Picture yourself at 18. Your thoughts, motivations, and ideas about the world. Now, picture that person, your 18-year-old self, joining the Air Force and being shipped halfway across the world to a tropical paradise.
That, in a nutshell, is the basis of Bill Bowers and Sandee Hart’s Nighthawk. What Bill experiences is a total culture shock. Sent from the suburbs of Philadelphia to Clark Air Base in the Philippines, he’s forced to adjust quickly to the rules of his new home.
Bill’s experiences frame a coming-of-age tale filled with exciting exploits, daring adventures, and important life lessons.
The book grips you from the beginning. As Bill stares in the mirror, memories of his childhood flood his mind. Wondering if he is about to die, he has an epiphany. His soul is calling to him. He must share his story with the world.
Right from the start, you fall in synch with Bill’s voice. You feel like a fellow Airman, living the story with him every step of the way.
Bill’s approach to life is inspirational, if not enviable. He dives right into new, unknown experiences without a second thought. A trait I wish I possessed at that age.
A member of the Air Force Security Police, Bill is responsible for defending and protecting the base. Guarding a 27-mile perimeter with only 7 miles of fence line still intact, they must remain vigilant at all times.
Nighthawks face a variety of dangerous threats daily. Armed intruders seeking American treasure. Wires tied between trees to decapitate horse patrol units. Pit vipers and python snakes lurking in the tall elephant grass.
Stationed at Clark for some of the most eventful times in the base’s history, Bill recounts his stories without reservation. Unlike most military memoirs, Nighthawk is not bogged down by all of the terminology that is often confusing to civilians like us.
Whether it’s surfing on the top of jeepneys, or fistfighting with Marines outside bars, the Nighthawks know how to make things interesting.
Bill arrives at Clark a wide-eyed boy. After 18 months, he leaves a man. One who has lived and learned valuable lessons applicable to all aspects of life.
There are countless exciting stories that make this book tough to put down. Nighthawk is a true page-turner in every sense of the word.
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