Thursday, February 18, 2010

March 20th. 4:00 pm. Top Gun Pilot Mark 'Chuck' Marchione

Saturday, March 20th, 2010 (4:00 PM)
Top Gun Pilot Mark "Chuck" Marchione
Mark "Chuck" Marchione is a former Navy Top Gun pilot. He is the author of West of the Rock, which gives us a rare, illuminating look into the elite world of Navy pilots. In a series of powerful and often harrowing narratives, the author presents their life trajectories, from looking up in awe at the power and glory of warplanes, facing the ordeals of even routine landings at night on a pitching carrier deck, interacting with the comparatively unremarkable world of civilians, and reaching the point where they no longer have the edge needed to be fighter pilots.
For all the camaraderie, mastery of technique, and daily contests with fear, fighter pilots must also contend with the strains on family life during long deployments, the erosion of the motivations they need to face danger, the mounting death toll of friends, and diminishing faith in the nations mission and its seemingly endless confrontations around the world. Here is the strength of West of the Rock vividly describing, as only a former fighter pilot could, the rise and fall of the beliefs upon which modern warriors rely.