Rangers cover quotes:
Roper puts the reader into the cockpit of a jet fighter, forces him into a
Ranger parachute, and thrusts him into the midst of combat in this direct and
exciting narrative. Peppered throughout with the author's unique brand of
self-deprecating humor, the book is the authentic account of an insider. A
warrior's tale told with attitude... lots of attitude." Christopher
Robbins, Author of: Air America, The Ravens, Test of Courage
his earlier book, Quoth the Raven, Jim Roper continues his saga of one
man's true-life adventures as a pilot in the Air Force. Whether cutting through
the Southwest skies at supersonic speed preparing to fight World War III or
slogging through swamps with the Rangers, Jim Roper helps to put a face on those
who go in harm's way to defend this nation."
Colonel Dale Hill, USAF, Retired
this great follow-on to Quoth the Raven, Jim Roper puts aside his little
Cessnas and straps us into his F-111 for supersonic dashes only feet above the
wild terrain of southwest America. In his ongoing personal war against USAF
bureaucrats, he avoids flying a desk by choosing an assignment with the Army
Rangers. Aardvarks and Rangers takes us on that incredible
journey, as well, including the Ranger Battalion’s night combat jump into
Grenada and Roper's ensuing visit to the White House. An interesting account by
a USAF veteran of combat in South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia—and Grenada."
Colonel Jimmie H. Butler, USAF, Retired, Author of: A Certain Brotherhood,
The Iskra Incident, and Red Lightning—Black Thunder.
Roper captures the most physically demanding, professionally challenging and
personally satisfying assignment of my 24 years in the AF."
LtCol Marshall Applegate,
USAF, Retired, Ranger Air Liaison Officer, Grenada Jumper
Jim Roper is a fascinating and multi-talented piece of work, and this book
reflects his diverse talent and relentless drive. Jim is a true warrior,
fiercely loyal team member, who will accept nothing short of success, no matter
the personal cost. Yet, underneath it all is a gentle man, with great humanity
and a true love of his country. I knew Jim was really good with a piano (either
playing it or throwing it), and I am not surprised at his skill with a pen. The
Aardvark portion of this book provides the reader with a vivid, and honest look
inside the workings of a "heavy" unit, imbedded in the fighter pilot driven
Tactical Air Command (TAC) and reflects on the efforts we made to develop the
most lethal (and survivable) flying unit in the USAF. Jim tells his story in a
light hearted yet compelling style. "
Colonel Jack Gray, USAF,
Retired, Director of F-111 Operations at Cannon AFB
MC-130E Combat Talon aircraft arrived first over the runway at Point Salinas,
Grenada. As we reduced speed and configured the aircraft for airdrop, a bright
searchlight illuminated the Combat Talon, followed by small arms and 23mm AAA
fire. The situation was tense as we were extremely vulnerable at 500 feet and
125 knots airspeed. Fortunately, our crew was able to maintain a steady jump
platform and the Ranger Command Section, including Jim Roper, the author, made a
successful insertion." Major General James L. Hobson, USAF, Retired, whose
distinguished career included leading the MC-130s over Grenada. His all night
low-level mission culminating in a gauntlet of fire earned the McKay Trophy for
the most meritorious flight of 1983.
From Military Magazine, February 2006:
Author Jim Roper is a genuine American hero who has made deep tracks in the
military history of America, starting as a Forward Air Controller (FAC) with
over 500 combat missions in Vietnam. This book is about his subsequent career
flying the much maligned but ultimately superb F-111 fighter/bomber in New
Mexico and then becoming the Air Liaison Officer (ALO) to 1st Battalion, 75th
Infantry "Rangers." The flying segments of the book make for exciting reading,
as Jim takes the reader on many interesting and occasionally dangerous missions,
narrating the flights with self-deprecating humor. He also gives the reader
significant insights into the machinations of the Air Force personnel system and
the intrigue in which he engages to get a follow on flying assignment to the
A-10 Warthog. To insure he gets his dream airplane, he has to trade two years of
his life as an ALO, a duty that most USAF pilots would kill to avoid. Little
does he know that this assignment with the US Army will lead to a combat
parachute jump into Grenada and yet another brush with death. The story Jim
tells about his indoctrination into the Rangers and the leadership challenges
his little group of USAF officers and NCOs face as they become battle hardened
members of the elite force is compelling. This book is easy to read, factually
correct and is better than almost any novel on similar subjects. The author has
"been there, done that" and makes the reader feel comfortable in accompanying
him on his unique journey. One of the better features of this chronicle is the
author's distain for bureaucracy and bureaucrats...careerists in the military,
and his subtle challenges and successes to their intransigence make some of the
best reading in this book. This book is highly recommended to anyone with
interest in the more contemporary history of the military and who likes a fast
paced and exciting story. Lawrence R. Mayes, Col, USAF, Retired
These comments came via email:
you for writing "Quoth the Raven". It fills a huge hole in history and
....wonder of wonders... it was an awesome "read". It read like "fiction" (that
is a compliment, most histories are shall we say...poorly written and dry!!!)
ruined my wife's whole weekend. Whenever my wife came up with a chore for me she
found me buried in your book.
finished Jim Roper's fine book about his experiences as a Raven. I
recommend it for our reading list, a fine read, you will feel like you
are riding with him. Just don't forget the burp bag.
like I was riding the back seat the whole time. You are right up there with
Jimmie Butler, John Plaster and a guy who used to write about Lamborghini's for
Car & Driver and Automobile magazines. All of you really can make the reader
feel your emotions first hand.
your book today and have already read three chapters.
Finished reading my copy of "Quoth The Raven" last night. A great book
and found it difficult to put down once I started reading it. A great
tribute to the FAC profession and an even greater sincere tribute to the
many Brothers that made the ultimate sacrifice for Apple Pie and the
Flag. No holds barred! Thank You Brother Jim Roper. Well Done.
finished the book. Fantastic! What a ride! Thanks for sharing the good times as
well as the painful. We all lost a lot of friends and brothers over the years
and your book is a wonderful tribute to your fallen comrades. Thanks also for
the point blank shots at the chickenshit that began
to worm itself into our everyday lives throughout SEA.
waited a few days to start reading it and after I started I couldn't put in
down. Really good and you told it like it was which is what I would have
expected from you.
waiting for a PTSD attack subsequent to reading some your missions. CONGRATS!!
great read. I have so much admiration for your writing ability,
which is nothing short of terrific. Like feeling the after effects of a
good Clancy novel, I can't wait to read your next book.
have certainly educated your readers and given a realistic 'picture'
of what it really was like. Words seem feeble- but I thank you and all
of the others that gave so much while many of us were so ignorant. I
thank you also for having the courage, strength, and perseverance to
begin and finish such a book. You may affect more people by your book
than you can imagine.
handle dialog beautifully, the action puts the reader right into the cockpit
with you, and I especially liked your use of humor. It comes across--along with
the "cussin' and drinkin'"-- as the warrior's way of coping with the death,
destruction and often-conflicting political BS he faces
every day. In short, reality. I think that vets from all service branches and
history buffs will appreciate this book and learn from it.
finished your book last night. It came in the mail about a week
ago and it was hard to put down. It was nice to read a war account by
someone who was actually there rather than by a historian or a journalist. I
appreciate your candor and forthrightness.
book arrived in today's mail. I have just finished page 252,
eleven hours later. Nice work, as good as the best!!!
thanks for putting it on the line. I know it took a lot of soul searching to
put your experience on paper. But, I think you've done a great service to all
read, smooth flowing and holds your attention like glue.
finished your book-couldn't put it down. You have superbly archived many
visions, thoughts, smells, feelings, attitudes- in words - only a master can
do such magic.
finished your book--it has to be one of the two or three best books I've
finished your book. Took me a while because every time I read a chapter it
brought back the whole thing in an absolute flood of memories that overwhelmed
me at times. I could see the scenes and people like I was there again. Superb
job my friend!!
they make a movie from the book. I believe it will help the people of our
country, young and old, understand The commitment and dedication our guys had to
assisting the folks trying to defend against communist takeover. Your book is
clear, riveting, and still relevant to our struggles even today. Congratulations
on a job well done.
how all the sights, sounds, and even the feel of flying came thru the words. I
guess that made the book especially good for me. I really enjoyed it.
as though I was flying with you as you described your feelings and the
battlefield environment. I was there with you during Prairie Fire a campaign
that I knew very little about until reading your account.
Jim, thanks for putting pen to paper in such a significant way; great stuff.
Someone might just learn from it; we hope!
Jim - thanks for writing "Quoth the Raven". It's a HIT.
didn't just enjoy Quoth the Raven -- I loved it. It transported me back
to the period that normal people would be shocked to learn I consider the
greatest years of my life.
finished reading your book about the Ravens. Terrific book!
Raven one two, great book. Felt like I was sitting next to you on those "Steve
Can- yon" missions.
heck of a good book.
managed to drop in quite a bit of humor around a lot of serious shit that
the exact perspective on what those combat days were all about and what each of
you were faced with on a daily basis.
you are getting the good reviews this book deserves and that you are already
deep into the next manuscript.
book is really a thriller—I hate to put it down.
book is among maybe 2 or 3 which are written in such a way that I believed I was
actually visualizing the scenes. To me that is the trait of a very very good
writer and I now include you in that category.
memories came to me that were filed in the computer on top of my head for three
decades . … Hope you have sent a copy to Air Force Military History Division …
and to the AF Academy as mandatory reading!
read. After I go thru it another four or five times, I’ll be ready for your next
the first page, your book reads as if you wrote it while you were there.
it immensely. Very hard to put it down.
know when I enjoyed a book more. … Thank you for writing such a good book. It’s
not put it down. Thanks for a great read and the realistic transport back in
time. Do more!
through it in one go and enjoyed it from the first to the last line.
your characters will always stay with me.
… You did a fantastic job.
tell a wonderful story.
book and “couldn’t” put it down.
night I stayed up until four in the morning reading your book.
your book. Just finished it and couldn’t put it down.
10 minutes ago finished your book and wanted to thank you for writing it. I
thoroughly enjoyed it: another brick paving the road of my understanding of the
Secret War and those times, events, and people.
doesn’t get any better than your book for someone like me. Read and RE-read your
wonderful book. Damn! I felt like I WAS THERE. … It gave me goose bumps and
phenomenal. I feel privileged to have shared a piece of your experience, told in
so engrossing a manner. Emotions, emotions … almost unable to describe.