Coming All the Way Home: Memoir of an Assault Helicopter Aircraft Commander in Vietnam
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In 1968, twenty-one-year-old Fred McCarthy transitioned from the monastic life of a seminary student to that of a U.S. Army helicopter gunship commander in Vietnam. Despite preparation from a family tradition of decorated combat service, a strong sense of patriotism, a love for aviation, and a desire for adventure, he got far more than he bargained for.
Written after 50 years of reflection, reading, and study, this memoir tells both a universal story about war, adventure, and perseverance and, also shares the intensely personal experience of the Vietnam War and its legacy for those who fought in it. McCarthy describes many of his missions, reflects on the nature of being a combat helicopter pilot, and processes the experience through his poetry, letters home, and reflective analysis.