If the day was pleasant, and even when it wasn’t, the two boys would march themselves into the forest, in the shadow of the Black Hills in South Dakota, and hunt. They were no more than 8 at the time, so they took BB guns—all their parents allowed them—and looked for small game, squirrels mostly. The challenge of it turned the boys, Brian Baldwin and his cousin Chuck, into sportsmen, and then best friends.
After high school, Chuck went off to Vietnam as a helicopter gunner. Brian started college and joined the ROTC on campus. By the time he got his commission and completed flight school—to be a Medevac pilot—the war was almost over.