Reviewed by Maria Victoria Beltran for Readers’ Favorite Tour of Duty by William H Coles is set in France, in the tumultuous 1960s at the onset of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and conflict in Vietnam at the height of the Cold War. The story unravels as physician Miles Ballard, inducted to serve in the US Air Force, arrives for his tour of duty at the US Air Station in Châteauroux. He is met at the airport by Ingrid Stern who works for development as a paid guide for newcomers and is also a US Air Force doctor’s wife. What follows is a close look at the lives of American servicemen and their families as they cope with living in a hostile atmosphere and deal with the bureaucracy of military life.
William H Coles’ Tour of Duty explores the life of Miles Ballard who has to set aside his desire for further training as a surgeon when he is drafted by the US military at a time when nuclear war threatens to explode between Russia and the United States. He will meet many different characters here that will give readers an interesting picture of life at the base. Well researched and easy to read, the story gives us a realistic glimpse of life in a US Airbase in France, from the point of view of the draftees and their families. The plot is well structured with some unexpected twists and turns along the way. The book also deals with some aftermath of the explosive atrocities of the Second World War and it is a highly engrossing read!