Transcribed from a voice message I received from a friend I allowed to read my book prior to release:
"I gotta tell you, Cowboy, I've read your book through almost twice. Its awesome!. I all most peed my pants reading the Numb Nuts chapter and the part about the digital extraction. Really funny! Some of the other chapters are very thought provoking and I'm telling you, that is an amazing story you have and your book is great. I'm giving it a shit hot rating, if there is such a thing."
Major General Hubert C. Hegtvedt
Deputy to the Chief of Air Force Reserve
A personal e-mail from the Author of : The Secret Life of Flying Machines and Wild Blue.
Steve, I just finished reading the book and can’t help thinking of it as the real life story of the fictional character “Maverick” from the movie “Top Gun” if he had to face a terminal medical condition and used his fighter pilot mindset to fight off the grim reaper. As all your fly buddies know, if Maverick ever went up against you in the real world he would be eating your fumes not to mention the F-15E that you flew eats his F-14 (and the current F-18) for breakfast and then puts a bomb down a rat hole for lunch like right out of Star Wars. You are the real deal. In vivid detail you take the reader inside the mind of one of our very best fighter pilots and aerial tacticians as you fight off the grim reaper throughout the experience of your heart and kidney transplants.
This is not just a book to inspire others facing a life ending medical condition but an inspiration to anyone facing any major challenge in life. Damn it “Cowboy”, you looked the reaper in the eye and he blinked. I’m pretty sure it will be a long time before the reaper wants to cross paths with you again. It is an honor to know you.
It’s hard to get to know a fellow QB when you haven’t shared years of assignments and flying together, but I just finished your book this morning. Let me tell you, it gave me new insight into your pluck and character.
Though I have about 20 years on you, and have vastly different experience, your message rings true. I appreciate the effort it took for you to share it with the rest of us who haven’t been through exactly the same rough path, but have different scars all the same. Plenty of food for thought, that’s for sure. It took a good deal of courage to write about shortcomings you regret, and it reminded me of times in my life when I fell short, too.
One of the hallmarks of good writing is if it sounds like the author is speaking directly to the reader. Your voice rings true, and I can almost hear you speaking right to me in each page, just as if we were at the Hootch on a Friday afternoon swapping lies.
I remember doing the Memorial Day Gate to Gate with you and the gang. I had no idea at the time how recent your surgery had been. Has it been three years? How fast the time goes.
Well done, sir. This book is a credit to you. Thank you for writing it for us.