Here is the triumphant sequel to Robert Mason's bestselling account of his service as a chopper pilot in Vietnam. Chickenawk: Back in the World is a moving, no-holds-barred post-Vietnam memoir that reveals the war's shattering legacy in the heart and mind of a returning vet.
When Robert Mason's first book was published in 1983, it was hailed as one of the finest personal evocations of Vietnam ever to appear in print. In fact, Chickenhawk is still in print, a book that continues to serve as a testament for an entire generation. But not even Mason's splendid debut will prepare you for the authority of Chickenhawk: Back in the World, his harrowing quest to find "the most significant thing I lost in that war—peace."
Although Mason's return was at first promising—after leaving active combat duty he began instructing future helicopter pilots—it quickly spiraled downward: into bouts of panic and increasingly heavy drinking, adulterous love affairs, jobs he could never keep. At the spiral's bottom lay an epic ocean voyage in a small boat. Destination: Colombia; cargo: marijuana: payoff: capture and a twenty-month prison term.
Mason recounts these events and his gradual healing from the wounds of Vietnam with caustic honesty, in powerful prose that conveys both the texture of despair and the hope that kept him going as he tied to maneuver through his own personal minefield. Above all, he writes with a bitter wisdom that makes this book an anthem for all those vets who lost a piece of themselves in Southeast Asia–and have spent a long, hard time trying to get it back.