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They had the most dangerous job in the Air Force. Now Bury Us Upside Down reveals the never-before-told story of the Vietnam War's top-secret jet-fighter outfit--an all-volunteer unit composed of truly extraordinary men who flew missions from which heroes are made. In today's wars, computers, targeting pods, lasers, and precision-guided bombs help FAC (forward air controller) pilots identify and destroy targets from safe distances. But in the search for enemy traffic on the elusive Ho Chi Minh Trail, always risking enemy fire, capture, and death, pilots had to drop low enough to glimpse the telltale signs of movement such as suspicious dust on treetops or disappearing tire marks on a dirt road (indicating a hidden truck park). Written by an accomplished journalist and veteran, Bury Us Upside Down is the stunning story of these brave Americans, the men who flew in the covert Operation Commando Sabre--or "Misty"--the most innovative air operation of the war. In missions that lasted for hours, the pilots of Misty flew zigzag patterns searching for enemy troops, vehicles, and weapons, without benefit of night-vision goggles, infrared devices, or other now common sensors. What they gained in exhilarating autonomy also cost them: of 157 pilots, 34 were shot down, 3 captured, and 7 killed. Here is a firsthand account of courage and technical mastery under fire. Here, too, is a tale of forbearance and loss, including the experience of the family of a missing Misty flier--Howard K. Williams--as they learn, after twenty-three years, that his remains have been found. Now that bombs are smart and remote sensors are even smarter, the missions that the Mistys flew would now be considered no less than suicidal. Bury Us Upside Down reminds us that for some, such dangers simply came with the territory.
Amid all the stories of tragedy and heroism on September 11, there is one tale that has yet to be told--the gripping account of ordinary men and women braving the inferno at the Pentagon to rescue friends and co-workers, save the nation's military headquarters, and defend their country.
Let's face it: Setbacks happen, and failure is always a possibility. But here's the good news: Amazing success has been achieved by people who once fell flat on their faces. The secret lies in how we respond to life's bumps and pot holes and unwelcome detours--from getting fired or losing a business to enduring a professional rejection or pursuing a passion that fails to pan out. Misfortune, it turns out, can be a springboard to success. In Rebounders, U.S. News & World Report journalist Rick Newman examines the rise and fall--and rise again--of some of our most prolific and productive figures in order to demystify the anatomy of resilience. He identifies nine key traits found in people who bounce back that can transform a setback into the first step toward great accomplishment. Newman turns many well-worn axioms on their head as he shows how virtually anybody can improve their resilience and get better at turning adversity into personal and professional achievement. * Setbacks can be a secret weapon: They often teach vital things you'll never learn in school, on the job, or from others. * There are smart ways to fail: Once familiar with them, you'll be more comfortable taking risks and less discouraged if they don't pan out. * "Defensive pessimism" trumps optimism: Planning for what could go wrong is often the best way to ensure that it doesn't. * Know when to quit: Walking away at the right time can free the resources you need to exploit better opportunities. * "Own the suck": When faced with true hardship, taking command of the pain and sorrow--rather than letting it command you--lays the groundwork for ultimately rising above it. Each lesson is highlighted by candid and inspiring stories from notable people, including musician Lucinda Williams, tennis champ James Blake, inventor Thomas Edison, army veteran and double-amputee Tammy Duckworth, and Joe Torre, former manager of the New York Yankees. In this uncertain and unstable time, Rebounders lays out the new rules for success and equips you with the tools you need to get ahead and thrive.From the Hardcover edition.