Devotions For Boots On The Ground

"Are you there, God?"

Mister Lucky Doug is Down

It is from the bottom of the barrel, lying in the dregs, we can only look times we have to be in this position,
at the end of our own strength, to see in that direction...and live!

The Reviews: Devotions For Boots On The Ground

Wondering Minds Want to Know!

Devotions for Boots On The Ground Reviews:

I just finished reading your book. It was inspiring. It brought back many memories that I had forgotten. I am not a religious man. I have not told anyone about some of my experiences with God while I was there but I too experienced a few miracles of my own and I know that I would not be here today if He was not looking out for me. I learned many things about you and Doug that I did not know. We never talked about your experiences and Doug did not tell me all of his. I learned a little more about you and Doug. We have known each other for quite awhile yet I did not know you as well as I thought. Your book opened my eyes to a side of you that I was not aware and I am proud to know you.

Thank you for writing it and sharing. I told my wife that she needs to read your book. Great job!
Christopher W


I agree with Ed's points...I'm proud to have served with you, Doug, Robinhoods and am proud of all Nam vets.


I just finished reading your book Devotions to Boots on the Ground. I thank you for writing it, and for Doug in helping you, but mostly for God, who not only got you, and me as well, through a period of life that became the catalyst for our faith, but gave you the strength to do the book and share the valuable spiritual lessons it

I also thank you for your service to your country, to the men you saved, and to those who lives you have and continue to affect by your service to He who brought you through the valley of death, as it were, and into the light of understanding the mystery that is the essence of
the God we know. It was an honor to meet you at the reunion in Reno, my first one, but hopefully not my last. Thanks also to those who thought to have a gathering of men and women with the common experiences we share from those days in Southeast Asia.

Reading your book was bittersweet, in that it awakened memories I had hoped were gone from my head, but of course, never will, but also to kindle those moments when the acts of ordinary men doing extraordinary things made that nightmare a bearable experience. The bonds created by those of us there with one another is a unique relationship that only those who have traversed that path and lived to tell the tale can ever have with other human beings.

I read with great interest the fate of #149. Besides the awful death of Newman and Exum, I had to wipe my eyes at least once for her too, having gone through all those missions with great faithfulness to you and the crew, only to be struck down by a power wire. War is just not fair. It did bring to mind the similar fates of three of my friends right here in the states who flew crop dusters here since the war in the Northern Sacramento valley, over rice fields. One poor fellow hit the main guy wires in his Ag-Cat fixed wing, and was
shredded by his shoulder harness. Two others were caught inadvertently in Hueys while trying to make tight 180º turns between some power trunk lines and tree tops. None of them lived to feel their birds hit the ground. So, that aspect of flying continues to claim lives, with not an NVA or VC in sight. It does hearken back to the age-old dilemma as to how God decides when it is our time. I have come to be comforted in knowing that it is His decision to make, and not ours. We must live, continue on, and seek His will, and He will see to us.

I hope to see you again in the years to come at more reunions, and your book will be enthusiastically handed on to others who might gain some understanding and insight in its content. Jim, you're a great American. God Bless you and yours...
Ed B


I was recently given Jim's book by his brother, Peter, whom I work with. I opened the first page a week ago Saturday and could not put it down. Outside of a break for lunch and a quick trip out to eat with my wife, I finished it in one sitting (the book). I struggle to keep my mind off what I read and it continues to play in my thoughts. I teach a high school bible class and we are currently involved in a full study of Revelation (hell on earth), and I shared some of the book with the high school kids I teach. Jim: I want you to know that this book is being used to further the kingdom of God! Thanks for your efforts! A GREAT READ!
Jon F.

What Readers Are Saying.

5 Stars! From Bernie Weisz, historian specializing in the Viet Nam
war and book reviewer for "Where does a higher power fit into this? This will definitively be answered as you read and absorb Visel's awesome account. Not for the weak stomached reader, there are some gruesome descriptions of death and carnage the author witnessed and was forced to cope with. However, Visel tempers the horrid with the bizarre, the hilarious and the divine, eventually changing a war ravaged man....

This is a book that will please, inspire and inform all. In short, "Devotions for Boots on the Ground" is spiritually, historically, morally motivating and instructional! Highly recommended!"
For full review, go here.

It was certainly one of the top memoirs I have yet encountered. Your book actually led me back to Church after a 22 year absence!
Bernie W. »


Received your book today, opened the package and at 2 PM and just got finished reading it. I could not put it down. I also flew that gunship when Ron Lalli went home. I also flew 417 and 419 in the beginning.. I never kept records so the times and dates kind are all mixed up. When Ron and I flew her she was Xin Loi. You did one hell of job on the book.
See you in Reno
Tony Z

I was one of the boat people of the 173rd AHC. I was the original armorer that was attached to the Crossbows. I read your book, Devotions for Boos on the Ground, and enjoyed it very much! I also read your comments about Rachel in The Blue Press. I'm glad that your vision is OK..... I also love America and will never take my freedom for granted, it is an everlasting fight. Jim J

Jim gave me his book Saturday. Finished it Saturday night, couldn´t put it down!
WOW! Most people just have no idea what others have gone through trying to do the right thing for their country. I really don´t have the words to say how it makes me feel. P..., you have a brother to be very proud of:-)
Jack H.

Thank you for your book "Devotions For Boots On The Ground" I have read the first three devotions just to get a flavor of your book. I have two reactions. First, God has saved your butt a lot; and second, what does your encounters with God teach me about my relationship with Him? I will need to ponder the second as I use your book as a devotional.
John P. »

Possibly there is nothing more conducive to thoughts of the Eternal,
than having one´s face slammed into red, wet muck, with explosions so close your body arcs and bounces off the ground, hot shards burn in your flesh, and concussions are bright flashes of dirty fire beating a tattoo on the light receptors in the backs of your eyes. Your head aches; throbbing from visual shock waves.
Time has come to an end; there is no right, no wrong, only whatever follows a life that is now over. The dark reaper is here. What’s it going to be like on the other side? Is there an "other side"?
The old timers use the maxim, "There are no atheists in a fox-hole." Possibly so; I can only give my own experience, and I never had the opportunity to be in one. Combat aviators crash and sometimes burn instead. But close calls almost always give rise to interminable questions; especially when the survived experience is seared into the human psyche.
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 »