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Red Blooded All-American Boy

     It has been said that Vietnam was the wrong war, and the wrong war doesn't bring out songs.
     That's bullshit.
     There were the protest songs and the protest singers of the late sixties and early seventies. Almost every anti-war rally formed around a nucleus of string-players, song-singers, and public address systems. The songs were there because a lot of people thought Vietnam was the "wrong war."
     Let me tell you about another song-singer: The soldier on the battlefield. The guy with a gun in his hand. The man in the cross-hairs of an enemy rifle.
     He sang, too.
     He wasn't singing because it was the "wrong war" or the right war. His songs were neither disloyal nor particularly patriotic. He sang because he was bored, or scared, or because he was deliriously happy that the golden BB with his name on it had misfired. He sang because he was sad and lonely and a long way from home. He sang through his tears as he bade goodbye to a friend in a body bag.
     He was at war, and war is not the normal human condition. His songs helped him to survive.
     Humans deliver their most poignant profundities either from the depths of despair or the peaks of ecstasy and when delivered by a poet at the business end of a gun barrel, they end up in a song as often as not.
     The right or wrong of the war doesn't have a damn thing to do with it. RBAAB contains the lyrics and accompanying war stories to 76 warrior ballads, mostly about Americans in the Vietnam War.



     The aim of this book, along with its predecessor and the associated CD albums, is to preserve and perpetuate the legacy of the warrior musician. They are the people who create and perform primarily what are known as fighter pilot songs. Not exclusively; one of my favorite songs in this collection is about today's biggest bomber, the BUFF. Irv LeVine has added two songs about tanks and the people who man the mighty Abrams.
     No warrior ever undertakes a mission alone. If he succeeds, if he wins the battle, there are always others who deserve the medals along with him. Similarly, one never writes a book all by himself. Seventeen people helped me create this one.
     Along with me and Irv LeVine, from the Incountry crew are Toby Hughes, Chip Dockery, and Bull Durham.
     Alumni (I'm one, too) of the Juvat Boys Choir, representing the 80th Fighter Squadron Headhunters, Kunsan AB ROK made their contributions.
     Fresh Out of the Box, five young Air Force female combat flyers, blazed a pioneering trail in the field of military folk music.
     Along with the girls, representing the newest generation of warrior musicians are Dos Gringos — a pair of F-16 jocks who play a mean guitar.
     Others who helped with the authoring include Greg Anders, who wrote the vignette about his father, Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders. My long time friend, Col Ken "Bat" Krause wrote the blurb for the A-10 song. He flew the Hog, he should know.
     I especially appreciate the help of Erosonic's #1 Roadie, my bride, Miss Mary.




  
   There are 666 songs in this book. Collected and compiled by Bill Getz, the songs cover all the wars America has fought with airplanes, up through Vietnam. Bill is a retired Lieutenant Colonel of the U. S. Air Force. He flew both bombers (B-24) and fighters (P-51) in WW2.
     The introduction is penned by Gen. Jimmy Doolittle, Medal of Honor winner, and one of America's brightest aviation luminaries.


     The Stag Bar Edition of the Bill Getz collection includes 333 songs which would have gotten you a trip to the woodshed if you had sung them in polite company when you were a youngster.
     But, it's the warrior's vernacular, and the warrior is allowed his own special dialogue. He's earned it by facing down the enemy.
     So; enjoy. But, be selective about who you share them with.


     Surprisingly, from time to time fighter pilots do think and talk about things other than flying. Sometimes, those ideas can cover the entire spectrum, from inane idiocy to the impossibly profound. We learned early to think the unthinkable, ask the unaskable, and attempt the impossible. The battlefield is no place for wimps.
     A fighter pilot sees the world differently from other people. His world is bigger, it is more challenging and more intense. Sometimes it can cost him his life. On rare occasion, it has been known to cost him his reputation. This series of books is about how Dick Jonas, fighter pilot, sensed his universe during the past 40 years.


   


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