Gloucester, Va., author and 50-year mariner Michael J. Hebert recently won a national book award for the non-fiction book "Ever Vigilant: Tales of the Vietnam War."

The book garnered the Silver Medal Award at the 2022 book awards held in New Orleans in August. The award was sponsored by the Military Writers Society of America, a national organization dedicated to providing a forum for writers of military works.

In his book, Hebert, a former gunboat captain, shares vivid memories of his 1969-1970 experience as an Army patrol boat operator in Vung Ro Bay, Vietnam.

From start to finish, the book is an introduction to a young man’s journey and coming of age in a war zone. Ever Vigilant is available for purchase on

Hebert, recently retired from Miss Hampton Harbor Cruises in Hampton, Va., has been involved in the maritime field since leaving Vietnam. He served four years in the South Pacific aboard an Atomic Energy Commission research ship, then spent the remainder of his career in the U.S. working on dredges, tugboats, ferries, and tour boats.