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Not only would any Vietnam or Southeast Asia veteran appreciate this story, but anyone who is introspective about life and the twists it holds for us, find this book rewarding and well worth the time. Actually, that's an understatement. It is actually a disservice to the author. It does not give enough credit to an infinitely greater issue; one relating to how hands-on involvement in the most dire, bloody and heart rendering, life and death situations would cause any thinking person to reflect on how and why major conflicts such as Vietnam were enabled, provoked, or settled.  March 27, 2017 - William Wehrell

Allen Cates new novel, "Full Circle" is a masterpiece and is in the must read category for aviation enthusiasts and historians of the Vietnam War era. Allen is not only articulate but his finger on the pulse of his characters makes you feel you are sharing their experiences in real-time. Not an easy task for some authors, but his style and continuity come across extremely well. While "Full Circle" is a novel it very closely mirrors actual events described in his non-fiction work "Honor Denied." Allen's recall is accurate and brings to memory my 8 years as a helicopter pilot with Air America that included the rescue of CMSGT Dick Etchberger (MOH recipient) and 3 other airmen from LS85 in March, 1968. Subsequent missions included evacuating Vietnamese citizens during the fall of Saigon, April 29, 1975. Readers of both books should be prepared for an exciting trip and will undoubtedly look forward to more of his "can't put it down" works!  August 1, 2016  - Ken Wood



Brian Vincent was born a Cajun and raised in the swamps and bayous of South Louisiana, where hunting and fishing were commonplace, and integrity and diligence were more than spoken virtues.  An avid reader, Brian was enthralled with stories of love and war where warriors overcame formidable odds and prevailed. The conflict between Laos and Vietnam was the perfect opportunity where he could test his mettle against an oppressor bent on killing innocent people who wanted peace and were willing to fight for it. The path was through the Marines and then Air America. Brian entered the fray of love and war with an open heart altruistically and unpretentiously. However, he soon discovered that war is complex and love can be unkind to the naive. Brian made the full circle and returned home to his roots, broken in body and spirit. Now, he has to come to grips with the realization that people and governments are often devious and that life is not always fair.  Brian has begun to question the purpose of living in a complicated world but finds new direction with his family’s support.



The flight to Bangkok from Da Nang was quick and uneventful. The bullet wounds in his arm, and side were flesh wounds, and they would heal soon enough. The bayonet slash on his leg would also heal. It was the internal wound that hurt the most. That pain was excruciating knowing his decision had caused the death of a comrade. The lives that he saved helped soothe the pain, but the question remained unanswered whether the decision justified the end.


A car was waiting for him at the airport, and he went directly to the hospital. He had his medical records, and they were expecting him. Two hours later he was finished and hailed a taxi. They wanted to keep him hospitalized, but he declined. The external wounds did not require monitored medical attention, and there was nothing they could do for the wound inside.

It was surreal. A short distance away, people were fighting for their lives, and many were dying violently. Here, it was like there was no war at all. He had forgotten about the traffic, the dust, and the cacophonous sounds of taxis and motorcycles all seemingly trying to get to one place at the same time and was relieved when they finally arrived at the hotel. The room was much better than the one he’d been in, and the bed was inviting. His appetite was still below par, and he retired early. He had gotten off the barbiturates and was now just taking an analgesic. He cleaned up, drew the drapes, and collapsed into a troubled sleep.

The nightmares started soon after that.

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