Chuck Gross finished high school and had no plans of what he wanted to do with his life. His dad had died when Chuck was at a young age and his mom su..Show More »ggested the service. There, Chuck could learn a trade and go to college under the GI Bill.
Chuck joined the Army to learn how to fly helicopters in Vietnam. He left for Vietnam on May 15, 1970 for a one year deployment. Chuck might not know what the day of the week it was but he always knew how many more days he had left until he would leave Vietnam.
Chuck learned early not to fly his helicopter sitting high in his seat by a fellow flyer who went up with him in the first few helicopter rides in his early days in country. Chuck liked flying high because it gave him a better look of what was in front of him. The co-pilot explained how the enemy would be able to see him so well that he made a great target. Therefore, Chuck learned how to fly low in his chopper. Believe it or not, if he had flown high that very day, it would have been Chuck's last day.
Air assaults by helicopter were used for the first time in Vietnam. Helicopter pilot's were given orders to locate, search and destroy. Helicopter pilot's would also do insertions to get people out who were in trouble. When Chuck was called to fly, his favorite co-pilot and sometimes pilot, was Kent Garrett.
One of the troublesome memories of the Vietnam war for Chuck Gross were the MIA's who were left behind. The missing in action families would never be able to have closure for their son's. President Nixon realized the conflict in Vietnam was a war that could have gone bad.
President Nixon's plan was called Vietnamization. The American's would pull out and the North Vietnamese would take over. North Vietnam fell to the Communist's, April 30, 1975. The number of American's killed was 58,169 and the mean age of those killed was 21.23 years old.
This is one of the most compelling stories that I have ever heard, and it was so good I listened to the entire 9 hours in one sitting. Sergeant Gil..Show More »lam's story is a roller-coaster of training, fighting, despair, and post-trauma recovery. He is also a true scholar and in each chapter provides the historical context of battles and events before going into his personal experiences. Sergeant Gillam-now Professor GIllam-is also an excellent storyteller and describes the battles and conflicts in the most lucid and realistic ways. The narration of this book is also excellent and is never boring or tiring. This man is not only a humanitarian and hero, but an intellectual and a scholar, and his harrowing memoir is amazing to say the least.