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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
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Customer Reviews

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By Jean on 04-25-16


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.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

By SGT Med on 03-05-16

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. <br/>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!<br/>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."

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Anonymous User on 09-06-17

From one pilot to another

I am a UH-1H helicopter pilot and I specialise in firefighting. I found this book to be brilliant, a must read, or listen on audio. Well done Mark.

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By Alastair on 06-21-17

Excellent listen

A very good listen, well written and excellent narration, learned a lot about the strategy of the U.S. in Vietnam, but most of all about the young men who fought in that war, their tremendous skill and courage and most of all their respect and friendship for each other. Highly recommend this audio book.

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Customer Reviews

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By The reader who failed English! on 02-20-17

I'm an ex military UH1H Mechanic, Australian Army

I have worked on these aircraft and flown in them many times. I could relate to the description of operation and limitation of this aircraft. I enjoyed the story, and wonder how someone could survive such operations for 12 months, physically and mentally.
The UH1H is a wonderful helicopter, and as I have said many times before;
UH1H, Setting the Standard!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

By Gwynn on 10-19-16

A Real life account of Vietnam

Mark Garrison sends you back to Vietnam in this incredible true story account. He tells of the horrors they went through.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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