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The Freedom Shield

by Maj. John D. Falcon (Ret.)

In war, life has a way of turning on a dime. It is often a small choice that determines who lives and who sacrifices his or her young life. The Vietnam War was no different. However, for the young guys who lived it, breathed its vigorous stench of rot and mud, the Vietnam War was like no other. In retrospect, life was simple here: turn left, you live; turn right, you die.

“Climb into the cockpit … listen to the clatter of the M60 door guns and the music of the lumbering Charlie-model gunships close overhead, pouring welcomed suppressive fire into the hostile tree lines, allowing the slicks to escape once more … usually.”

—COL Dennis L. Butler

“A riveting firsthand account of a combat assault-helicopter company in Vietnam.”

—COL Francis W. Matthews

John D. Falcon, Retired Major

Major John D. Falcon achieved field–grade rank in the US Army and retired as a major stationed in Fort Benning, Georgia. He commanded Army units in several different countries and served as a Vietnam War helicopter pilot, flying over five hundred combat missions. He considers his tour of duty with the 191st Assault Helicopter Company the most memorable assignment of his Army career.