Jeffery Barkil is a young soldier who upon completing his training as an Airborne Ranger is recruited by the CIA. After which he spends six months training to run ‘Black Operations’ in Southeast Asia. The story takes place between the years 1958 and 1961, a period between the French surrender and expulsion from Vietnam and the US admitting they had troops in the country. Sergeant Barkil takes you on eleven harrowing missions including his time as a prisoner of the Viet Cong. You are taken from one mission to the next as Sergeant Barkil comes to terms with being a hired assassin while at the same time carrying out his Operations and fighting to stay alive.
D. J. gives an overview of the book:
Jeff was sitting on the floor with his knees pulled up under his chin, his arms folded across them and his head resting on his arms. He was going through all the usual thoughts and emotions as he sat waiting in anticipation of what was coming. As usual there was some fear, but this time the fear was completely unique.
Normally about this time in the routine he would be worried about screwing up in front of his peers by making a bad maneuver and looking like a fool. Only this time there was no one here to see if he screwed up or not. As a matter of fact there would be few if any maneuvers.
It had been a little less than a year since Sergeant Jeffery Barkil had successfully completed his Ranger training at Fort Benning. That’s when the suits had shown up and said they needed his help in defending God, Country and Mom against the communist aggressor. When he accepted their invitation, they shipped him to Ft. Sherman in Panama for three weeks of Jungle Warfare School where he earned the Jungle Warfare Expert Badge. When he returned from Panama he was sent for six months of their special training at Ft. Bragg.
This would be his first Special OP and they had him going in alone. They told him it should be “a walk in the park”. He would be using the Army’s new experimental insertion method, called the HALO jump which was the acronym for High Altitude, Low Opening. This simply meant he was going to fall out of the airplane at around twenty thousand feet and freefall a little over nineteen thousand feet before opening his parachute. It would be a jungle landing, in the dark, just before sun rise. He would then find and identify the target from the pictures he had memorized. After neutralizing the target, he would walk some thirty miles through the jungle back to the border to the rendezvous point. Piece of cake, what could possibly go wrong? He had thought sarcastically.
It was the fall of 1958 somewhere over Southeast Asia. The plane was an L20A, the army called them Beavers. The seats had been removed except for the ones used by the Pilot and Navigator.
Jeff was sitting on the floor behind the pilot, leaning against the outer wall of the plane, lost in thought. Damn, I hope this navigator knows what he’s doing. What happens if I freeze when he says, Go? Why didn’t I just say no when the “suits” showed up and stay with the division rifle team? That had been sweet duty.
“Okay, Barkil you signed on…you’re here…do it right…Airborne!” He said to himself.
About D. J.
I currently live in the North West Suburbs of Chicago with my wife of forty-one years.
I was born in a small farm town in Nebraska. Shortly after my birth, my Dad sold the farm and moved us in near Chicago so I could go to Shriner’s Crippled...