Distant Thunder: Helicopter Pilot's Letters from War in Iraq and Afghanistanby D. Harward
Don Harward was torn between two worlds; his loyalty to his family and to his
Distant Thunder details the engrossing experiences of a helicopter pilot’s tales of war told through letters that come straight from the heart. Often the author labored well into the night after a mission still wearing the dusty flight suit which bore witness to the events he penned.
Don Harward was torn between two worlds; his loyalty to his family and to his country. Like so many other soldiers, even on leave, he can always hear the dim roar of guns, the distant thunder of war, and is always summoned towards the sound. Pacific Wings, a prestigious New Zealand-based magazine, has previously published some letters which have been praised by a growing readership, both aviator and non flyer alike, for their ability to transport the reader into the world of war. Includes superb action photographs from Don’s personal collection. A twenty-five-year veteran of the US Army, he details action over Panama, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Afghanistan, including Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, drawing also from his days in Army Special Ops, operating with 2-2 SAS. As a 160th SOAR pilot for a lot of his military career, his is a story that goes above and beyond the normal military lifestyle. An inspiring read.
“…Too many stories of past wars and the lessons we could have learned from them have been lost to history because they were never told. Harward’s Distant Thunder does a great job of capturing some of the stories and their important lessons from recent conflicts, which serve to remind us of the fragility of peace and how much we owe to our men and women in uniform.”
Pacific Wings Magazine
“…interesting read to everyone interested in the history or modern warfare in general and aviation in particular. It changes your view of these „things”, especially in comparison to TV news, official reports or some advertisement like clips which shows war and duty like a great time of cheerful fun. Don Harward describes it in a completely different manner… true stories told by someone who have eyewitnessed a lot of latest wars and his reports are truly worth reading,
“For an airborne warrior, he is incredibly grounded. The reader is left in no doubt of the pain shared by both soldier and family when he has extended stays in sandy places. His love for Country, Family and Comrades (in no particular order) resonates from every page. Uplifting.”
Sky and Bullets Blog
“…All 29 of his essays“letters,” he calls themare quick, breezy, and gripping, but equanimous and Philosophical. Harward writes of hauling clueless politicians around on “inspection” tours and of his contempt for a non-combatant superior who accosts him after a long mission to lecture him about his grimy flightsuit. There is also a goodly portion of actual war stories: taking fire and returning it, dropping soldiers into battle and risking everything to pull them out… When I think about soldiers being woundedor worseit always gets me into a knot,” he writes. “I feel deeply for them, because I know I can never match their heroics and selfless sacrifices.” Even as he’s flying directly into withering enemy fire.”
Air and Space Magazine
- Grub Street
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- 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)
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—Sky and Bullets Blog
Meet the Author
Dan Harward specializes in military history.
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