Devotions For Boots On The Ground

Targeting today's GI's and their families, and drawing from personal experience,
the author reveals the surprising source of his incredible courage

Your buddy, your platoon, or team can give much; a lot; sometimes all.  Family and friends can gather round,
even from a distance... if they know. But what happens when even these extraordinary resources are gone,
or are simply not there?

About The Book

Devotions For Boots On The Ground
hard cover


Or digital!

Devotions For Boots On The Ground by James W. Visel

About "Devotions."

New author James W. Visel "gets it right" the first time! The Vietnam War left a bad taste in everybody´s mouth, but Visel, a veteran of the helicopter war himself, takes and makes something valuable out of the experience; incredible life-lessons learned from the muzzle-end of enemy weapons. He asserts; "If we cannot learn from the lessons of history, we are destined to relive that same history over and over again." He targets today’s GI’s, and their families.

Visel writes in pictures; describing scenes which place the reader right next to him in the helicopter, such that people who were not involved can "feel" some of his experiences, and smell the soul-searing reek of battle. He puts you on the gunner´s well, behind the M-60, facing off the caustic bark of enemy´s automatic weapons; highly motivated, trained and aggressive troops who are intensely searching for ways to blow the Huey out of the sky, and who seek to destroy his crew-member-family; two pilots and another gunner. You can actually hear the popcorn sound of an AK-47, and the "crack" of bullets close enough to tear clothing. You will experience the shock-waves of 12.4mm (.50 cal) bullets passing through the aircraft sheet-metal, the anal squeeze of basket-ball sized tracers floating up, and through the ship.

You will experience the explosions of .82 mm mortars, so close you can see the shock-waves of dirty fire; flashes bouncing off the light receptors in the backs of your eyes, and the burning flesh of hot shrapnel wounds. You will feel the experience of being shot down, watching distantly as the main-rotor blades break off in two-foot sections impacting the grey delta mud. You will be pinned underneath the overturned helicopter, face-down in that muck, after the spin-out. At tree-top level, you will climb outside the fast-moving helicopter, trying to locate and “fix” the damage, before the ship crashes, caused by a pilot-induced, catastrophic mechanical failure. You will experience every spectrum of emotions; love, hate, fear, courage, cowardice, horror, and incredible humor. You will live phenomenal patience, learn to loath waiting for a fire-fight to start, and you will experience both the savage joy of overcoming in a hopeless battle, and the gut-wrenching loss of a true friend, in a fire that should never have been. You will learn what ´family´ really means.

You will be the only hope for a blood-soaked Grunt with a sucking chest-wound, who moments before you came, was fading in and out of consciousness, choking, and drowning in his own blood. You will be left asking un-answerable questions, like; how do you ´fix´ a Grunt whose fatigue shirt is black and dripping with dark blood, who used to be somebody´s 21-year-old son, somebody’s boy-friend…whose face has been shot off?

The only thing left is a dangling eye, part of a jaw-bone with teeth in it, and a hole where his throat was…he´s sitting up, and he´s thirsty. ´Everybody needs courage, and we all seem to have a measure of it (some more than others),´ he ponders. What happens when you use up all your own resources? Is there a God? Does He come to Hell…where you are? Or are you left hanging out to dry? From personal experiences, and from that of some of his peers, he examines courage as only a combat veteran can do so. Three tours of duty (24 months), ´flying with some of the most incredible people God ever made´, taught him to use what he had to get the job done. But once having plumbed the depths of what you, your crew, your team or squad have, where do you go from there?

In 2010, there were over 2,271,000 young Americans serving on active duty or reserve military (including the Coast Guard). Quite a few of them ended up in hell-holes like Vietnam. Visel shares vibrantly, honestly, accurately, bluntly, and concludes with the startling source of his own courage. You will laugh, you will cry, you will love, and you will hate, as you read this captivating work…you will be inspired to live today!»

It's not just about the guys

on the razor´s edge that need courage; what about mom & the kids at home? Or what if it is mom on the edge and dad with the kids at home? Or what about life situations like cancer, or a broken marriage? The unknown is always the most fearsome.

Human character is phenomenally adaptive, even when getting used to the concept of dying. Dying is actually easy…sometimes it’s the living that’s hard. It takes strength and focus to overcome insurmountable barriers; and the lessons learned, if survived, last a lifetime…however long!

For some, satisfactory answers never seem to come. For myself, may I pro-offer both scorching experience, and incredible life-lessons learned? Then, should you ever fall into similar adventure; you may go into it better prepared than I was.   JWV  .»