I Used To Do That
This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.
After starting this book I became well aware I was a story teller, not a novelist. Whether we were swapping stories when we were kids, students in school, flying planes, sitting alert, or talking around a hunting campfire, we were all just telling stories. One of the standard saying all my life was, ìThe first liar doesnít stand a chance.î You will note, my title does not say a fighter planesí story, but a fighter pilotís story. I did write about the airplanes I flew, but many of my stories are about my personal life and family and friends with whom I interacted. I want you to see the personal side of the job of a military fighter pilot and the families of those pilots. The entire season of My Life has seen the emergence of a government not one of our founding fathers even remotely envisioned. They did, however, should we allow this development, caution us all on what would happen. Constitutional Amendment 5 does give us a way out.
This is a data-dump from a guy who lived. A lot.
This is a memoir. Not a novel, nor is it a historical narrative or chronicle. And, as a memoir, it’s raw, personal and—I suspect—painfully honest. For this reason alone, I give it 5 stars on account of the courage it took to put it all out there for the world, especially on a topic that tends to get a lot of attention.
Also, as a memoir, it covers a life, so there are moments where the reader can be drawn into details that probably don’t matter a whole lot.
There are two facets of this book that make it an excellent read, period: Couch can WRITE and Couch FLEW a lot of combat. If you buy this book on those two aspects alone, you’re in for a good time. Written in short, almost anecdotal form, the book can be picked up and read at virtually any point. The book is divided into 18 “Life Seasons” - each one a container for a host of stories and shorts that rarely go over two pages each. I like this style very much and it lent itself to fast page turning.
I get the impression that Couch is the kind of guy you want to fish with; he writes as he talks…of sorties in an F-100, F-4, flying FAC and self-conscious admissions of PTSD how that’s worked out for him. A day on the boat would seem like an hour and saying good night wouldn’t be a slap on the back and “Hey, see ya” but a sober handshake and a “Thank you, Darrel. Same time next week?”
If there’s one complaint, it’s that Couch uses military jargon with the typical unconscious ease of 99% of military folk. Fortunately, he explains flight and systems with exceptional clarity…but be prepared for a few acronyms.
I’ve already recommended the book to others who are interested in Vietnam ops and have found a number of excellent quotes to forward, too.