Lanning and his men faced an enemy who was patient, elusive, and firm in the belief that they could outlast the Americans, just as they had outlasted the French in previous decades. The young commander would face the prospect of sudden, violent death, bone-numbing weariness, and the stench of blood and decaying flesh. He would lose friends and would acquire a cynical contempt for all Vietnamese, both allies and enemies.
Vietnam, 1969-1970, the sequel to Lanning's The Only War We Had, is, like its predecessor, taken from the journals the author kept during his tour of duty. In its pages we learn of his pride in his men, the brotherhood he felt with his comrades-inarms, and the appreciation he earned from his superiors and the men in his command for his courage, initiative, and loyalty to the mission.
The book addresses many of the stereotypes of the Vietnam combat veteran that have been perpetuated in popular culture, and also considers how Vietnam veterans have been commemorated through memorials and other means, and how the veterans remember each other. Coverage also includes women who served in or near the front lines as well as on the home front. The author draws on memoirs and oral histories including his personal interviews with veterans, but the book conveys a picture of the Vietnam combat soldier's experience far more powerful than what individual memoirs can provide.
By 1969, the NVA had grown more experienced at countering the tactics of the long range patrols, and SIX SILENT MEN: Book Three describes some of the fiercest fighting Lurps saw during the war. Based on his own experience and extensive interviews with other combat vets of the 101st's Lurp companies, Gary Linderer writes this final, heroic chapter in the seven bloody years that Lurps served God and country in Vietnam. These tough young warriors--grossly outnumbered and deep in enemy territory--fought with the guts, tenacity, and courage that have made them legends in the 101st.
From the Paperback edition.
From the Paperback edition.
Then Washington's politics and military strategy took his battalion to the border of Cambodia. Search-and-destroy missions became longer and deadlier. From January to May his unit hunted and killed the enemy in a series of intense firefights, some of them in close combat. In those months Gillam was shot twice and struck by shrapnel twice. He became a savage, strangling a soldier in hand-to-hand combat inside a lightless tunnel. As his mid-summer date to return home approached, Gillam became fiercely determined to come home alive. The ultimate test of that determination came during the Cambodian invasion. On his last night in Cambodia, the enemy got inside the wire of the firebase, and the killing became close range and brutal.
Gillam left the Army in June 1970, and within two weeks of his last encounter with death, he was once again a college student and destined to become a university professor. The nightmares and guilt about killing are gone, and so is the callous on his soul. Life and Death in the Central Highlands is a gripping, personal account of one soldier's war in the Vietnam War.
Number 5 in the North Texas Military Biography and Memoir Series
"Jim Gillam experienced real combat in his Vietnam tour. His stunning accounts of killing and avoiding being killed ring true. Although wounded several times, Jim did not leave the field for treatment in a field hospital, so he never generated the paperwork for a Purple Heart or two or three. Although he would be appalled at the thought, his attention to duty was 'lifer' behavior, a concern for the well-being of his squad that represents the best of NCO leadership in any army."--Allan R. Millett, author of Semper Fidelis and coauthor of A War to Be Won
"[Gillam] looks back on his experiences of Vietnam not solely as a participant in the war, but also with the critical eye of a trained historian. . . . [He] uses an impressive array of after action reports, duty officer logs, battlefield reports, and other primary source material, to back up and reinforce his recollections."-- Journal of Military History review by James H. Willbanks, author of The Tet Offensive
"Gillam, a 'shake and bake' sergeant, presents a good account of small unit infantry action during the war. He is very good at explaining the weaponry, tactics, and living conditions in the field."--James E. Westheider, author of The African-American Experience in Vietnam
Tom A. Johnson flew the UH-1 "Iroquois" -- better known as the "Huey" -- in the 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion of the First Air Cavalry Division. From June 1967 through June 1968, he accumulated an astonishing 1,600 flying hours (1,150 combat and 450 noncombat). His battalion was one of the most highly decorated units in the Vietnam War and, as part of the famous First Air Cavalry Division, helped redefine modern warfare. With tremendous flying skill, Johnson survived rescue missions and key battles that included those for Hue and Khe Sanh and operations in the A Shau and Song Re valleys, while many of his comrades did not. His heartfelt and riveting memoir will strike a chord with any soldier who ever flew in the ubiquitous Huey and any reader with an interest in how the Vietnam War was really fought.
When Joann Puffer Kotcher left for Vietnam in 1966, she was fresh out of the University of Michigan with a year of teaching, and a year as an American Red Cross Donut Dolly in Korea. All she wanted was to go someplace exciting. In Vietnam, she visited troops from the Central Highlands to the Mekong Delta, from the South China Sea to the Cambodian border. At four duty stations, she set up recreation centers and made mobile visits wherever commanders requested. That included Special Forces Teams in remote combat zone jungles. She brought reminders of home, thoughts of a sister or the girl next door. Officers asked her to take risks because they believed her visits to the front lines were important to the men. Every Vietnam veteran who meets her thinks of her as a brother-at-arms.
Donut Dolly is Kotcher's personal view of the war, recorded in a journal kept during her tour, day by day as she experienced it. It is a faithful representation of the twists and turns of the turbulent, controversial time. While in Vietnam, Kotcher was once abducted; dodged an ambush in the Delta; talked with a true war hero in a hospital who had charged a machine gun; and had a conversation with a prostitute. A rare account of an American Red Cross volunteer in Vietnam, Donut Dolly will appeal to those interested in the Vietnam War, to those who have interest in the military, and to women aspiring to go beyond the ordinary.