The Danish philosopher Kierkegaard said it, and we all experience it: “Life can only be understood by looking backward, but it must be lived by looking forward.” I hope that the accounts of my time in the Marine Corps, including my training as an infantry officer and a helicopter pilot, leading to service during the Vietnam War, will help my family understand that trauma and camaraderie forged in me an understanding of the values and sometimes awful responsibilities faced by our military. I witnessed the remarkable leadership of others and tried to carry forth what I learned to my subsequent civilian career.
“This memoir tells the story of a young Marine lieutenant who not only flew medevac helicopters but also was involved in the insertion and extraction of small reconnaissance teams into enemy territory during an intense, dangerous year in Vietnam. After his war, he went on to command a National Guard attack helicopter squadron, and ultimately became a national leader in environmental and energy policy.
“Valentino’s military service, so outside the normal experience of most Americans, was fundamental to the man he became. In particular, the leadership lessons, values and comradeship he gained through his Marine Corps experience, particularly in Vietnam, forged the leader he ultimately became in his civilian career.
“A true story of military service to our country, this memoir will enable those who read it to understand and appreciate both the price our service members pay to provide us the freedoms we enjoy as well as the lessons our veterans learn which underlie their future accomplishments.”
--Mark Treanor author of A Quiet Cadence, winner of the Colby Award, American Library Association Boyd Award, Gold Medal in historical fiction from the Military Writers Society of America and the Webb Award from the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation for Distinguished Fiction.
All profits from this book will go to the Semper Fi & America’s Fund, which supports all our military branches’ wounded and ill service members, veterans, and their families.