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Literary Las Vegas: Lt. Col. Dan Hampton

Lt. Col. Dan Hampton logged 20 years and 608 combat hours in the F-16 Fighting Falcon known to U.S. Air Force pilots as the Viper. Hampton shares the story of his experiences as a member of the Wild Weasels, the elite squad sent into war zones first, in "Viper Pilot: A Memoir of Air Combat."

The book includes an account of Hampton’s training in the U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School at Nellis Air Force Base. "I used to fall asleep standing up in the shower at the end of the day," he said of the physically and mentally challenging program.

Hampton is scheduled to join bestselling aviation adventure novelist Dale Brown for a book signing from 1 to 3 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Nellis Air Force Base Exchange. The event is not open to the public. Those wishing to attend must have a military identification or be sponsored for base entry by someone who has identification.

For more on the book, visit harpercollins.com.

Excerpt from "Viper Pilot"

As you travel to Nellis AFB (Located outside Las Vegas, Nevada) and spend your first week there in a classroom, the Weapons School instructors are fighting each other twice a day, every day. By the time you face off with them, you haven’t flown in two weeks, while they’ve been sharpening their claws and licking their fangs. Not that it would make a difference. They’re superb, and no spin-up in the world would save a student from the shredding he’s about to receive. It’s a necessary attention-getter: until you get thoroughly trounced, somewhere in the back of your mind is the belief that you’re still God’s gift to the fighter world. You get over it quick.

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