Monday, June 30, 2014

Inside Marine One by Ray L’Heureux and Lee Kelley



As we approach the Fourth of July holiday here in the U.S., it’s the perfect time to share my thoughts on a book that is a bit out of the genres I usually review. But in case I haven’t mentioned it before – I LOVE to fly, especially in helicopters and particularly in the old Bell models.

INSIDE MARINE ONE by Ray L’Heureux and Lee Kelley

Inside Marine One CoverWhile the majority of the world knows about Air Force One (the President’s plane), little is ever heard about Marine One (the President’s helicopter). That changes with Col Ray ‘Frenchy’ L’Heureux’s recent book release, INSIDE MARINE ONE: FOUR U.S. PRESIDENTS, ONE PROUD MARINE, AND THE WORLD’S MOST AMAZING HELICOPTER.


INSIDE MARINE ONE is not a training or technical book about the operating or capability aspects of this majestic helicopter. It’s not a book filled with gossip, military secrets or insider tidbits. It’s a book about a young boy’s love of flying that lead him to become a pilot who served not one, but four U.S. Presidents - - George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

The book follows L’Heureux from high school to college where he came to join the Marines to pay for flight training. From there he became a member of Bravo Company. It was when he encountered HMX1, the squadron that flies the President in Marine One, that things changed for L’Heureux. Through hard work and determination, L’Heureux became a part of that elite group, going on to even command it.

INSIDE MARINE ONE is L’Heureux’s story, not that of the prestigious helicopter. It’s his story of dreaming big and achieving that goal. His pride in the Marine and serving his country is greatly reflected in the book, along with his dedication to his work, and his lifelong love of flying.

There are a few antidotes sprinkled throughout the book about the various First Families and L’Heureux’s interaction with them. He especially notes how then President George W. Bush introduced him to mountain bike riding and several outings with him.

This is an inspiring story about a young boy’s dream and how far it lead him.
Inside Marine One: Four U.S. Presidents, One Proud Marine, and the World’s Most Amazing Helicopter by Ray L’Heureux and Lee Kelley, St. Martin’s Press, @2014, ISBN: 978-1250041449, Hardcover, 224 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.

Side Note: Here’s a bit of background on both L’Heureux and his co-author Lee Kelley.

COL. RAY “FRENCHY” L’HEUREUX joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1980. In 1991, he joined HMX1 flying Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. In 2006, he became Commanding Officer flying Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He retired in 2011 and lives in Hawaii. 

LEE KELLEY is a writer, former Army Captain and Iraq war veteran. He is the author of three books including A Life Well-Built and has written for The New York Times. He lives with his wife and three children in Utah.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Do you enjoy flying? If so, which do you prefer – planes or helicopters? Did you know about Marine One?

*This post contains affiliate links.

15 comments:

  1. I knew of Marine One, but I'm sure most of the world hasn't. Cool he's flown for four presidents. I don't like to fly though, so I'll just keep my feet on the ground, thanks.

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    1. Alex, as crazy as it sounds, I'd rather fly in a helicopter than I had a commercial air line.

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  2. How fascinating! I love stories about people following their dreams with determination.

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    1. Diane, Frenchy is definitely one person that followed his dream.

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  3. Mason - What an interesting 'inside look' at Marine One! And what a machine! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Margot, it is an amazing machine. I like the fact it was about the pilot more so than the actually machine.

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  4. What a fascinating idea for a book! In an odd coincidence the Jill Shalvis book I'm reading now features a Bell helicopter pilot too :)

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    1. Jemi, now that is a coincidence. Bell helicopters are fascinating machines. I'll have to check out Jill's book.

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  5. that's a book I'd avoid like devil avoids cross.....

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    1. Dez, you never know until you check it out.

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  6. I love that the story is about the pilot!

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    1. Southpaw, I agree. I love helicopters, but it was nice to learn about the pilot.

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  7. Sounds like an interesting read for sure. I've never flown in a helicopter. I'm sure it would be exciting.

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  8. I knew about the helicopter, but I didn't know it was called, "Marine One." This sounds like it would be an interesting read.

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  9. This sounds like a great book. I know about this helicopter. I've never flown in any helicopter.

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I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.