What are Veteran’s saying about The Life of a Warrior

sgt hack in vietnam

The Life of a WarriorSgt. Hack’s novel about his life experiences, has been given away free to over 100,000 people.  Written with the intent of helping people, especially veterans who have many issues to overcome, The Life of a Warrior has helped many.

Here are several personal comments from our Veterans:

Sargent Hack!

I wanted to personally tell you that I really identified with your story (read your book).

I joined the Navy in 73, the year you retired, and did not get to Vietnam, but all of my Squadron Skippers at the time flew CAP/RESCAP missions against the Soviet and NVA MIGs from Aircraft Carriers. I ended up flying against the Iranian/Iraqi/Libyan MIGs in the Middle East and the Soviets in the Kola Peninsula. The warrior pilots from Vietnam taught me well!

Like you, I was also a Midwestern boy whose family were legal immigrants that worked the coal mines and factories of Central Illinois. We weren’t as poor as you were, but the 6 of us had to share and survive on my Dad’s salary. Mom scraped slop from the plates at the school lunch program for a little change for our Christmas. Tough times! I worked (walked) the fields “rouging” and “detastling” in the summer at 13 for my school clothes (1.25/hour) and as a grease monkey in a Chevy Dealership from 15-18 years old. Being around grown men at the dealership that just got home from Vietnam made me want to join myself!

That’s why I left as soon as possible! I saw myself getting a job in the factory that my Dad worked or the Coal mines that my Uncle worked. The Navy was an amazing opportunity! I gained 50 lbs. in 4 years (great diet and exercise) and got picked up for Flight training at Pensacola Florida. Then I got my dream job, flying F-4’s and F-14’s off of the Independence, America, and Kennedy.  They were dangerous jobs, but at least we got a hot meal every night, unlike you folks on the ground!

I do collect G-1’s and have my original Navy Issue that needs a new waistband and sleeves, so I’ll send it in soon!

God Bless you and the sacrifices you made your whole life.

My Dad was no “pleasure cruise” either, but the lessons he taught me (both good and bad) stuck with me to this day. I still miss him, he was a tough Korean War Vet, and drank and gambled too. He didn’t put up with any bullshit from anyone, including from me and my 3 brothers – but that’s all we knew. It’s not like we had sleepovers back then! Families kept to themselves.

Oh, by the way, I hated bullies too. The good thing was that if someone picked on me and my brothers, they had to contend with the 4 of us, and we were bullied!

God Bless,

Ray

USN Retired

9/28/15

 

The book was excellent !!!
I served in the US Army during the Vietnam era myself from 1970 – 1972.
God Bless you Sgt Hack for your service to our country !

Gregory 

 

  Some times those times seem like they happened on another planet. I served USN 6-67/6-71. I never saw any combat, never left CONUS, never served aboard ship but had honor to serve men from all branches of the US Military. I interviewed thousands of men in transit and in processing through the various military systems and structures, including legal and mental. Reading Sargent Hack’s story brought back a flood of memories.

Many of a man’s interactions with fellow service men are brief and perfunctory. My first job was to work in “Receiving” Norfolk Naval Base. For most of the enlisted personnel assigned to this office the duty was temporary. We ran 24/7/365 and the daily through put of men assisted and processed were so many that at times the lines were backed up out the door and around the building, a never ending stream of faces and needs. Most assigned this work quickly burned out. For me this became the most fascinating job I could ever had. As each man stepped up to my window I had a few seconds to look him over, listen to needs, questions and take care of him in a way that best suited his circumstances within the system’s capability.

A service man’s uniform tells a lot of things about him, his rank, his speciality, where he has served, his campaign ribbons, but there is still much that is written in the face and in the eyes. Once you have looked into the eyes of a combat veteran you quickly understand that combat changed him and left an indelible mark. I learned to recognize these men. Most often their needs were ordinary. As a rule it required opening and reading the man’s military record. I learned to swiftly scan the recorded information, double checking my evaluation. Thus within in 60 seconds I had already learned more about him than he would ever guess. I always strived to give each man the best service. For the combat veteran the extra mile for his needs became my honor and my duty.

It has been almost half a century now but I recently learned some things from a 1st cousin of mine who served in the Navy in the same time frame as I. He went on to become a police officer who went into the army to become a helicopter pilot, got out and served the US Border Patrol until he retired. His parents divorced and his mother returned to Kentucky where he was raised in poverty similar to that as Sgt. Hack’s as a young boy. At the age of 13 already starting down the wrong road his maternal grand mother contacted his paternal grand mother who contacted his father. His father traveled back to Kentucky, and returned to the west with his son. My cousin went into the Navy right out of high school. Having myself been divorced under less than ideal circumstances I had an understanding of how things can work so that a father can be forced to be cut out of the lives of his children. I had a special affection for this uncle, a WWII veteran who returned from Europe to quic kly marr y and quickly divorce. However, my cousin confessed to me that he still carried anger, bitterness, and resentment towards his now departed father.

Reading Sgt. Hacks biography touched a lot of tender places for me. Having looked deeply into the eyes of combat veterans of ground war, of air war, and sea war I have an unending appreciation of the sacrifice of so many so that the many more could live in peace.

My father, four uncles and a grand father all veterans, three combat veterans, and in recent ancestry research found a family tree filled with veterans, and a few villains. In 1917 my paternal grand father’s younger brother took his place in the draft and died in combat in France at 11:00 AM, November 11, 1918. I’m confident Sgt. Hack would find the same truths in his family’s history.

Richard

9/25/15

 

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