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Bob Calverley has worked as a writer, editor, marketer and public relations consultant.
He was born in rural northern Ontario and moved to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan when he was 16. He graduated from Soo High School in Sault Ste. Marie Michigan, attended Michigan Technological University, Soo Branch (now Lake Superior State University) and graduated with a BA in Journalism from Michigan State University in 1967.
Calverley was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1967 and served a year with the 187th Assault Helicopter Company in Tay Ninh, Vietnam. During that period, the 187th suffered heavy casualties and earned a Presidential Unit Citation. By the end of the war, it was one of that war’s most decorated helicopter units. Calverley, however, spent most his tour in Vietnam as company clerk, and occasionally flew as a door gunner.
For most of the 1970’s, Calverley worked as a newspaper reporter, first at the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and then at the Detroit Free Press where he was the recipient of several awards for stories on a large environmental accident. His journalism career included stints as a medical writer, general assignment reporting, coverage of local governments and police reporting. He also reviewed books and records.
Since leaving newspapers, he has worked in public relations and communications, mostly for nonprofit organizations including the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, the Los Angeles County Medical Association and the University of Southern California. He retired as Executive Director of Marketing and Public Relations at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. After retiring, he has continued to work as a consultant and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the nonprofit 187th Assault Helicopter Company Association. The main activity of the association is to stage reunions where the war stories get better every year.
Calverley lives in Southern California with his wife, youngest daughter and Lab mix squirrel predator.
on March 05, 2014 :
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
on April 09, 2013 :
I read this book and could not tear myself away from it. I related to a lot of the combat action and found the drama engaging. Nice job Bob!
(reviewed 16 days after purchase)
on April 06, 2013 :
There is so much variety and fun in this book, on more than one occasion I laughed outloud. I recommend this with an enthusiastic thumbs up and five stars
(reviewed 24 days after purchase)
on March 29, 2013 :
I’ve read several books over the years about the ‘Vietnam experience,’ and the one thing they all have had in common is that I have no ability to relate to them. Not to say that they are necessarily wrong, but roles in Vietnam were so varied that one person’s experience didn’t necessarily resemble anyone else’s.
Not so with this book. Yes, it almost certainly has something to do with the fact that the author and I served with the same company at the same time and knew each other then. But the parts set in Vietnam were so real to me, and they brought up so many memories of my own that I found them difficult to read - so much so that I often had to set it aside for a bit in order to let myself keep a certain distance from my own experiences.
Perhaps the greatest thing about this book, for me, is that it puts the war into perspective. It gives the reader a real feel for what was, for us, the unreality - the disconnect from our previous lives that we felt while we were there, the abrupt upheavals in our lives, both from going there and from coming home.
And that is what it was for us. A hiatus from our lives, a reality that went on without us while we were there. I can honestly say that I’ve never read anything else that could convey that the way that Purple Sunshine does.
(reviewed 16 days after purchase)