NIGHTHAWK: A YOUNG AIRMAN’S TOUR AT CLARK AIR BASE
Written by Bill Bowers
with Sandee Hart
While books about the military and military history have been successful in both nonfiction and fiction, publishers indicate that the genre has never been as visible or prevalent as it is now. NIGHTHAWK: A YOUNG AIRMAN’S TOUR AT CLARK AIR BASE, written by Bill Bowers, chronicles the beginning of his Air Force career from basic training to his time spent at Clark Air Base in the Philippines. Readers are transported back in time to an era where the hair was big, the outfits were colorful, and our country was led by one of our most beloved Presidents, Ronald Reagan.
The era brought prosperity to many as economic trends shifted; however new challenges arose including the AIDS epidemic. Although the United States experienced a high level of enthusiasm, developing nations faced economic and social difficulties that often led to civil discontent and violence. Islamism became a powerful political force in the 1980s and many terrorist organizations, including Al Qaeda, started.
A year before Bill joined the Air Force, the news of Ferdinand Marcos, President of the Philippines, being involved in the assassination of his political opponent, Benigno Aquino Sr. reached the United States. For much of the world, including the U.S, the assassination attempt did not appear to disrupt the fervor brought about by the economic boom. However public outrage in the Philippines over the assassination served as the catalyst for the People Power Revolution in February 1986.
As trouble built in the Philippines, Bill, a typical American teenager, tried to figure out what the future had in store for him. He made the decision to join the Air Force and soon after graduation headed off for basic training.
NIGHTHAWK: A YOUNG AIRMAN’S TOUR AT CLARK AIR BASE allows the reader to see the world through the eyes of a boy about to become a man. The story travels back to a time when purity of heart and rebellion are inextricably mixed. Brilliant and precise, Bill’s voice captures the restless and resolute spirit of youth which inhabits us all; while also teaching us about the importance of American pride.
This young, full of life, teenager was both excited and scared to be leaving behind everything he knew as real. Meanwhile, half-way around the world, a dictator was crushing an island nation. With poverty and fear overcoming the Philippines, the people also were falling victim to a rise in terrorism.
Bill’s story transports you to a tropical paradise to witness the conflict first hand; while also, revealing the bonds that form between military brothers and sisters. Readers quickly realize that Bill’s genuine smile and kindness for everyone he meets serves him well. However, the life lessons that take him on the journey to manhood, make the story a must read for all.
Through Bill’s eyes, we are reminded that there aren’t smooth roads and there are bumps in every direction. We often take too much for granted and forget the rights we were gifted as American citizens. Lots of humor, raw emotion and a sense of duty, put Bill on a quest to be the best Airman he can.
Commander F.J. Hee, USN (Ret), called Nighthawk A Young Airman’s Tour at Clark Air Base an “easy read book” that he expects to see at the beach and on boats anchored on the bay or the river this year. Commander Hee added that Nighthawk is a “Good way to relax. Regardless of the uniform you wore, you will be able to relate to the stories that were told and the camaraderie that was formed. It is well worth the cost and the time to read.”