Ever Vigilant

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.

Pages: 339 | ASIN : B09PKNZ254

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About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on January 20, 2023, in Book Reviews, Five Stars and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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