Hello Readers,
I received this review about an hour ago. It made the twelve years of writing so worthwhile. Thank you Bob Wartman, thank you VVA.
                                                                                                                       *****     *****     *****
Once We Flew., Volume I by Joseph Michael Sepesy
Posted on May 17, 2022

Once We Flew Volume I: The Memoir of a U.S. Army Helicopter Pilot in Vietnam and a Life with PTSD, (, 674 pp. $49.95, hardcover; $39.95, paper; $10, Kindle), Joseph Sepesy’s memoir, is his sixth book. His first five were a series called Word Dances, that dealt with ballroom dancing. His next book will be titled Once We Flew Volume II: Aftermath.

Once We Flew is a different kind of memoir. The book’s main body is broken into six main parts. Combined, they contain 160 very short, chronologically ordered, sections. Each section tells a complete story. Many are riveting, bone-chilling tales of Vietnam War combat flying.
This is a long book—and I wish it were longer. While I had to put it down from time to time, I did so only reluctantly. It is a fascinating read.

From an early age, Joe Sepesy, a member of Vietnam Veterans of America, wanted to fly helicopters. The U.S. Army presented him the opportunity to fulfill that desire. He was not a natural, though, and had to work long and hard to conquer the basics of flying. After a while, he learned to fly and became a master at combat flying.

During his first year in the Vietnam War with the First Cav’s 227th Assault Helicopter Battalion and the 1st Aviation Brigade and during two subsequent, voluntary six-month tours of duty, Sepesy accumulated a staggering total of 2,200 combat flight hours. While he displayed great amounts of skill and selfless courage, Sepesy never considered himself a combat hero—simply a man doing his job.

Being a very visible, high-value target and being shot at nearly every day, Sepesy did not dwell on death while in Vietnam, but was well aware of its nearness. Always keeping in mind, that, as he puts it, “complacency kills,” he became very methodical in addressing the dangers of flying in the warzone.
A man with Sepesy’s experiences is a prime candidate for developing post-traumatic disorder, and he writes a lot about it this book. I found that to be a distraction. If PTSD is what you want to read about, I recommend Once We Flew Volume II: Aftermath.

I experienced a lot of suspenseful moments while reading Volume I. I liked Joe Sepesy’s honesty, his grit, and his writing style. After completing the book, I doubled back and reread much of the front matter.

I highly recommend Once We Flew: Volume I, which tells the life and times of a heroic American combat aviator.

Sepesy’s website is

–Bob Wartman
–The VVA Veteran, “Books in Review II,” by Bob Wartman, 17 May 2022

Posted in Electronic Book, Memoir, Nonfiction, Paperback, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, Vietnam veterans, Vietnam War, Vietnam War memoir, Vietnam War post-traumatic stress disorder, Vietnam War PTSD | Tagged Joe Sepesy, Joseph Michael Sepesy, Once We Flew, Once We Flew Sepesy, Sepesy Vietnam War, Vietnam War helicopter pilot, Vietnam War helicopter pilot memoir
 The VVA Veteran, Books in Review II, by Bob Wartman, 17 May 2022

                                                                                                                         ***** ***** *****

                                                                                                                    AUTHOR’S UPDATE

Ladies and gentlemen, I have again been invited to speak at the WWII, Korean, Vietnam, Gulf, and Afghanistan Wars Roundtable at its Thursday, 26 May 2022 meeting. The meeting will be called to order at 6:30pm and is free to all visitors. I suggest you arrive no later than 6:20 to sign in and relax. (Roundtable meetings usually end by 8:30.) Please plan to attend and pack the house as you did in March.
My presentation will be a continuation of my March discussion about my three tours of duty as a US Army helicopter pilot in Vietnam and Cambodia, stories about my service—the good, the bad, and the questionable; and the aftermath of my service, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This second talk will also be enhanced by slides; quotes from Once We Flew, Volumes I and II, my Vietnam memoir; and questions posed by the attendees after my talk.
Also, please know that I was inspired by last month’s speaker, Captain Ken Kitchen, and his comments about the history of the Vietnam War. Therefore, I have decided to include similar information from my memoir, Once We Flew–information that validates the good captain’s positions–information that will strike a chord with all Vietnam veterans.
The Roundtable’s meetings are held at the Fairlawn Kiwanis Community Center, 3486 S. Smith Rd., (off Market Street), in Fairlawn, OH 44333. The building is located across the street from the Fairlawn City Hall and Fire Station—very easy to find, approach, park and enter.
All of my books will be available: Once We Flew, Volume I: The Memoir of a US Army Helicopter Pilot in Vietnam and a Life with PTSD, and Volume II: Aftermath; my historical novels, The Relic of Domremy, and its sequel, The Flight of St. Joan’s Cross; and my five-book series about ballroom dancing, Word Dances.
Veterans and their families, history buffs, all are invited to this informative and candid presentation and discussion. Again, let’s pack the house! Thank you.
Saturday and Sunday, 24 and 25 June 2022: Book signing, details to be announced.
Thank you for your attention.


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