No Reason for Dying: A Reluctant Combat Pilot's Inconvenient Truth

A celebrated fighter pilot details his ordeal in Vietnam--a war in which he did not believe during a time when black Americans found equality in the U.S. military long before they could experience democracy's promise back at home. Captain Brian H. Settles juxtaposes his powerful story, told through his recollections and letters home to his wife, with allusions to "Citizen Kane," examining crucial childhood experiences to explore his reluctance and recklessness while serving. He also investigates the "machismo "attitiude so easily rationalized in combat culture, which often drives married servicemen to infidelity, as it did to him. Yet amongst such accounts of betrayal, apprehension, and guilt, Captain Settles movingly commemorates and intimately recalls the unforgettable friends and associates who were a part of his experience in the longest war in U.S. history--a war with a continuing legacy of national embarrassment and disbelief--through which he struggled as he confronted the awful truths of his private self and prevailed a hero.