"I love you, no s**t, sailor boy. Buy me drink? Buy me helicopter?"
1969: Nixon is president. Demonstrations against the Vietnam War rock America. Hippies and flower power are in. 7,000 miles away, aboard the heavy cruiser, USS Saint Paul, CA-73, Charlie Baggs must make a decision: stay in the Navy, or get out. As Baggs struggles to decide, the "Fighting Saint" pulls into Subic Bay Naval Base in the Philippines. Across a narrow river from the base lies the town of Olongapo, a raucous "liberty town" teeming with bargirls, pickpockets, shoe shine boys, thieves, "mama-sans," and drug pushers. Baggs and other sailors in "OE Division" aboard ship swarm into Olongapo to blow off steam in perhaps the single most infamous place ever created by the collision of sailors, bar girls, beer, and money. Baggs has just five days to decide what his future will be. Will the USS Saint Paul head back to the war zone with or without him? And will the next few days he spends in Olongapo's silken hands affect that decision?
"Old Navy Guys" who have been to Olongapo and read this novel call it a trip down "Memory Lane." For everyone else, this is how it was, folks! If you're an "Old Navy Guy," fasten your seat belt. See the reviews on Amazon. This is how it was, 1966 to 1971.
ABOUT THE NOVEL : While in the U.S. Navy, I went on liberty in Olongapo numerous times from 1966 to 1971. I personally witnessed about 85% of what takes place in this novel. The other 15% could have happened, and very likely did, but it's fiction in order to put the reality of Olongapo into novel form. Of course, names have been changed to protect the guilty. NOTE: This novel is not for the squeamish. It's "true to life." The language is as raw as it was in the navy and in Olongapo. Trust me, even the tattoos are ugly (and if you read the novel and are wondering, the "rabbit" tattoo actually happened. Really, really ugly.).