Mark Berent is admirably suited to write these five historical fiction novels for he lived each story. He served four years and one day in Vietnam during the period from November 1965 until August 1973.
As a captain he flew 265 missions in the F-100 in 1966 from Bien Hoa Air Base in South Vietnam. While off duty he flew with FACs in their O-1 aircraft to better understand the war. He also spent much time with the Special Forces' III Corps Mike Force including going on patrol with them in the Loc Ninh area.
His next tour was as a major flying F-4Ds out of Ubon Air Base in Thailand. He flew over 200 missions, first as a flight commander in the Night Owl Squadron then as commander of the famous Wolf FACs. Both units flew over North Vietnam and all of Laos. Berent spent hundreds of hours over the Ho Chi Minh Trail both as a night strike pilot and as a fast FAC controlling strikes against guns and trucks he found on the Trail.
As a lieutenant colonel he served from July 1971 to August 1973, first as assistant air attaché then as air attaché, in the US Embassy, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. While there, besides flying hundreds of hours in the U-10 and C-47 gathering vital intelligence, he also logged time with the Khmer Air Force in their T-28, 0-1, UH-1, and AC-47 aircraft.
In January 1973 when the war was over in Vietnam for U.S. forces, all U.S. air power resources were available for use in Cambodia to support the Khmer Army until August 15th. Due to a fluke in timing, the USAF command post in Saigon was unable to immediately shift full command to its new site in Thailand. During that period, Berent and his team ran the air war in Cambodia from a most unusual place.
Mark Berent had three tours of combat in Southeast Asia and is the holder of the Silver Star, two DFCs, the Bronze Star, 25 Air Medals, Legion of Merit, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, and the Cambodian Divisional Medal. In Cambodia he earned Cambodian pilot wings and paratrooper jump wings.
After retirement he lived in Wiesbaden for a number of years on Sonnenberg Str overlooking the Kur Park. It was there his friend, Stefan Geisenheyner, got him interested in writing.