Warren Bell, Author June 2016 Newsletter
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The Fire Is Still There

Seabee in AsiaOn September 16th, I had the honor of attending a reunion of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion FOUR in Springfield, Virginia. BUC (Builder Chief) Jeff Parker, the principal organizer, invited me to the event. He had attended the reunion of the battalion in which I served, NMCB FORTY, last year and saw my presentation on my writing and my books. He purchased a copy of my Vietnam Seabee novel, ASPHALT AND BLOOD.  Having served in the Hue-Phu Bai area, the setting of the story, he identified with many of the events about which I wrote. He wanted to share them with his fellow veterans.

Any reunion of old Seabees brings out sea stories beyond count. Plenty were being bandied about when I entered the Hospitality Suite and started introducing myself. As I listened, I realized that I was in the company of Seabee legends. These were men who had performed amazing feats of construction under fire by an implacable enemy. Some had re-laid the first aluminum matting runway of the war at Chu Lai. Others had built camps and roads throughout the northern part of South Vietnam, the famed I Corps area. I was surprised by how many of their experiences mirrored my own.

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