By Duty Bound: Survival and Redemption in Vietnam

Overview

Raised in Mississippi, Ezell Ware was determined to excel. Having grown up without running water, electricity, or sufficient food, he wasn't daunted by the hardships of military life. Eventually he earned a chance to join the Army's helicopter pilot program, realizing his dream of flying. It was a role that would change his life, and the life of an unlikely brother in valor at the height of the Vietnam War.

Downed by enemy fire, Ware and his badly injured captain endured a ...

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Overview

Raised in Mississippi, Ezell Ware was determined to excel. Having grown up without running water, electricity, or sufficient food, he wasn't daunted by the hardships of military life. Eventually he earned a chance to join the Army's helicopter pilot program, realizing his dream of flying. It was a role that would change his life, and the life of an unlikely brother in valor at the height of the Vietnam War.

Downed by enemy fire, Ware and his badly injured captain endured a three-week trek through hell. But when his captain revealed his membership in the Ku Klux Klan, the situation took a turn that surprised them both-and sent Ezell on the road to becoming a general. A unique memoir of heroism and humanity, By Duty Bound captures a crucial chapter in American history-through the eyes of one of its most remarkable witnesses.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451215987
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 3/7/2006
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 10.88 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Ezell Ware, Jr., retired as a brigadier general with the California national guard after a distinguished Marine and Army career for which he was highly decorated.

Joel Engel has worked as a journalist for New York Times and Los Angeles Times, and is the co-author of the New York Times bestselling autobiography of George Foreman, By George, and The Oldest Rookie.

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2008

    It Started with a DREAM...

    In the course of everyone¿s life, most of us will face very difficult and challenging series of events, when these events occur, one has two choices to make, you can either allow those challenges to mold you to becoming something positive, or allow it to destroy you and set a stage for continuous failure. General Ware chose the upside of these two choices. After reading his compelling story, it allowed me to evaluate myself and the choices I must make in my life. I was fortunate to have the opportunity read General Ware¿s book. It outlined the path that was paved for him to reach and accomplish his goals, for me, that was monumental. Being born from both cultures, my mother Vietnamese and my father African American, who also served in this war, one can appreciate the struggles and determination of one of our heroes, General Ware, he made a change in two very different geographical locations, the United States and Vietnam, yet face with a very familiar enemy, racism. Because he refused to fail and continue to strive for perfection with every obstacle, he forces us as American¿s to look deep within ourselves and recognize if we are part of the solution or the problem. I am proud to be an American and humbled to know my father and General Ware¿s efforts were not in vain. I salute you General Ware and thank for your continuous sacrifice for peace, both here at home and abroad. I encourage any and everyone to read this compassionate story of a young man who started with a DREAM, and with that dream developed and created a magnificent HOUSE, a house that can never be wavered or destroyed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2007

    A reviewer

    General Ezell Ware Jr. and writer Joel Engel, creators of the non-fiction novel By Duty Bound, tell a compelling story of one mans personal struggle, as well as his nations. An inspiring African-American man from the south when segregation was prominent Ezell Ware shows his life struggles through two standpoints. First being his current predicament when his helicopter is shot down by North Vietnamese 50-caliber guns during the Vietnam War. Ezell and his white co-pilot, Burdett, head north into dense jungle hoping for a rescue helicopter. The novel turns around talks about Ezell¿s life story until his crash in every-other chapter. From a poor upbringing, Ezell was determined to get out of the dehumanized south, and into the Marines. Both viewpoints come together at the climatic-ending when the helicopter pilots make it out of Vietnam alive. When Ezell and Burdett are tediously making their way through the jungle, racism threatens to jeopardize their chances of making it home. Ezell, being a modest individual with a free spirit that got him farther than anyone thought, resented Burdett, but had to get along with him. Being from a family in which his father was an Imperial Wizard for the KKK, Burdett has to swallow his pride and rely on a black man to help him through the jungle. Neither one of these men wanted to see each other in their darkest hour, but ironically they were paired together. That¿s what makes this situation so interesting because it shows how human beings must adjust in order to accomplish a task. Ezell and Burdett had to put aside their differences and work together. Without teamwork, they could have been easily separated which would dwindle their chances of survival. Hostility between these soldiers was apparent, but Ezell¿s and Burdett¿s willingness to help each other no matter what color, is what makes this novel truly spectacular. Ezell, ever-since he was a young man, knew what he wanted to be and that was a General in the service. Seeing that his life in the South would lead him no farther than working for a white man on a farm he took control of his destiny. This sends a strong message of when the going gets tough, never let up. Even when he was being shunned by fellow soldiers because of color, Ezell stood strong. Ezell didn¿t want to screw up what he had worked hard for. I liked the compassion that Ezell had for his dream, and how he accomplished what he strived for so long. The misery of being a black man during that time period really makes this novel special because it shows Ezell¿s determination. I did not like the autobiography-type style to approaching this heroic story. It was informative but not enjoyable to read for extended periods of time. I would recommend this novel to someone because a lot of good qualities can be found within the text, but on the other hand, war is hell. I give this novel a four out of five.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2007

    Life Changing!

    Yes, this book is entertaining but what makes it really special is the way he gave me some real tools to make my own life better. It's an outstanding display of what the human spirit is capable of.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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