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 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?
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