Aviators are a rare and strange breed. The men and women who ply their craft catapulting off and crashing back onto aircraft carriers are rarer and stranger still. My years in the Navy, 1985-1994, flying amidst this flock with Spike, Reif, Otis, and others, spanned the successful ends of the Cold War and the First Gulf War. Following fleet duty, I instructed the next batch of E-2C Hawkeye pilots. But first, a bit of back story.
Thus begins a memoir that lets you experience the mental and physical challenges of the Navy's Aviation Officer Candidate School and flight training, the thrill of landing a 44,500-pound plane with an eighty-foot wingspan on an aircraft carrier, the monotony of living on a naval warship for six-months at a time, and the harrowing and at times humorous exploits of some of the world's finest aviators. Peppered throughout with first-hand history from WestPac cruises during the last throes of the Cold War and Operation Desert Shield, Fair Winds will both enthrall and educate.
Now available as hardcover, paperback, or ebook.
Barnes & Noble: https://tinyurl.com/3ewukddu or in stock at the Glendale and and Park Meadows stores
Arapahoe and Douglas County Libraries
The Bookies (Denver) in stock: https://thebookies.com/browse/filter/t/a%20few%20bolters/k/keyword
Books Are Awesome (Parker, CO) in stock: https://booksareawesome.indielite.org/search/site/a%20few%20bolters
Tattered Cover: https://www.tatteredcover.com/search/site/a%20few%20bolters
I am also selling directly and will include a personalized inscription to anyone interested. Just click the link below. [Deliveries will come through me, so please put your address in the notes window and allow a week or so for delivery.]
10% of all book profits will be donated to veterans causes. I am thinking the Gary Sinese Foundation and Disabled Veterans Charities Inc., rated 98% and 100%, respectively, by Charity Navigator. Please let me know if you have other ideas.
As the lawyer in the family, Steve settled his parents' affairs after they died. In doing so, he came across a faded manila folder in a desk drawer. His mom's cursive labeled the file Steve's Letters.
Opening the folder, he discovered ninety pages of handwritten letters home, from some of the farthest reaches of the planet. They covered his fourteen weeks at the US Navy's Aviation Officer Candidate School in Pensacola and two Western Pacific cruises, flying on and off aircraft carriers in the Pacific and Indian Oceans with some of the finest aviators in the world.
Years later, while recovering from two spinal fusion surgeries in March and April of 2020, feeling reflective, he read the letters. The memories and emotions of reliving those years hit hard. It also provided perspective on current events. Dusting off his Aviator's Flight Log Books (documenting each of his 2,520 flight hours and 240 carrier-arrested landings), service record, and other sources, he cross-referenced the letters and filled in the gaps.
Steve decided to share his adventures in becoming and serving as a naval aviator, without exaggerating his successes or sugar-coating his failures. He started writing. "Fair Winds, Following Seas, and a Few Bolters" is the result.
Click below for a great video a friend put together of carrier operations.
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