True Stories of the Air Medical Rescue Teams of the US Coast Guard who risk their lives to save others as seen through the eyes of a newly trained flight surgeon 1971-1973
A book review by Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, October 24, 2020
DISCLAIMER: I retired from the U. S. Coast Guard after 20 years so I am very biased regarding anything about the service I love. That, however, should not discourage anyone from reading this book.
The book was not what I had expected when I purchased it - IT WAS SO MUCH MORE than I expected. What I had expected was more of situational reports regarding Search and Rescue Missions, one after the other. Yes, the book contained descriptions of these missions as I expected but they were written more like a movie script or entries into a personal journal.
The book was difficult to put down to the point I chose to continue reading it in lieu of doing other things I was suppose to be doing. The book was as exciting as any book I have ever read. Having been in the Coast Guard myself for 20 years, I believe it depicted the “can do” attitude of the Coast Guard personnel I have been stationed with. Dr. Walters descriptions of the perils of Search and Rescue Missions were detailed and the reader, at least for me, got thoroughly engaged in the story line and could easily form mental pictures from the descriptions. It was as if you were there alongside the Doctor and his team.
What I liked most about the book was the honesty of the Doctor as he described his experiences, the relationships he formed and that he had no problem discussing his shortcomings and fears, especially his fears. The Doctor received the Coast Guard Commendation Medal for one of his missions. As a former member of a Coast Guard District Board of Awards, I can assure you that I could have written up awards for all of the crew members on several of the missions he outlined.
This is a very good book!
Who should read the book? I think anyone who reads it will be glad they did. Therefore, I would encourage everyone to read it.
Would I read it again? I doubt that I would because it was so well written that there would be no need to read it again; lessons learned.
Would I give it as a gift? It would be a great gift to anyone who served in the Coast Guard or for that matter any military branch of service and yes, I would give it as a gift especially to a fellow Coastie!