|When I started my journey into naval aviation in early 2010, I wasn't sure what I'd discover...but now that many thousands of miles, several carrier landings, and an equal number of catapult shots are behind me, I can honestly say that I uncovered a more inspiring and more personal story than I'd ever imagined. And now, it's finally time to share it.
Today, one week before the official Centennial of Naval Aviation, St. Martin's Press will release FLY NAVY. The book chronicles the journey of the past year while introducing America to the extraordinary cast of individuals - officers and enlisted, past and present - who have worked together to launch aircraft off carrier flight decks for the past 100 years.
The odyssey took me to the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower as she launched air strikes into Afghanistan; to the legendary TOPGUN program; to NAS Pensacola, home of the Blue Angels; to carriers patrolling the Atlantic and Pacific; and to Navy installations across America. Along the way, a twenty-year-old plane captain showed me how the Navy can change a life, while a seasoned chief petty officer demonstrated how he instilled a sense of purpose in the next generation. One former POW explained how he endured 2,383 days of captivity in North Vietnam; another told me how he escaped from Laos. I heard how three World War II aviators survived 34 days adrift on the Pacific; I learned how the Seawolves owned the Mekong Delta. A humble helicopter crew recounted a harrowing 2010 rescue on a black, stormy, and frigid North Atlantic night; a Navy wife helped me realize that it takes a true home port to support our aviators. An admiral gave me a lesson in modern sea power; a group of squadron commanders revealed the nuances of the navy's infamous but endlessly amusing tradition of call signs. And each sailor, chief, officer, and aviator I met taught me something important about the timeless values and enduring spirit of naval aviation and it's heroes.
FLY NAVY became a great adventure for me - and I hope it will prove the same for you and others you know. It's a perfect book for those who've served in the Navy or military (or who are considering it) and for those who simply love great value-based American stories and like being reminded that our country's best days are still ahead, so please pass this note along to your friends and contacts who'd be interested.
Most of all, thank you for your support, help, and friendship along the way - it's deeply appreciated.
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(To buy FLY NAVY or learn more, click here, or visit www.AlvinTownley.com)