Local Vietnam veteran writes memoir about the war

LAKE PLACID - Ocala native and retired business owner Mack Payne has written a book about his experiences in Vietnam titled, “Vietnam Veteran Memoirs.” It was inspired by a Toastmaster speech he delivered about a hair-raising incident he experienced while flying a Cobra gunship over Laos during the war. Payne is a highly decorated veteran who spent two years in Vietnam and realized it was time to record his memories of the war. Unlike many books written about the war, Payne said his is a lesson of inspiration spiced with humor. It details the challenges he had to overcome and the lessons he learned, such as perseverance, even after being denied entry to flight school 44 times.
Later, he put those lessons to use in his business pursuits, and, among other things, built the largest cultured marble company in Florida, he said. Payne holds an MBA degree and is a Distinguished Toastmaster who has given hundreds of speeches. His preferred topic is inspiration and achievement. He intends to use the lessons described in the book as a vehicle to encourage and enable others to create and fulfill their dreams. Payne describes his book as a “book of miracles” and invites anyone to contribute to his miracle list at The book is available in eBook or paperback format. It can be purchased at or