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About Dale Hanson
Dale Hanson is an accomplished sculptor who has led a life of adventure and enjoyed numerous accomplishments. He is a black belt martial artist, an author, a pilot of fixed wing and glider airplanes, has flown aerobatics and is a Special Forces underwater diver. He is a disabled veteran and a member of MENSA.
During the Vietnam War, Dale was a highly decorated Green Beret who served three years as a commando in the famous SOG program, whose mission involved extremely dangerous raids far behind enemy lines. This unit received more decorations and suffered higher rates of casualties than any American unit since the American Civil War. On one of these raids, Dale earned the first of several purple hearts as his right hand was mangled by a burst of machine gun fire. It is ironic that he became a sculptor, a field in which one’s hands are so critical.
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Titles By Dale Hanson
“Dale Hanson takes us from a northern Minnesota boyhood to the incredible stresses of U.S. special operations during the Vietnam War, the deadly world of MAC-V-SOG, the top-secret Special Forces project that conducted America’s Secret War against the Communist forces on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Shrouded in mystery and equipped with exotic weaponry, SOG operators suffered casualty rates in excess of 100% for three successive years.
Dale Hanson served with Recon Team Florida during one of the legendary missions of SOG, the killing of an enemy colonel who was carrying super-secret documents of enormous importance to the American war effort. After intense fighting, those documents were brought back by the team. Dale survived and went on to serve three tours with the legendary special operations group.
The American heartland can bring forth young men of great valor and commitment, and one such man wrote this book. To read it is to go along on a near-unbelievable story of deadly missions carried out by small Green Beret-led teams operating deep in enemy territory against all but impossible odds.” —Michael P Buckland, Special Forces SOG warrior
“Fifty years after the eight-year secret war ended in Vietnam, well-written non-fiction books by SOG recon men are surfacing. Add Born Twice by Dale Hanson — who served three tours of duty during the war — to the growing list of SOG books. Hanson’s Born Twice is actually a story within a story. He brilliantly sets the stage for being hunted by communist soldiers on the ground in Laos in the dark of night, casually mentioning the damage his fingers sustained following face-to-face combat with three AK-47-firing enemy soldiers. Then he deftly shifts gears, taking you through his childhood in Ojibway country in northern Minnesota and his coming of age before joining the Army. Both aspects of this proud Green Beret’s history make for a fascinating read. This isn’t his first book and I hope it’s not his last.” —John Stryker Meyer, author of Across the Fence: The Secret War in Vietnam, On The Ground and SOG Chronicles: Volume One
There is an Eskimo boy who overcomes adversity and faces the choice of, “doing what is right.” You will read about a Norwegian fisherman of the old days who rows his boat for days just to get to the “grounds,” and the herring fishermen who battle storms to make a catch. An old man in a remote cabin works beyond endurance just to save his dog. There are stories of the pilots and the Eskimos, and old timers who live in trapper’s cabins far from any village.
There are stories of sacrifice, tragedy, courage, endurance and even a murder or two.
The authenticity of these stories will draw the reader in and make him a part of each tale and reluctant to close the page at the end of the book.
“Dale Hanson's collection of short stories based in Alaska was an immersive read. He balances a fine attention to detail with spare dialogue for short stories that are compelling, insightful, and paint a picture of the harsh dichotomous life in Alaska with its unforgiving weather and stark beauty that is both nostalgic and leaves you with a sense of respect for the toughness of its people.” —John Stryker Meyer, author of SOG Chronicles, Across the Fence, and On the Ground
“Dale Hanson is many things – an accomplished artist, a lifelong outdoorsman, a Special Forces combat veteran—and an Alaskan by choice. The Great Catch, a collection of short stories, draws upon these experiences to craft a masterpiece of descriptive writing in the literary tradition of Jack London and Robert Service. These stories of the Alaska wilderness rings stark and real and abounds with Hanson’s brilliant visualizations. I am proud to have known him in combat, as a fellow Green Beret, and today, as a fellow writer and fine novelist.” —Maj. John L. Plaster, author of SOG: The Secret Wars and Secret Commandos
Helmer is an old man now and leans against the bow of his small boat with both hands grasping the rail and waits for the disturbance in the water to subside and end the rocking of the boat. He peers into the water below. The black shape of a huge killer whale passes just under the skiff, its outline distinct against the white clam shells that cover the bottom of the bay. He can only wait.
He thinks back on his life with a mixture of joy and sadness and sweet nostalgia- “How did I come to this great land and live so full a life?” And he remembers.
Helmer recalls his time in the trenches of the “Great War” and the months in hospital in France with his friend Mick. From there they embark on a lifetime of adventure which makes them a part of nearly every great event of the untamed Yukon Territory and the great land of Alaska. They meet the giants of the land who defined heroism, and hardship, and sacrifice. They did it all and never a single time realized that they themselves were also giants.
This is Gus Helmer’s story.
“Dale Hanson is many things—an accomplished artist, a lifelong outdoorsman, a Special Forces combat veteran—and an Alaskan by choice. The Last Seal Hunter, his first novel, draws upon these experiences to craft a masterpiece of descriptive writing in the literary tradition of Jack London and Robert Service. This story of a Great War veteran in the Old Alaska wilderness rings stark and real and abounds with Hanson’s brilliant visualizations. I am proud to have known him in combat, as a fellow Green Beret, and today, as a fellow writer and fine novelist.” —Maj. John L. Plaster, author of SOG: The Secret War and Secret Commandos
“With a gripping style that beckons memories of Call of the Wild, The Last White Seal Hunter, Dale Hanson’s varied life experiences—from veteran to artist — and love of Alaska and the Yukon imbue this historical fiction novel with a texture and gritty realism that make it a fascinating read.” —John Stryker Meyer, author of SOG Chronicles, Across the Fence, and On the Ground
"A Green Beret warrior with whom I served, Dale Hanson has truly lived the Way of the Samurai. His Haiku verses offer metaphoric glimpses, brilliant momentary visions that flashed in my mind like summer lightning. Sometimes profound, sometimes whimsical but always insightful, he has written vivid images as masterfully as Japan's classic warriors." —Major John L. Plaster, U.S. Army Special Forces (retired)