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Bikini Beach

5 Star Review

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Editorial Book Review:

By Michael Beas

Butch Maki's Bikini Beach carefully constructs a compelling tale based on the true account of Huey helicopter Crew Chief Sergeant Specialist Donald "Mack" Mackenen during the Vietnam War. Readers are transported to the heart of the conflict via Mack's eyes, where bravery, generosity, and the unwavering will to survive characterize daily life.

The realities of the Vietnam War are captured in all their terrible truth and unvarnished honesty in Maki's portrayal of Mack's perilous missions. With the deafening screech of rotor blades and the adrenaline-fueled mayhem of war, Maki transports readers to the vibrant and frequently strange world of Southeast Asian helicopter operations.

The ability of Bikini Beach to transcend the confines of conventional war fiction is what makes it unique. Maki's story explores themes of resilience, friendship, and the long-term psychological impacts of war, even though it is based on the horrific realities of the Vietnam War. Mack provides a thorough examination of the long-term impacts of violence through his moving journey from the battlefields to the challenges of postwar living.

The book has received positive reviews from both readers and experts; many have complimented Maki for his ability to accurately and concisely express the essence of their experiences. One reader, a chopper pilot and Vietnam War veteran, was won over by Bikini Beach's clever and captivating plot and praised it as the best depiction of helicopter operations in Vietnam.

Maki's decision to write the story as fiction as opposed to a memoir makes it intriguing, cohesive, and emotionally impactful for readers. Maki's characters are very real and universally approachable, yet they are also profoundly demanding, thanks to his great knowledge.

Bikini Beach is more than simply a war story; it is a monument to the resiliency of the human spirit and the friendships formed in the midst of conflict. Butch Maki's heartfelt ode to the men and women who served in Vietnam is essential reading for anybody who wishes to understand the terrible effects of war and the enduring force of bravery and generosity.

About the Author

Butch Maki

At first blush, Walter “Butch” Maki, reads like a typical American success story with many turns in his life. From a decorated war veteran, turned blue-collar worker, turned political mastermind, turned entrepreneurial success story, and now an award-winning author. But for this New Hampshire farm boy who sees all this as “just doing my job,” there was a dark side. The honor and trauma that came from serving with the 170th Assault Helicopter Company in Pleiku Vietnam, assigned to support the Fourth Infantry Division and the US Special Forces.

For Butch, those minutes of sporadic, intense, and instantly terrifying warfighting and then the ensuing hours of boredom in which to dwell on it all became a toxic mix that left a deep gash in his psyche. His Army Commendation Medal, Purple Heart, Bronze star and numerous Air Medals one with a V for Valor only tell the outside story of the war. Inside, like many returning vets, the trauma and flashes of war invaded their lives. As in his debut novel, Bikini Beach, love, understanding, and friendship are the special forces that get his main character, Mack, through civilian life.

From a Senior Advisor on a U.S. presidential campaign to building businesses and raising a family, Butch has won many battles in the never-ending war against PTSD in which he and many vets are still combatants. It is to those who served and their families that Bikini Beach is offered as a hand on the shoulder and a knowing smile.


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