ABOUT THE AUTHORS

EVER VIGILANT, Tales of the Vietnam War

Michael Hebert  served in Vung Ro Bay, Vietnam during the Vietnam War. He was the

coxswain of the River Patrol Boat (PBR)  Magic Christian. Mr. Hebert has been involved

in the maritime field ever since departing Vietnam, serving four years in the South

Pacific aboard an Atomic Energy Commission research ship, then spending the remainder

of his career stateside serving aboard dredges, tugboats, ferries, and tour boats. He is

the editor of the 'Riverine Reporter,' a quarterly Vietnam Veteran newsletter. He lives with his wife in Virginia.

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REFLECTIONS ON SERVING IN VIETNAM
Tom Wonsiewicz served in Vietnam as the Executive Officer of the 458th Transportation Company (PBR).  LT. Wonsiewicz separated from the Army after his return to the States and entered the private sector. He is currently retired and living with his wife, Lois, in Pennsylvania.
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THE 458TH TRANSPORTATION CO. IN WORLD WAR II
Richard E. Leibel was an original member of the 458th and served during the D-Day Landings on Omaha Beach. His unit operated modified 2 1/2 ton trucks that had the ability to travel on land or water. DUKW's provided valuable support during World War II, particularity in Northern France, Rhineland, and Central Europe. Richard's unit earned the French Croix de Guerre. Richard earned four Battle Bronze Stars and a Bronze Arrowhead.
Richard wrote his book at the age of 92. A long-time resident of Cincinnati, Ohio, he passed away in 2018.
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SERVING WITH THE 458TH, Memories of Vietnam

Ted Faurbo served as a LARC (amphibian) operator with the 458th

Transportation Company in Vietnam. He lives with his wife, Debbie, in Illinois.

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UP CLOSE & PERSONAL

Robert Bogison was born on July 25, 1948 in a working-class neighborhood in Pontiac, Michigan to an

Austria immigrant, his mother, and a wine and beer salesman father (and first-generation Armenian)

seldom home, who had served in the U. S. Army Air Corps in the Pacific Theater in World War II. An uncle

- Charlie - served with the 1st Marine Division at Cape Gloucester, Peleliu and Okinawa.

The first ten years were all-American impromptu baseball and football games choreographed on open

fields, and as super action heroes and warriors battling evil, armed with toy guns and dirt-clod grenades.

Winters were occupied with epic snowball fights.

A change in the father’s employment took the family to Granada Hills, California. After graduating from

Granada Hills High School in 1966 he focused on college, surfing, pool halls and part-time jobs. In early

January, 1968 Bogison enlisted in the US Army to become a Military Policeman. Basic training followed at

Fort Ord, California and Military Police School, Fort Gordon, Georgia. His first duty station was the

Correctional Training Facility at Fort Riley, Kansas assigned to rehabilitate incorrigible soldiers, some of

whom had circulated for many years in the military penal system since being drafted in the early 1960s.

In July, 1969 he shipped out to the 284th Military Police Company headquartered in the infamous Long

Binh Jail compound. Four months later - and by dint of unconventional personal initiative - he

transferred to B Company, “Bushwhackers,” 720th Military Police Battalion to be a squad leader in an

ambush & reconnaissance platoon. B Company is the only combat infantry MP unit in Military Police

Corps history. When B Company disbanded in July, 1970 for the final in-country 40 days he was sent to a

US Marine Corps fire base near Da Nang.

He arrived home on Friday, September 11, 1970. The following Monday he was in classes at California

State University, Northridge where he raced through the curriculum, graduating in 1973 with a BA in

Sociology and a minor in History.

In 1977 he joined the Reno, Nevada Police Department. Over ten years spent there he was assigned to

the Intelligence Unit investigating organized crime families and outlaw motorcycle gangs followed by four

years on the SWAT Team and five years with the Robbery/Homicide Unit. In 1987 he was appointed to

the Los Angeles Police Department as a Tactics/Officer Survival Instructor, Homicide Detective and

Homicide Detective Supervisor until he was medically retired in 2004 for job-related injuries.

Nineteen years were devoted to homicide investigations. He stopped counting after 300 murders. Since

2004, Robert and Lorraine have made their home on twenty acres of mountain land in the forest outside

Bozeman, Montana in a house designed by his son Brian. His daughter Kari is a graduate of the University

of Alabama, a homemaker and mother of two daughters and a son. Son Brian makes his home in

Montana. He is a law school graduate of the University of London and father of two girls.

RIVER RATS,  DUTY HONOR SACRIFICE,  RIVERINE PHOTO ALBUM,  IRON BUTTERFLY

Ralph Christopher served in Vietnam with the Brown Water Navy and became a professional musician after returning home. He is a National Board Member of Gamewardens of Vietnam, www.tf116.org. as well as a member of the Mobile Riverine Force Association and other Veteran groups.  He has written four books on the Vietnam river and coastal war and is underway  writing his screenplay RIVER RATS, based on his first book.

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A. J. Billings holds a master's degree in computer systems from the Naval Postgraduate School and an undergraduate degree in engineering. He completed a successful 22 year career in naval aviation and has qualified in more than 20 different aircraft. He rose from the enlisted ranks to become the Commanding Officer of the Navy's oldest combat search and rescue squadron (HC-1). He served as Air Boss aboard the USS Belleau Wood (LHA-3) and was a member of the Navy's most decorated squadron of the Vietnam era. He flew over 600 missions and was awarded more the 40 medals and citations for his service to his country, including the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross and 24 Air Medals. As a civilian Program Manager he invented, designed, and built ground support hardware and software (AV-8B Mission Planning and Ground Maintenance Stations, and F/A-18 Moving Map display) for combat aircraft which were used in Desert Storm. The Aviation Ground Maintenance Station was later adopted by the AH- 1 Cobra and the Naval Aviation Command Management Information System (NALCOMIS). He personally designed and built the ruggedized support hardware and software systems including the portable battery pack that was used in desert storm. He was the lead design engineer for the NAVAIR MH-53E Aerial Minesweeping ground station utilizing the first GPS integrated map display. He also co-authored, The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), E-32 Committee's publication on "Utilization of EMS Data for Condition Monitoring and Diagnostics. As Director of Information Technology for the Department of Public Safety in South Carolina he authored and implemented the largest successful systems integration project (Project Phoenix) ever completed in the state, completely modernizing the States Division of Motor Vehicles. He is currently working on his second novel and resides with his wife Patricia Calvo Billings in Chapin, South Carolina.

A RIVER OF PAIN, AN OCEAN OF JOY

 

Michael Matthews has lived in the United States for over twenty years but is originally from the west coast of British Columbia. There, he was a boat builder and a dreamer. He built my own sailboat and lived on it in the Gulf Islands of British Columbia and always dreamed of blue water sailing but never quite got there. So, his first novel, "Getting There" is all about a man who is a boat builder and a dreamer and is determined to live his dream of offshore sailing. This award winning novel is filled with the experiences and people from his sailing days. Now he lives in Oregon with his wife Masha and they travel as often as they can to her home in China. The people that he meets and the places he travels are all fodder for his writing and every book that he writes is sure to have some Chinese touch, thanks to his wife and her family and friends. Another place that they love to travel to is Hawaii and that warm and sunny destination figures big in his life and in his writing. He was honored to win the 2013 Silver Medal for Best Regional E-Book - West for his novel "Getting There". When they are not traveling, he can be found in his office at home, hard at work on another novel. Along with dreaming of sailing offshore, he had a dream to write novels. He did not achieve my dream of sailing the ocean but he is living the dream of writing novels. He is having a ball doing it that's the best reason to do something.

THROUGH THE WATER AND THE FIRE

Charles Hunt was born in Trenton, New Jersey. He graduated from Hopewell Valley Central High School in Pennington, NJ. After dropping out of college in 1967 he joined the Navy Reserve in hopes of avoiding the draft and combat in Vietnam. Instead the Navy sent him to Vietnam's notorious Mekong Delta on a 50 foot Swift Boat as aft gunner patrolling and running special operations with various types of fighting units.
Based on his letters, pictures and audios sent home Hunt allows the reader to glance through a window into the mind, heart, and emotions of a young man at war.
Hunt retired in 2015 after a long career as a Ford Senior Master Automotive Technician. Charles and his wife Claire reside on the farm that has been in the family for multiple generations. There they have raised their three children and two grandsons. He enjoys gardening and keeping up the family homestead. His days are now filled with keeping all the family vehicles and equipment in working order, leading worship music and doing mission work with Calvary Chapel of Mercer County, NJ.

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WATERBORNE WARRIORS

John M. Carrico is a twenty-year US Army veteran, who served as an airborne-infantryman until he retired as a Sergeant First Class in 2004. After his military service he went to work for the United States Army Europe (USAREUR) as an Operational Planning Specialist stationed in Heidelberg, Germany. John earned his Associates of Arts degree from the University of Maryland in 2004,, authored a book titled Vietnam Ironclads; A Pictorial History of US Navy River Assault Craft 1966-1970 and produced several documentary films about the Vietnam War. His  hobbies include collecting militaria and restoring antique military vehicles.