By Farris Yawn
In author W.R. Painter’s book, Blue Birds of War, he offers a raw and honest account of his over 37-year career with the Air Force and the Department of Defense. He served two tours in Vietnam, participated in the Kosovo Airlift and Desert Storm, and participated in missions throughout Central and South America.
Painter does not hold back when describing the horrible things he saw and does not gloss over his own actions in combat. He also shares the lighter side of military life with anecdotes from his years flying all over the world.
Here, Painter describes where he got the title for his memoir:
“I had a vision, and in this vision, I saw the devil, as he released thousands of tiny bluebirds. They were all sent to cover up and distract God’s all-seeing eye from the truth of his evil, the slaughter, the butchery, and all the horrible things man is doing to one another in the name of war. All to camouflage with their beauty and distract his attention with their song.”
Unfortunately, Painter did not live to see his book in print. He succumbed earlier this year to the effects of the Agent Orange he was exposed to during his service in Vietnam. His family was determined to honor his memory by making sure his story was told in his own words.
Anyone who has served will recognize themselves and their comrades in this book, and those who were not able to serve can get a better understanding of what men and women like W.R. Painter did for us and for our country.