Review Along for the Ride: Navigating Through the Cold War, Vietnam, Laos & More by Henry Zeybel

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
SOF Support
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
17,046
Location
Not Afghanistan
Along for the Ride was written by a retired AF navigator. It chronicles his career/ life as a Nav on B-47's and then B-52's before volunteering for AC-130's in the waning days of Vietnam (where he was awarded a Silver Star* during a mission he recounts in the book). He hits all of the typical high points of his career which was pretty typical for the period: Chrome Dome missions with SAC, musing on delivering nukes, how that would be done, and the odds of survival. He has stories about other airmen as well, including a long bit about an F-4 pilot who flew with Robin Olds and downed a MiG or two.

Post service Zeybel was a journalist for various defense publications which allowed him to compare/ contrast his earlier service with an 80's/ post Cold War military.

The book jumps around a bit in the timeline and the digression into the F-4 pilot was excellent, if unexpected. The book doesn't stand out any more than dozens of others I've read, which is to be expected. It is well written, full of details, vignettes, personal/ emotional thoughts, and reflecting on one's service years after it ended and how it may or may not have shaped the world. The book is a solid, journeyman's account of Vietnam, another fragment among millions of experiences during the war.

Amazon has the Kindle version, and paperback, both for under 5 dollars. 4 out of 5 burning trucks on the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

* - Henry Zeybel - Recipient -
 
Top