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reviews: ever vigilant

Military Writer's Society of America:

1) The book is very well written and easy to read. Some of the adventures experienced by Mr. Hebert are extraordinary.

2) This is a very enjoyable read, from front to back.

3) This is a very well-written book.

4) The book is based upon actual events, which are nicely recounted. Overall, the writing is strong and error-free. I     enjoyed reading the book and taking a ride with the men in the 458th Sea Tigers.  

5) The last few chapters had me on edge. I could feel the wind and water on my face. My favorite quote is, "Talking to Forrest was an exercise in futility as the force of the wind rushing through the cockpit snatched my words away and carried them out to sea."

Professional Reviewers:

1) This exceptionally talented non-fiction writer covers his multi-faceted experience with a rare honesty and self-effacing humor that makes reading his stories a joy. (Dr. J.C. Hoover)

2) I would not hesitate to give it a perfect rating because of the thoughtful descriptions and exceptional character development. (Kansas City Teacher/Online Book Club) (from 950+ reviews)

1) This book was not only excellent, but the addition of pictures in each chapter also added immensely to making it an interesting book. I found it hard to put this book down as the author was very effective in keeping your interest in the book.

2) What can I say, about this book, this book is the best Vietnam book I've read.

3) Well-written, interesting first-hand account of young men at war. A true yarn of heroes and humbled. Good read

4) I have read a few dozen first-hand accounts of the war in SE Asia. None as good as this one.

5) Aside from being an exceptionally enjoyable read, it clearly demonstrates what young men are capable of accomplishing with limited resources, in a foreign and hostile environment. I highly recommend this book to Vietnam Veterans and to anyone interested in learning about the Vietnam War. The instant I opened the book, I couldn’t put it down.

6) Ever Vigilant is an "easy" read though educational while also entertaining with Hebert's humorous style.

7) How to spend a year in 'Nam under the radar of anyone who knew, or cared, where you were posted. An amazing well-written account.

8) I purchased this for my husband, also a Vietnam Vet and he said it is the most accurate portrayal of the time than any other book he has read. It took him right back.

9) Book is well-written in the anecdotal style. A wonderful first-person account of service in Vietnam. Reads like a person-to-person conversation. The author includes many photos of the country and people of Vietnam. There is humor and friendship and pain and tragedy. The reader is right in the action. Five stars.

10) It's a must-read, a very well-written, sad but heartwarming funny book.

Goodreads Review:

Ever Vigilant is the memoir of Michael J. Hebert and covers his year serving in Vietnam between 1969 and 1970 on the River Boat Patrols with the U.S. Army. The book is a fascinating insight into an under-reported aspect of the Vietnam War.

Ever Vigilant begins stateside before Hebert is drafted and covers his time in Vietnam and his return home after the horrors of war. From the first page, Hebert hooked me on his writing style. While many books focused on this subject matter tend to be exceedingly dry and severe, the beginning of Ever Vigilant is light-hearted. Hebert is a master at placing himself back in his shoes at a much younger age. His narrative sounds like a young 20-year-old is writing it, full of wit, self-deprecating humor, and a certain level of naivety that the reader knows will be shattered when Hebert reaches Vietnam. Hebert focuses on his time with the PBR (Patrol Boat River), which was used to intercept and hassle enemy travel on Vietnam's myriad rivers, a dangerous job, to be sure.

Ever Vigilant is full of interesting stories of young men coming of age in the middle of a war zone. War is dreadful, but Hebert shows how even at the darkest of times, we can find glimmers of light. His stories of brotherly camaraderie between young men thrown together are genuinely heartwarming. The topic of the war itself is handled deftly. This is neither an anti-war book nor a diatribe on patriotic duty and the benefits of an aggressive foreign policy. Ever Vigilant is respectful and simply shows the war's effect on real people, both positive and negative.

Hebert's writing is energetic, and his descriptions are masterful. He has a real knack for sending you to the places he describes. For example, a large part of the book covers his team's battle against nature during a typhoon after their boat is destroyed. Having experienced a typhoon myself, Hebert's writing took me right back. The same goes for his descriptions of Vietnam. He perfectly captures the country's beauty and the nature of the people who live there. While this is a book written from the American perspective during the war, Hebert shows an appreciation for how difficult the war was for the natives as well.

Ever Vigilant is a gripping memoir sharing a young man's experiences in Vietnam. Whether you are interested in the Vietnam War or military history in general, there is much to love here. This personal account is a fun, humorous, touching, and sometimes harrowing tale of a young man's experiences in war.

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