. He was awarded twenty-five air medals, four campaign medals, four Bonze Stars and the Distinguished Flying Cross among the list of medals. Garrison’s extensive combat experience comes through in the book. I found it interesting that after his war service ended Garrison decided to become a chiropractor. Seems he was following in his father’s footsteps. Eric Martin does a good job narrating the book.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin San Antonio, Texas, United States 01-23-16
    Robin San Antonio, Texas, United States 01-23-16 Member Since 2001

    RKH

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    "Brought back old memories!"

    I was a helicopter pilot in my youth flying Dustoff or medevac helicopters in VietNam so I was very anxious to hear about Mark Garrison's adventures. I was not disappointed. I learned things that I did not know about gunships. I had deja vu moments listening to his tales. This is a good solid collection of tales and memories. I highly recommend that you read it. You won't regret it.

    I was given this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sidney United States 01-18-16
    Sidney United States 01-18-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Brought back memories"
    Where does Guts 'N Gunships rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It is one of the best books of this type I have listened to.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Guts 'N Gunships?

    The time when his ship was almost destroyed on mission


    What about Eric Martin’s performance did you like?

    Eric is without a doubt a master narrator. His voice was always clear and understandable. He put real feeling into those moments when fear and panic had to have been driving emotions though the roof.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    My unbelievable year


    Any additional comments?

    I was given this book in expectation of a review. I was skeptical at first because memoirs are normally dull and dry. I found that this book brought back memories of my own military active duty during the Vietnam era. Though I was not in the Army I did serve during the same time frame.

    I found the book to be extremely well written and the time line well laid out. It expressed the fears and the anxieties of men who go in harms ways. It also captured the ways men deal with them to maintain their sanity.

    There was a "gallows humor" that pervaded the whole adventure. And unless one has experienced the 1960s in their awesome highs and lows they would not understand the way the military was treated in light of today.

    As I listened to this book I could fully relate the Mark's fears and his coping. It brought light to an aspect of the war that I personally had not experienced and brought me to a better appreciation for their sacrifices and pain.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SGT Med 03-05-16
    SGT Med 03-05-16 Member Since 2015

    SgtMed

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    "Outstanding Book!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    As a Huey and later, Black Hawk crew chief in the '80s and '90s, I had heard plenty of stories about "Slicks" and "Gunships", from guys who were there. I had not heard specifics of their missions and how they operated. Of course, I wouldn't because these guys were humble and didn't bring attention to themselves. This book opened my eyes to the reality of the Helicopter's mission in Vietnam and the brave men who crewed them.
    Vietnam was so highly politicized, many forget the incredible skill and bravery of the U.S. fighting man who, in most cases, served not because they wanted a military career, but because of a sense of duty. These men were cut from the same cloth as the incredible warriors who fought in WWI, WWII, Korea and the wars of today. I'd love to see a resurgence of books about the Vietnam war without all the political nonsense we've been forced to swallow for the last 40+ years!
    This book was well written. The story was gripping, terrifying, funny and at times, sad. Eric Martin's narration was spot on and excellent. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone. Especially those interested in Military history, or U.S. History in general.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Guts 'N Gunships?

    Just when I thought things couldn't possibly get any worse... They did! (Paraphrasing Mark Garrison)


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    "The Incredible True Story of U.S. Army Helicopter Air Crews in Vietnam."


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William R. Toddmancillas Chico, California United States 02-11-16
    William R. Toddmancillas Chico, California United States 02-11-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Fascinating, revealing, and well narrated."
    What made the experience of listening to Guts 'N Gunships the most enjoyable?

    The detailed descriptions of combat assignments and the comradeship.


    What other book might you compare Guts 'N Gunships to and why?

    Hmmm. So may good ones out there. I will have to think about which ones I will list here.


    Have you listened to any of Eric Martin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Excellent narration. First of his narrations. Cadence interesting and enunciation clear.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Let me reflect on the one.i


    Any additional comments?

    Well worth the listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EP Walnut Creek, CA United States 02-08-16
    EP Walnut Creek, CA United States 02-08-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Vietnam Helicopter P"
    What did you love best about Guts 'N Gunships?

    If you enjoy war stories, this audiobook will deliver eight hours worth of amazing stories from a Vietnam War-era helicopter pilot. At the beginning of the audiobook, the author reminds the listener that they were about to hear one of the many "stories" of what it was like to be a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War...and what a "story" it was!

    The narrator sounded a bit like Rod Sterling; nevertheless, he delivers an impressive accounting of the experiences of a man who made it through one of the scariest and most difficult periods of recent American history.


    Any additional comments?

    I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer 02-07-16 Member Since 2013
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    "An excellent story"

    This was an excellent book. The narrator was excellent and the story holds your attention. You will find that the pilots did not have a cushy time in Vietnam. I recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 01-20-16
    David 01-20-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Crazy..."

    Huei pilots were insane, the Huei was a gift from God, Mark Garrison is insane, and this books gives good account as to why the most fearless men who ever served in the military ranks were the Vietnam Huei pilots.

    "Okay, sir, you've only got 2 feet back here, okay 1 foot, okay you've got no room, sir" when referring to rotor blades hitting trees??? That's just a taste of the insanity these men lived. It's no wonder Slick and Croc pilots of Vietnam are considered to be some of the bravest men of the military.

    Mark's book makes an effort to give stories of flight and the war, but also of daily life in country, relationships and down time, and shenanigans. It seems like a balanced effort to describe the full experience of Huei pilots.

    I doubt you'll regret this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    troyboy0717 12-01-16
    troyboy0717 12-01-16 Member Since 2016
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    "excellent story!"

    I loved this book from start to finish! it was cool to hear the story from a helicopter pilots view point!!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    robert 11-04-16
    robert 11-04-16 Member Since 2016
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    "RIP brother, love ya man!!"

    my brother was a crew chief/ door gunner on a gunship in Vietnam, he told me some of the things that he had to do over there, this book only touched on some of the things he told me, he was called "HULK" on the bird, he always said it was " the best job he ever had"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Birmingham WI
    7/4/16
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    "Interesting but not riveting"

    Interesting. Occasionally gripping. Worth listening to. But not a great story. Without doubt these guys were brave. Another case of Lions lead by donkeys

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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