||Mar 16, 2006
From the train ride South to Pensacola, Florida for Naval Aviation training to retirement twenty years later as a Marine Lieutenant Colonel, Neil experiences adventure, humor and danger.
I walked to the center of the Wall and faced it and tried to hold back the tears, welling inside me. A young African American man approached me.
“Did you serve in Vietnam?” he asked.
“Yes, I did,” I replied
“Thank you for going there and I am glad you made it back. May I shake your hand?”
All of a sudden I realized I waited twenty-five years for someone to do what he did. Shake my hand and say thanks for going. I told him so and I thanked him, telling him it was a nice thing he had done for me.
He walked away.
Then I cried.
Lord I know I haven’t been good about praying but as only you know, I only prayed for others, never for myself. Well, I felt your presence in the plane and you or someone told me to go for it to the gulf. Also when to eject. They have been shooting at me for thirty-five minutes now and either they are bad shots or you haven’t let them get lucky. Now I need a little more help to get out of this mess. I sure would appreciate any help you would care to give. Well, that’s all I have to say. Amen
MWSA Book Review
A True Life Story of a USMC Fighter Pilot
Neil Levin writes about what he knows best —flying and living life to the fullest! His paperback autobiography, “An Angel Rode My Wing,” has all the elements of any great action novel—from being shot down over North Vietnam and miraculously surviving, to mysterious and mystical occurrences in his life. I read his book in one sitting. I could not put down the book until I read that last page—which will bring tears to your eyes as he talks about his granddaughter. I do not want to give away the ending but the book is appropriately titled.
There is just enough of “the real” Neil exposed in his book to allow you to see another whole side of this career military leader and pilot. I enjoyed reading it and found it so completely different than all the other military stories I have read over the last decade. Levin does not take his story so serious. His good sense of humor shows with an easy writing style. It is almost like you are sitting down at the bar with him and he is reminiscing with you about his life. It feels that personal—kind of one on one feeling between the writer and the reader. He understates his combat actions and gives us a wonderful insider view of those dashing aviators who flew over North Vietnam.
This is a book that can be read by all age groups. It is comfortable entertainment that also presents some thought provoking issues about marriage, divorce, children, out of body experiences and even UFOs. MWSA gives this book its top rating! A must read.
These stories of aerial combat have vigor and authenticity, which bring life to every page.
―Larry Wade, Author and Editor,
The Coronado Journal
Neil and I flew many combat missions together in Vietnam and his portrayal of flying out of Chu Lai, South Vietnam are accurate and bring back many memories. A good read.
―Bruce R. (Pete) Booher, Former VMA-224
Marine Attack Pilot-Retired Delta Airline Captain
Neil Levin has used his well-honed reportorial skills to bring to light first hand, his experiences as a Marine attack aviator in Viet Nam. For those of us who lived those days with him, it conjures up memories of stifling heat, monsoon rains, lousy C rations and a uneven rolling aluminum runway that varied in length from day to day, but more significantly, the camaraderie of Marines in combat, doing what they do best.
―Colonel Richard E. Hawes,USMC (Ret).
Five of Neil Levin’s stories included in this book were recently published in AERO Magazine, an international aviation magazine, in Hungary and well received in the Aviation Community.
―Tamas’ Szorad, Freelance journalist and
columnist AERO Magazine
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Reader Reviews for "An Angel Rode My Wing"
|Reviewed by Gary Stephens
|In retired USMC Lt. Col. Neil Levin's memoir, An Angel Rode My Wing, what begins as a young man's adventure becomes a calling to a purpose greater than self.
I was particularly struck by Levin's use of first person present tense narrative in certain vignettes. He doesn't so much tell these stories as he relives them, establishing a rare intimacy with the reader as one would with a trusted confidante. You will be with him in the cockpit, whether soaring for the pure pleasure of it or engaging the enemy in deadly combat. And you will stand beside him at "The Wall," and understand when he weeps.
Readers who have never served - the overwhelming majority of our society since the draft ended - will find revealed here the draw and the truth of military life, as opposed to Hollywood's stereotypes. Readers who have served in combat arms units, regardless of service branch, will find throughout Levin's story striking similarities to experiences and remembrances of their own. And those of us who served 20 years, 30 years, or more will once again experience in his writing that last day's feeling of it all having been done too soon.
An Angel Rode My Wing goes beyond Neil Levin's deeply personal and unique story to give voice to all those who served, sacrificed, and survived nightmares, but who also have been blessed with lifelong friendships in which love is not too strong a word and who have found life's dreams fulfilled.
CW3 USA (ret)
|Reviewed by Joseph Manzo
|I liked your prayer. Look forward to reading your book.|
|Reviewed by Myles Saulibio
Pleased to meet you and honored by your service to the country during a time of turbulence and trial.
|Reviewed by Gwendolyn Thomas Gath
|SEMPER FI, LEATHERNECK!!
What a blessing that you listened to your inner spirit and survived to tell your story. Thank you for your military dedication and seving the country. Our Land of the Free.
Continued blessings to you,
Author,Gwendolyn A. Thomas GATH
From the Heart of an Artist Quiet Storm