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Last Chance, A U.S. Airman's Story

Up until December 1966, I was just an ordinary teenager, doing ordinary teenage "stuff", not concerned in the least with my future. The military and Vietnam changed all of that - surprisingly a lot for the better. I've often wondered if other vets' lives were affected in a similar way.

Last Chance is a true account of my experiences in the Air Force as a ground based airman. I wanted to share these memories with others like me, as well as with anyone else who holds an interest in one of America's most troubling wars. A lot has been written about the men who fought and died in Vietnam, but very little has been written about the ground based airmen, their contributions to the war effort, and what it was like for those men.

This book is also an attempt to dispel some of the misconceptions written about military personnel by the media and Hollywood's disparaging portrayal of the military during and after the war.

Last Chance is my story - in my words (the dark side and humorous side) - to the best of my memory. We were just young men, either drafted or volunteers, serving our country. We grew strong in character, and the majority of us prospered and became productive members of society.

About the author:

I entered the Air Force in 1966 at age 19 and spent 1967-68 in Vietnam. Born and raised on a farm in Tennessee, I was naïve about world events. My wife and I have been married for 47 years, have two sons and four grandchildren. Graduated from U. T. Knoxville, had a very fruitful career, retired at age 57, moved back to the farm, and enjoy life with our kids and grandchildren.

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November 19, 2013 - 1:11pm

Bravo to Ronald Williams for taking to task the critical story of America's Airmen's part of the Vietnam War effort. The war was not just about the contributions of Army, Marines, Navy, and Coast Guard forces. The U.S.A.F. Airmen were just as active in what they provided for frontline warfare as the ground troops of other military branches. The utilization of AF Security Police defending their own bases with infantry methodology included all typical ground-based weaponry and light armor vehicles was an extremely essential requirement to ensure air bases were protected from enemy attacks and keeping the ability to operate its air power, which troops in the field depended on heavily for battlefield successes. The AF ground Airmen defended the air bases not just up to the perimeter wire, but much farther out to keep secure the "deep perimeter" surrounding the bases, which "Charlie" loved to cloak their movements. AF Ground units patrolled these areas constantly. No one involved in any war should ever be left out of the praise worthy of their service and that certainly included the AF ground pounders. Much gratitude goes out for the Air Force "Grunts" who served with distinction. "Toujours en danger" - "Always in danger"

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