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When the 160 men of Charlie Company (4th Battalion/47th Infantry/9th ID) were drafted by the US Army in May 1966, they were part of the wave of conscription that would swell the American military to 80,000 combat troops in theater by the height of the war in 1968. In the spring of 1966, the war was still popular and the draftees of Charlie Company saw their service as a ri When the 160 men of Charlie Company (4th Battalion/47th Infantry/9th ID) were drafted by the US Army in May 1966, they were part of the wave of conscription that would swell the American military to 80,000 combat troops in theater by the height of the war in 1968. In the spring of 1966, the war was still popular and the draftees of Charlie Company saw their service as a rite of passage. But by December 1967, when the company rotated home, only 30 men were not casualties-and they were among the first vets of the war to be spit on and harassed by war protestors as they arrived back the U.S. In his new book, The Boys of '67, Andy Wiest, the award-winning author of Vietnam's Forgotten Army and The Vietnam War 1956-1975, examines the experiences of a company from the only division in the Vietnam era to train and deploy together in similar fashion to WWII's famous 101st Airborne Division. Wiest interviewed more than 50 officers and enlisted men who served with Charlie Company, including the surviving platoon leaders and both of the company's commanders. (One of the platoon leaders, Lt Jack Benedick, lost both of his legs, but went on to become a champion skier.) In addition, he interviewed 15 family members of Charlie Company veterans, including wives, children, parents, and siblings. Wiest also had access to personal papers, collections of letters, a diary, an abundance of newspaper clippings, training notebooks, field manuals, condolence letters, and photographs from before, during, and after the conflict. As Wiest shows, the fighting that Charlie Company saw in 1967 was nearly as bloody as many of the better publicized battles, including the infamous 'Ia Drang' and 'Hamburger Hill.' As a result, many of the surviving members of Charlie Company came home with what the military now recognizes as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder-a diagnosis that was not recognized until the late 1970s and was not widely treated until the 1980s. Only recently, after more than 40 years, have many members of Charlie Company achieved any real and sustained relief from their suffering.


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When the 160 men of Charlie Company (4th Battalion/47th Infantry/9th ID) were drafted by the US Army in May 1966, they were part of the wave of conscription that would swell the American military to 80,000 combat troops in theater by the height of the war in 1968. In the spring of 1966, the war was still popular and the draftees of Charlie Company saw their service as a ri When the 160 men of Charlie Company (4th Battalion/47th Infantry/9th ID) were drafted by the US Army in May 1966, they were part of the wave of conscription that would swell the American military to 80,000 combat troops in theater by the height of the war in 1968. In the spring of 1966, the war was still popular and the draftees of Charlie Company saw their service as a rite of passage. But by December 1967, when the company rotated home, only 30 men were not casualties-and they were among the first vets of the war to be spit on and harassed by war protestors as they arrived back the U.S. In his new book, The Boys of '67, Andy Wiest, the award-winning author of Vietnam's Forgotten Army and The Vietnam War 1956-1975, examines the experiences of a company from the only division in the Vietnam era to train and deploy together in similar fashion to WWII's famous 101st Airborne Division. Wiest interviewed more than 50 officers and enlisted men who served with Charlie Company, including the surviving platoon leaders and both of the company's commanders. (One of the platoon leaders, Lt Jack Benedick, lost both of his legs, but went on to become a champion skier.) In addition, he interviewed 15 family members of Charlie Company veterans, including wives, children, parents, and siblings. Wiest also had access to personal papers, collections of letters, a diary, an abundance of newspaper clippings, training notebooks, field manuals, condolence letters, and photographs from before, during, and after the conflict. As Wiest shows, the fighting that Charlie Company saw in 1967 was nearly as bloody as many of the better publicized battles, including the infamous 'Ia Drang' and 'Hamburger Hill.' As a result, many of the surviving members of Charlie Company came home with what the military now recognizes as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder-a diagnosis that was not recognized until the late 1970s and was not widely treated until the 1980s. Only recently, after more than 40 years, have many members of Charlie Company achieved any real and sustained relief from their suffering.

30 review for The Boys of ’67: Charlie Company’s War in Vietnam

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jerry

    As a former member of the 1st Brigade (2/39th Infantry) of the 9th Infantry Division who completed Basic Training, Advanced Individual Training and Basic Unit Training at Fort Riley Kansas, this book brings back a lot of memories. Some of them good and some bad. If you want to know what it was like to be a infantryman in close combat in Vietnam, this book hits the mark. It also helps explain questions that I have had for 46 years as I looked back on my time in Vietnam. When our bus pulled up to As a former member of the 1st Brigade (2/39th Infantry) of the 9th Infantry Division who completed Basic Training, Advanced Individual Training and Basic Unit Training at Fort Riley Kansas, this book brings back a lot of memories. Some of them good and some bad. If you want to know what it was like to be a infantryman in close combat in Vietnam, this book hits the mark. It also helps explain questions that I have had for 46 years as I looked back on my time in Vietnam. When our bus pulled up to the company area in the middle of the night in March 1966 we were met by our Company Commander who greeted us with "Welcome to Vietnam." Like the members of the 2nd Brigade on who this book focuses, each platoon in my company had soldiers who were from the same towns and cities. There were (I think) about 9 or 10 of us from Arlington, Virginia. The officers and NCO's who trained us were there from day one, then fought and died with us a year later in Vietnam. I could never figure out why they were so hard on us at times then could be understanding and patient later. The book gives a very simple answer. Being an officer or NCO assigned to the 9th was seen as a plum assignment. Not since WWII had officers and NCO's had the chance to train and mold the troops they would lead into combat. As explained in the book, this was why people lined up for assignments to the 9th. I can honestly say that I have never been closer to other people (with the exception of immediate family) than I was with those in my platoon and company. This is a fitting testimonial the men of the 9th Infantry, those who returned after their tours and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Villines

    A group biography is always a difficult book to write well, especially when the group is comprised of over a hundred men that have been combined into a military unit. Following the lives and deaths of individuals can be challenging. Within The Boys of ’67 some of the men merge in identity along the way, but it’s not uncommon for that to happen in a military unit. At the same time, a few individuals shine brightly through the entire book, which is also not uncommon in a military unit. The importan A group biography is always a difficult book to write well, especially when the group is comprised of over a hundred men that have been combined into a military unit. Following the lives and deaths of individuals can be challenging. Within The Boys of ’67 some of the men merge in identity along the way, but it’s not uncommon for that to happen in a military unit. At the same time, a few individuals shine brightly through the entire book, which is also not uncommon in a military unit. The important thing is that Wiest gives the details of the individual lives in a way that makes them memorable, when they need to be remembered. The result is a deeply personal account of the war as told through the words and memories of those who were there and of those who witnessed the deaths of their friends. This is not a book about maneuvers, strategy, and objectives. This is a book about boys who acted as though they were men. I have to admit that this book got to me. It got to me in a way that was frightening because the mental barrier between words and life faded. I felt the loss of life, the loss of potential, in every random violent death or maiming of the very young. I felt the fear of randomness that was reinforced by the immobility of time. It says something about this book. It probably needs to be read twice to fully get it, but I’m only going to read it once. It’s that bad (that good), that horrific. Maybe I will pull it back off the shelf in secret someday because remembering it is worthwhile. But for now it needs to be locked away.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    The Boys of ‘67 One of the better books on Vietnam that I’ve read. This book excels in part because the narrative is focused on one company. The Charlie Company story is told over an entire year near the Mekong Delta. The author interviewed many of the survivors of Charlie Company and included excerpts from journals from the men to make the stories more personal. This book is not a carthatic exercise but rather an objective and non-sensationalized view of what it was like for American GIs walking The Boys of ‘67 One of the better books on Vietnam that I’ve read. This book excels in part because the narrative is focused on one company. The Charlie Company story is told over an entire year near the Mekong Delta. The author interviewed many of the survivors of Charlie Company and included excerpts from journals from the men to make the stories more personal. This book is not a carthatic exercise but rather an objective and non-sensationalized view of what it was like for American GIs walking through the jungles of Vietnam and along the rivers of the Mekong. There are quite a few men in Charlie Company to be sure but the threads are easy to follow. Unfortunately many of the men do not survive. The men in Charlie Company are killed in all kinds of ways including - boats being blown up by Vietcong hiding near the riverbanks with high caliber machine guns, falling out of helicopters, hitting tripwires, trying to detonate booby traps, heavy Vietcong machine gun fire, friendly helicopter fire, friendly airplane strikes and so on. There are numerous recounted stories of the parents and wives of the dead soldiers seeing the two military men walking to their front step. They know before they open the door that their loved one is dead. It was pretty hard not to choke up during these pages. Maybe it’s not a literary opus like many of Tim O’Brien’s works on Vietnam but it is an excellent war chronicle nonetheless and a memorable book. 4.5 stars

  4. 4 out of 5

    Larry Bassett

    There are a bunch of books about Vietnam and I have read quite a few of them. But this is the new one published in 2012 and as best I can remember it is a little bit different than most that I have read. This book has a bit of a preamble then it has the war and then it has after the war. It follows a particular company of soldiers and it follows them closely and over many years. I wouldn't say that this is a book that is pro-war. Any book that is honest I would say is automatically antiwar. But t There are a bunch of books about Vietnam and I have read quite a few of them. But this is the new one published in 2012 and as best I can remember it is a little bit different than most that I have read. This book has a bit of a preamble then it has the war and then it has after the war. It follows a particular company of soldiers and it follows them closely and over many years. I wouldn't say that this is a book that is pro-war. Any book that is honest I would say is automatically antiwar. But this book treats the soldiers almost all of whom were drafted as people who are mostly doing what they thought their country was asking them to do. This is not a story of baby killers although references to protesters meeting them upon their return to the United States does repeatedly raise that aspect of the war. There is one incident where a Vietcong prisoner of war is murdered because it would be too much trouble to try to hold him under the circumstances of war. This book does not focus on the war crime aspects of Vietnam. In fact it kind of ignores those kinds of thoughts. But it does show man wondering what they have got themselves into as their experience with war shows them it's face of atrocity. The war aspect of this book all occurs in the Mekong Delta so there is a lot of mud and a lot of water and a lot of slogging. There are many many many booby traps and ghastly wounds and lost limbs. This book names names. You get the impression that most of the people in the book are real people and these are real stories being told. The post war stories are told in detail and the ultimate reunions that were held annually or maybe are still being held annually take up quite a few pages at the end of the book. The author wants us to be sympathetic to those who fought in Vietnam. The story of war being a band of Brothers is emphasized. There is not much of a Never Again message here. I am 70. Vietnam was the war of my generation. I did not go. I avoided the draft by a string of deferments the last one being having a child when I was 19. I might've gone to Canada if I would've been drafted. I'll never know. I'll also never know if I would have qualified as a conscientious objector although I have always considered myself one.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Fred

    If you want to honor Veterans' Day this November 11, skip the camouflage jersey and read this book. If you want to know what it was like to be in combat in Vietnam, read this book. If you want to know what it was like to be drafted, taken away from your regular life in 1966 and put into Charlie Company, read this book. If you want to see men at their best, war at its worst, confusion, heroism, fear and courage, read this book. It will break your heart and give you a small taste of life and death If you want to honor Veterans' Day this November 11, skip the camouflage jersey and read this book. If you want to know what it was like to be in combat in Vietnam, read this book. If you want to know what it was like to be drafted, taken away from your regular life in 1966 and put into Charlie Company, read this book. If you want to see men at their best, war at its worst, confusion, heroism, fear and courage, read this book. It will break your heart and give you a small taste of life and death in a platoon in the swamps of the Mei Kong Delta. Well researched and written it is based on eyewitness accounts. I will never again forget Veterans Day and never again fail to honor our Vietnam Vets.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Oakes

    this is the short discussion; if you want a longer one, click on through. I have been forever fascinated with the Vietnam War -- most especially with the politics and behind-the-scene machinations behind America's involvement, but also with the growth and outright explosion of US opposition to the war, and the aftermath, as the soldiers came home, or did not. But what really gets to me are the compelling stories of the people who were actually there. The Boys of '67 briefly but powerfully examin this is the short discussion; if you want a longer one, click on through. I have been forever fascinated with the Vietnam War -- most especially with the politics and behind-the-scene machinations behind America's involvement, but also with the growth and outright explosion of US opposition to the war, and the aftermath, as the soldiers came home, or did not. But what really gets to me are the compelling stories of the people who were actually there. The Boys of '67 briefly but powerfully examines the lives of a group of men from Charlie Company in the US Army's 9th Infantry Division -- from the time they received their greetings from Uncle Sam through their individual returns home and beyond. It is a fine addition to the already-existing collection of personal histories of the war, focusing largely on the special bonds forged between these former strangers throughout their year in Vietnam. The book is the result of author interviews with several surviving members of Charlie Company, as well as their families and the families of some of those who went to Vietnam and never returned. The personal accounts of these men or their surviving families -- the letters, the interviews, etc., -- are what make this book. The author presents these people not only as the fine soldiers they were, but also as human beings who suffered from serious psychological trauma both in Vietnam and afterwards. While highly personal, there is also insight into just what types of situations these men faced there via several accounts of the battles they fought, complete with tactical maps that give the reader a harrowing visual perspective on what these soldiers faced during their missions. The Boys of '67 is emotionally powerful and if you're at all interested in the Vietnam war and its personal aftermath from the points of view of the soldiers who were there, this would be a great reading choice. Definitely recommended.

  7. 4 out of 5

    KB

    The Boys of '67 tells the story of Charlie Company, largely focusing on their time in Vietnam in 1967, but goes beyond that in looking at their training and their return home. Wiest points out that Charlie was unique in the sense that while they were infantry, they spent most of their time in the Mekong Delta using landing craft to navigate the wet terrain and rivers. It was also "part of the only division raised, drafted, and trained for service in the Vietnam War," unlike soldiers being traine The Boys of '67 tells the story of Charlie Company, largely focusing on their time in Vietnam in 1967, but goes beyond that in looking at their training and their return home. Wiest points out that Charlie was unique in the sense that while they were infantry, they spent most of their time in the Mekong Delta using landing craft to navigate the wet terrain and rivers. It was also "part of the only division raised, drafted, and trained for service in the Vietnam War," unlike soldiers being trained to essentially act as individual replacements.This book did not start off well for me. It begins with a preface, followed by an introduction, followed by a prelude. A little much, but I didn't mind it. It was once I got into the story I was disappointed. We begin with a chapter covering the biographies of some of the men. I would have much preferred had Wiest worked this naturally in to the story, because it's just Biography - line break - Biography - line break - Biography... repeat, repeat, repeat. Everyone immediately blends into the other and there's very few things to remember the men by distinctly.The next chapter, Training, is equally underwhelming. That's because there's very little about their actual training here. Wiest mainly writes about them forming a bond with one another, getting into shenanigans and getting yelled at by officers and NCOs. And there's plenty more new names and short biographies in here too, so good luck remembering anyone. There's more in this chapter about the men's courtships with nice, wholesome American ladies than their training. Like, this isn't peace time; these men are being trained to be sent, without question, to war and that's what we get? If there was really nothing interesting to say, then there was no need to devote an entire chapter to it.So it was not off to a great start and never improved much, to be honest. I was continually bothered by Wiest's writing. Everything just seemed SO cliched and dramatic: they were always brothers, and their young lives were going to be changed forever after being thrown into the crucible of battle~. There were times, however, that he definitely was able to craft an intriguing, tense or emotional scene, but there was just something about the tone of the writing that I couldn't get over.My other complaint, and I don't know if it's a fair complaint or how it could have been altered, is that there are too many people. Like I said earlier, it's hard for any of them to stand out. These men are getting killed and being wounded but as a reader you feel no connection to them because you don't remember them as an individual amidst the rest of the names you're trying to recall. I was also missing critical input from the author. I didn't feel like Wiest had much of a voice in this.The majority of the book follows the men on operations and it generally lingers somewhere on being serviceable. Some parts are very well done but most just feels like the rest of the book, so not that great. I will say that map placement is excellent in this. Every time the men end up coming into serious contact with the VC, a map of the area is provided. It's put right in that section and is small scaled enough that you get a good idea of troop placements, even if the maps are pretty basic. So that was a huge plus.I'm happy to note, though, that the book ended well. The last chapter deals with the lives of the men from Charlie Company after they returned home, or the lives of their wives and children if they did not. Many of these stories are quite sad (depression, alcohol abuse, PTSD, divorce), but they are very honest and you truly feel for the men and their families.In the end, this book did not do it for me and I'm disappointed because I was looking forward to reading it. I couldn't get through it fast enough but I never wanted to pick it up to read it; I had to force myself every time just so I could finish it and move on to something else. Although I didn't enjoy the book, I can certainly understand and appreciate the story it tells. It just would've been better told by someone else, in my opinion.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    It's difficult to review this without comparing it to the only similar book which I've read; The Long Gray Line. This is a classic book in the pantheon of Vietnam non-fiction literature. The Boys of '67 strives to match this and while it is a satisfying enough read, it never quite reaches the same standard. What it does pretty well is capture the atmosphere of battle in war-torn Vietnam, the daily danger presented by booby traps or sudden ambushes and the effect of battle fatigue and ultimately P It's difficult to review this without comparing it to the only similar book which I've read; The Long Gray Line. This is a classic book in the pantheon of Vietnam non-fiction literature. The Boys of '67 strives to match this and while it is a satisfying enough read, it never quite reaches the same standard. What it does pretty well is capture the atmosphere of battle in war-torn Vietnam, the daily danger presented by booby traps or sudden ambushes and the effect of battle fatigue and ultimately PTSD on US troops. There were moments when my heart was in my mouth and I almost felt as though I was there, fighting alongside those guys. Charlie Company had a hellish roller-coaster ride of a tour in 1967 and every time one of them got taken down by the VC or a booby trap, I gritted my teeth and my inner voice screamed 'Goddammit!' It's not every book that manages to get this conveyed to the reader, to project with stunning clarity what the experience of your average infantryman actually was. These positives were watered down though, by a relentless catalogue of names, a poorly conceived structure and battle sequences which sometimes weren't all that clear. Maybe the confusion of battle is reflected in the latter point raised, but in any case it isn't a positive in my eyes. Wiest documents numerous individuals who followed the pattern below: 1) met a girl 2) married girl 3) got girl pregnant 4) waved girl goodbye at station platform before departing US for Vietnam 5) was KIA in Vietnam Each of these cases is related one after the other, like a conveyor belt of misery, with no differentiation between any of the soldiers. Their key characteristics are only ever defined at the most basic level, preventing the reader from gaining a sense of closeness to them. Their failure to make it back reads therefore like a history book, rather than the personal testimony to Charlie Company's journey through Vietnam which I think Wiest may have been trying to achieve. Wiest also burdens the narrative with too many names. You never know which ones to focus on. It's only with the end in sight that I realised that I wasn't actually able to focus on any of them to any great extent. Their story was like fleshless, sun bleached bones; bare. If Wiest had picked out maybe ten or a dozen individuals whose stories were a reflection of that of the Company as a whole, I think it would have resulted in a far more moving and personal testament to the individuals concerned. This could have been better but also could have been worse. I liked it but didn't love it and felt slightly let down by the lack of personal closeness I felt to those who fought in Charlie Company.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    Words cannot describe the roller coaster of emotions I experienced while reading "The Boy's of '67" these past few weeks. I stumbled upon this book online, reading the preview of the prologue, describing the authors background and inspiration to writing this book. I immediately had to go out to my local bookstore to read this book, as I had to read about the young men who served in Charlie Companies and their story of their service in Vietnam. I've read a few books regarding the Vietnam war, most Words cannot describe the roller coaster of emotions I experienced while reading "The Boy's of '67" these past few weeks. I stumbled upon this book online, reading the preview of the prologue, describing the authors background and inspiration to writing this book. I immediately had to go out to my local bookstore to read this book, as I had to read about the young men who served in Charlie Companies and their story of their service in Vietnam. I've read a few books regarding the Vietnam war, mostly from the grunts of the USMC perspective who were gung ho to serve their country and fight for freedom in Vietnam. What was most appealing to me was, In "The Boys of '67" just about the entire company was made up of draftees. Reading about the backgrounds of the young men whose lives were cut short of the futures they were writing to head off to fight into a foreign land that most Americans could not even locate on a map at the time. So many families getting started, (As a young recent married man myself, these stories particularly hit home with me) only to say painful goodbyes with some never to return. The author made excellent use of letters home and first hand accounts to really bring the reader in and make them feel as if you knew the men of Charlie Company and their feelings. The war was brutal and changed everyone who served with Charlie Company forever. The reader is taken on the full tour with the originals and replacements and the author holds nothing back as to what these brave men had experienced in the deltas of Vietnam in 1967. The most difficult thing I had in reading this book was not hearing about the brutal tales of killing and seeing your friends die, but was the emotions I had in the very last chapter of the book. I could not tell you how many tears came to my eyes reading about the men coming home to their families some living happily ever after, others struggling just to survive and adapt to civilian life. It was not easy to hear about the horrible treatment our country gave to these brave young men for answering their countries call to serve their nation. I wish that I could go back in time and give each and every one of these soldiers the proper welcome they deserved. So many lives changed by this war, but the men of 4th/47th/9th ID represented the best of America and are our heroes. God bless the men and families of these brave veterans and I am so glad that I stumbled upon this book. Their stories of brotherhood and sacrifice will remain with me forever.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dave Moore

    I didn't enjoy reading this book. Why? Would you enjoy watching an inevitable train wreck, or a tragic accident unfold before your eyes? Particularly if it touched you personally? Of course not. That having been said this is extremely well written. Based upon actual interviews and recollections, this unsettling work puts the reader in the same atmosphere as the guys it's written about. You feel their anxiety and confusion. You share their conflicting emotions. The 9th Infantry endured a two-day I didn't enjoy reading this book. Why? Would you enjoy watching an inevitable train wreck, or a tragic accident unfold before your eyes? Particularly if it touched you personally? Of course not. That having been said this is extremely well written. Based upon actual interviews and recollections, this unsettling work puts the reader in the same atmosphere as the guys it's written about. You feel their anxiety and confusion. You share their conflicting emotions. The 9th Infantry endured a two-day train ride, followed by a three-week trip on an old, WWII troop ship (cramped, stuffy & smelly quarters, hours-long chow lines, reeking latrines, crushing boredom)only to get the s%^#**est duty in Vietnam-patrolling the Rung Sat, a stinking, stifling mangrove swamp full of knee-deep, sucking mud that flooded twice daily to chest-deep, brown water. Wiest brings these guys to life with back stories and anecdotes. This isn't necessarily a good thing. Inevitably, several are lost; you feel each one. This was not our father's war. This wasn't WWII or WWI where freedom of the USA or democracy worldwide was actually jeopardized. This was a result of bad decisions started by Truman trying to keep the French protected from the Soviet Union at the end of WWII. A series of tragic missteps followed like dominoes wasting 58,000 young lives. This book will make anyone who reads it pray that the lessons learned in this horrible mistake of a conflict will never be repeated. Then we have Iraq...

  11. 4 out of 5

    John

    The Vietnam war was "my war" in the sense that young men of my age fought it. I was never drafted and so didn't have to serve. This book gives a taste of what it was like to be in the front lines of that war. I admire those who put their lives on the line to serve in Vietnam. But, having read this book, I'm really glad I wasn't called to do so. The experiences of those who served in the fighting part of the Vietnam war were horrible and the aftermath for many was equally horrible in a different The Vietnam war was "my war" in the sense that young men of my age fought it. I was never drafted and so didn't have to serve. This book gives a taste of what it was like to be in the front lines of that war. I admire those who put their lives on the line to serve in Vietnam. But, having read this book, I'm really glad I wasn't called to do so. The experiences of those who served in the fighting part of the Vietnam war were horrible and the aftermath for many was equally horrible in a different way. This book chronicles that horror. If you would like to know what they had to endure, both during and following the war, then you should read this book. But, be warned, some of it is not pretty.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alison

    If you want to know what being in the Army was really like during the Vietnam War, not what the politicians fed us, not what the media wanted us to know, then read this book. Put together with memories of the men who served in Charlie Company, the reader gets to know these men - where they were from, how they grew up, what training they had, the friendships that bonded them together, the need to work together as a team to survive, and how many of them died. But the plot doesn't stop there, we le If you want to know what being in the Army was really like during the Vietnam War, not what the politicians fed us, not what the media wanted us to know, then read this book. Put together with memories of the men who served in Charlie Company, the reader gets to know these men - where they were from, how they grew up, what training they had, the friendships that bonded them together, the need to work together as a team to survive, and how many of them died. But the plot doesn't stop there, we learn about the families left behind, the new wives, the babies born while the men were "in country", and how the war affected them, and how their loved one's deaths affected them.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    When you want to set the record straight you go right to the main source. I knew a little about the Vietnam War and not much about the troops and conditions these men fought in. I always figure you got to go to the main source for that information. In this case it is the oral history of those who fought in the Vietnam War. Andrew Wiest, presents the picture of the men from Charlie Company (4th Battalion/47th Infantry/9th ID) who are drafted in 1966, train together, and go into battle in their se When you want to set the record straight you go right to the main source. I knew a little about the Vietnam War and not much about the troops and conditions these men fought in. I always figure you got to go to the main source for that information. In this case it is the oral history of those who fought in the Vietnam War. Andrew Wiest, presents the picture of the men from Charlie Company (4th Battalion/47th Infantry/9th ID) who are drafted in 1966, train together, and go into battle in their search for understanding of the Vietnam War. They form a tightly knit group who shared everything with one another. The narrative is very personal and is filled with emotion and places the reader right in the story of action. You will read about the struggles of those who came home and became the first to be diagnosed with PTSD which was moving and difficult to read. One of the distressing things was reading the losses in battles of the young men and how pointless it all was. Its unfortunate that this war was such an unpopular war and so misunderstood by LBJ and McNamara that the soldiers who fought don't get the recognition they truly deserve. It is a powerful book which embraced not just the war but covered in great depth what happened when they returned home and their story was far from over.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Terry Cornell

    Fantastic book , and to think it all started with a Vietnam war veteran participating in a discussion in a college professor's class on the Vietnam war. Professor Wiest went on to interview survivors of Charlie Company, family members of survivors and those who perished. Charlie Company was unique in that the unit went through boot camp together, then shipped out to Vietnam as a unit. Most soldiers went through boot camp and were dispersed to other units. The book starts out with meeting the mem Fantastic book , and to think it all started with a Vietnam war veteran participating in a discussion in a college professor's class on the Vietnam war. Professor Wiest went on to interview survivors of Charlie Company, family members of survivors and those who perished. Charlie Company was unique in that the unit went through boot camp together, then shipped out to Vietnam as a unit. Most soldiers went through boot camp and were dispersed to other units. The book starts out with meeting the members of Charlie Company in training stateside, and as they build their camaraderie they are the sent to Vietnam to work in the Mekong Delta as part of riverine force. I felt I knew these men so well, that the tragedies of ambush, boobytrap and battle were sometimes hard to take. The book continues with survivors finishing their service and coming home, how they coped (or didn't) with life back in the U.S. The book concludes with a 1989 reunion of Charlie Company members, and family members of those who didn't survive. There was also a local connection for me. Many members of the unit were from California, several from the area where I live. Although I personally don't know any of them, the tie to my local community made even more of an impression. This is an excellent book for those who want to read about combat soldiers experiences in Vietnam, and coping with the aftermath on their return to 'normal' life.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tyler Cowart

    I didn't enjoy this book at all. The author jumps around to too many different people so that in the end they still remain soldiers without identity to me. And while I absolutely think the soldiers of the Vietnam war had a particularly unique and difficult time I don't think the author conveyed much purpose in the writing on this book. Some of the problems (a great many in fact) were at the very least intensified by alcoholism and there's no mention at all in the narrative about this being a cho I didn't enjoy this book at all. The author jumps around to too many different people so that in the end they still remain soldiers without identity to me. And while I absolutely think the soldiers of the Vietnam war had a particularly unique and difficult time I don't think the author conveyed much purpose in the writing on this book. Some of the problems (a great many in fact) were at the very least intensified by alcoholism and there's no mention at all in the narrative about this being a choice instead of a natural course. Towards the end of the book there are better pieces of more solidified people that were easier to connect to. I think I would have really liked this if 1- the author had just selected a handful of people and let me focus on them and watch specific relationships grow and 2- shown me more of the goodness of them as people instead of the hardships of war. I feel bad giving this a low rating as if it somehow says the lives of those men deserves one star (which is not the case).

  16. 4 out of 5

    Michael Burnam-Fink

    Vietnam War memoirs have a pretty similar structure, imposed by the facts of history. Here's a young kid who doesn't know anything, basic training, a battle or two, becoming a hardened veteran, hijinks in a rear area that don't disguise the psychological wounds of war, a dissatisfying return home, and at some point a book. In this collective biography of the men of Charlie Company, Wiest elevates this story into the tale of a generation in the popular history vein of Stephen Ambrose. This book is Vietnam War memoirs have a pretty similar structure, imposed by the facts of history. Here's a young kid who doesn't know anything, basic training, a battle or two, becoming a hardened veteran, hijinks in a rear area that don't disguise the psychological wounds of war, a dissatisfying return home, and at some point a book. In this collective biography of the men of Charlie Company, Wiest elevates this story into the tale of a generation in the popular history vein of Stephen Ambrose. This book is exceptional in depicting each of the men of Charlie Company as unique individuals; California surfers, Southern farmboys, Navajo shepherds, athletes and drag racers and factory workers and young fathers from across America. All of them were drafted (with the exception of one voluenteer) sometime in 1966, the course of their lives forever altered. In 1966 the Vietnam War was quiet news, something happening far away. Most people, if they thought of the war at all, thought that it was worth fighting and would be over soon. For the children of WW2 veterans, service when drafted was assumed. While the men of Charlie Company were anybody and everybody, Charlie was a unique unit. It was part of the new 9th Division, which was being slated to fight in the populous Mekong Delta. Charlie was trained and deployed as a unit, unlike the stream of replacements which defined the American fighting experience, and the old hands were a closely knit band of brothers. In the Delta, Charlie was part of the Mobile Riverine Force, Army troops deployed on small boats from floating bases on Navy transports. While close support from the Navy had some advantages, like showers and mess halls on base and close support from river monitors, WW2 era landing ships converted into a close support fire barges armed with everything from 105mm cannons to flamethrowers, by and large the terrain was awful. Patrols had to cut through leech infested channels and impassable mangrove swamps. Good routes on the tops of rice paddy dikes were sure to be mined. The first few months were almost contactless patrols, 'walks in the sun' marked by attrition through mines and snipers, but soon Charlie walked into the nameless ambushes that characterized the war. In these battles, Charlie gave as good as it got, with small units suffering heavy casualties until American artillery and airpower suppressed Viet Cong bunkers, allowing one of the platoons to flank and destroy the enemy in close assault. If there's a hitch to this book, it's that Wiest hasn't quite figured out how to write combat. I'm not sure how you get across the utter confusion of battle, but there's a level of historical dispassion to the combat that cuts at cross purposes to the rest of the book. But the final chapter, on the men's lives returning home and the post-1989 reunions save the book. This is about people, not war, and it works. The ultimate tribute is that of the 134 original Charlie Company soldiers, only 14 returned stateside alive and unwounded.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mike Kershaw

    Vietnam’s Band of Brothers: The Boys of ’67 by Andrew Weist. This is an interesting book on one rifle company’s experience in Vietnam titled, The Boys of ‘67: Charlie Companies War in Vietnam. It is also the basis for a National Geographic special, Brothers In War. Having already seen most of the Nat Geo Special, I decided to listen to the Audio Book during a recent trip to Fort Polk. A direct result of the Johnson’s decision to expand the war, “Charlie Company” – formerly known as Company C, 4 Vietnam’s Band of Brothers: The Boys of ’67 by Andrew Weist. This is an interesting book on one rifle company’s experience in Vietnam titled, The Boys of ‘67: Charlie Companies War in Vietnam. It is also the basis for a National Geographic special, Brothers In War. Having already seen most of the Nat Geo Special, I decided to listen to the Audio Book during a recent trip to Fort Polk. A direct result of the Johnson’s decision to expand the war, “Charlie Company” – formerly known as Company C, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry was part of the 9th Infantry Division which was formed specifically for employment in the Mekong Delta and would later be employed as the “Mobile Riverine Force” or MRF. The company was assembled from draftees at Fort Riley, Kansas and took basic and advanced training as a unit prior to deployment. The whole draft, stateside training and deployment of the company (and battalion and by extension the division) certainly seemed to harken back to previous conflicts although I found it somewhat interesting that even then, guys from the same areas in the States, found themselves together in the same company – which differs considerably from most account of infantry service in Vietnam. Similar to more recent experiences, the unit literally had to create its own base camps as it deployed to areas which had only seen episodic US troop employment previously. The pace of the company's fight in the Delta reminded me somewhat of my brigade's experience in Iraq -- long, slow, hot and uncomfortable days losing Soldiers primarily to mines (booby traps there, IEDs in Iraq). They learned to ‘listen with their eyes’ as we used to say; an absence of civilians usually preceded enemy contact. Throughout their year tour, the author narrates four or five major engagements – battles without names but known throughout the company by dates – but engagements which last the better part of a day and into the night, are generally close range and brutal. Their opponents know the terrain and know how to employ their weapons effectively. And losses amongst the original cohort, not surprisingly, make the greatest impact. They seemed to have been relatively fortunate in their officer leadership -- with only a few exceptions. However, only a few SNCOs seemed to be part of the narrative -- the First Sergeant and one strong platoon sergeant primarily, but the remainder who normally form a strong part of the company's identity -- this has been true in most companies I have served in -- seemed to be absent in the narrative. It is hard to determine if this is as a result of the author’s desire to focus on the draftees experience or the shortages of quality non-commissioned officers during the rapid expansion of the Army that is often cited as the Army’s greatest mistake in answering Johnson’s call-up. The story remains focused on the company and, in particular, those of the original cohort as they navigate their year-long tour in Vietnam. The wounded are followed through the various stops in the medical system, many returning to the States via Japan. Some, however, return to Vietnam to complete their tours. Not surprisingly, these Soldiers want to return to their original company. As we near the end of the tour, the Division implements a shuffling of the cohort across the Division known as ‘infusion’. The who idea of ‘infusion’ – cross leveling the experienced Soldiers across the division in order to avoid a mass exodus of experienced Soldiers at the end of their year seems somewhat misguided – creating personnel turbulence, breaking up primary groups and reducing cohesion – especially since by the author’s accounting, only 30 Soldiers remained of the original cohort, departing shortly before the Tet Offensive in late 1967. It would be interesting to see how the Army viewed the exigent action and its effect on the combat efficiency of the units involved. The post-war accounts of the various members of the company was certainly disturbing. Having left prior to the outbreak of large protests, the draftees return to a much changed country after their year in Vietnam. The Soldiers alcohol and drug problems seemed to follow them into their civilian lives and certainly dominated this portion of the narrative. It is difficult to tell if this is just due to the author's sampling of the company -- few SNCOs, focusing on the severely wounded and those with the most difficulty readjusting to civilian life. As we has been discussed elsewhere, this seems to fit the stereotype of the Vietnam Veteran who has trouble adjusting because of his war experience – and yet seems remarkably different from the ones who I served with on active duty or know as civilians, who seem well-adjusted by comparison. The company’s reunions serve as a cathartic event for many of the draftees. In fact, I went to their facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/search/str/t...) to view the photos I was unable to see due to listening to the audio book. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the life of an infantryman in Vietnam.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Straw

    Finished about 65% and giving up. It is difficult to write this type of book. Sometimes it works for me and sometimes it doesn't. This one did not. Finished about 65% and giving up. It is difficult to write this type of book. Sometimes it works for me and sometimes it doesn't. This one did not.

  19. 4 out of 5

    John Turner

    Sergeant Benito Alaniz was the first to die. March 19, 1967. Shot and killed accidentally by his own men when he got separated from his squad. Then Ronald Schworer, the eldest of four children from Lancaster, CA, was lost down river during an ambush on April 10, his body never recovered. 1LT Charles "Duffy" Black, an OCS graduate from Peoria, IL was wounded by a booby trap and died on April 13. Donald Peterson, from Arroyo Grande, CA, was the happy-go-lucky jokester, everybody's friend, who lift Sergeant Benito Alaniz was the first to die. March 19, 1967. Shot and killed accidentally by his own men when he got separated from his squad. Then Ronald Schworer, the eldest of four children from Lancaster, CA, was lost down river during an ambush on April 10, his body never recovered. 1LT Charles "Duffy" Black, an OCS graduate from Peoria, IL was wounded by a booby trap and died on April 13. Donald Peterson, from Arroyo Grande, CA, was the happy-go-lucky jokester, everybody's friend, who lifted Charlie Company's spirits with his smile and optimism. He died in the mud on May 15, two AK47 bullets to the chest. The battle on June 19, 1967, near Can Giouc, a little village in the muddied rice paddies of the Mekong Delta, was Charlie Company's baptism by fire. The plans, dreams and hopes of 11 of Charlie's Company's boy warriors ended that day. The Boys of '67 knew now they were in the fight for their lives, as dead and wounded lay all around them. This was the plight of Charlie Company, 4th Battalion, 47th infantry, 9th Infantry Division. In the spring of 1966, as the war escalated in Vietnam, the military tried an experiment: reactivate the valiant 9th ID of WWII, populate it by drafting 40,000 new soldiers, train them as a unit and send them all together to Vietnam. So, the majority of Charlie Company's 160 men (read: boys) were draftees from around the country, boys who had gone to school together, played and surfed together, cruised Main Street USA on Saturday night together, got drunk and chased girls together. Lead by experienced cadre, such as Captain Larson and 1st Sergeant Crockett, they went through Basic and Advanced (skills) training together at Fort Riley, Kansas, bonding strongly and closely before boarding ship for the 21 day "cruise" to the beaches of Vung Tau, Vietnam in December, 1966. Can Giouc was just one deadly battle. There would be more . . . and there would be more boys to die. Sometimes one at a time, sometimes in clusters. Along the river of Rach Song Cau, on July 11, Fred Kennedy from Chatsworth, CA, and four of his friends would die. Fred married his sweetheart, Barbara, during his training in Kansas. Little Freddie, the son whose picture Fred shared with everyone, was born while Fred was on the troop transport ship bound for Vietnam. By now, only 40 of the "originals" remained, the company devasted by KIA and wounded. Bill "Doc" Geiger, medic with 2nd Platoon, died on June 19 while aiding a wounded brother. His family still supports and honors today Bill by attending Charlie Company reunions. LT John Hoskins, West Point graduate of Class of '66 and 3rd Platoon Leader, was wounded by a bullet to the thigh on July 11 while leading a charge against a fortified bunker line. After recovering from his wound, he would later return to Vietnam to command Charlie Company, 3/60, only to be killed on May 6, 1968, while attempting to disarm a boob-trapped bomb. Robert Cara, Kenneth Frakes, Forrest Ramos, John Winters: boys who heard the call and answered it without question, giving their lives for their beliefs and for their country. Some made it home with scarred bodies and disturbed minds. They honor their fallen comrades by a gathering of warriors and families, the reunions acting as remembrance and as catharsis for all who attend. Tears welled in my eyes as I read of the struggles of Platoon Sergeant John Young to overcome alcohol and PTSD. I cheered for Willie McTear to win his battle after loosing his family due to his PTSD, alcohol and drug abuse. His story of being homeless on the streets of Las Vegas was heart-breaking. I struggled getting through this book, it bringing back nightmares of my own experiences in the Mekong Delta with the 9th ID (8/68-9/69). I did, in fact, walk in the footsteps of Charlie Company, serving as a artillery Forward Observer with the 4/47 and other leg units. In this book, you read of the hopes, dreams and aspirations of our national treasure, the youth of our country. You also read of how those hopes and dreams were cut short for the boys of Charlie Company and over 58,000 other valiant brothers and sisters, fathers and sons, husbands and lovers, friends and comrades. This is their gritty and tragic story. Go with God, brave warrior. Rest In Peace. I salute you.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ray Palmer

    I’ve encountered a couple of broad overviews of the Vietnam war before. I picked this book up at the library because I was interested in the day to day experiences of a US soldier fighting in Vietnam. This book is about “Charlie Company” drafted right at the beginning of the Vietnam war. It goes through their experiences in basic training, the year or so they spent in Vietnam, and a quick overview of a few of the men’s family they left behind and their experiences after getting home from the war I’ve encountered a couple of broad overviews of the Vietnam war before. I picked this book up at the library because I was interested in the day to day experiences of a US soldier fighting in Vietnam. This book is about “Charlie Company” drafted right at the beginning of the Vietnam war. It goes through their experiences in basic training, the year or so they spent in Vietnam, and a quick overview of a few of the men’s family they left behind and their experiences after getting home from the war. When you read about most wars they seem to have some sort of geographical goal. The strategists running things are trying to move the front forward with a final aim of conquering a something. In Vietnam soldiers were sent out to patrol specific areas, kill as many Viet Cong as possible and then come back to camp for a little R&R before going out again. Sometimes they would patrol the exact same area where that they had previously fought a bloody battle only a few months prior. This aimlessness combined with the normal rigors of war seems to have horrible effects on morale. What is the point to fight and die in order to kill random people in a foreign country that doesn’t really want you there to begin with? Imagine if our police force was tasked, not with sustaining law and order, but with prowling around various neighborhoods and killing as many perceived criminals as possible. The emotional effect on both the police and the people being policed would be enormously traumatic. The soldiers in Vietnam consequently spent lots of their free time drinking, doing drugs and availing themselves of prostitutes. On the other hand there seems to be this emotional rush that comes with fighting for your life, and an intense sense of brotherhood for those with whom you fight that can’t be replicated anywhere else and that is extremely compelling. So much so that some men re-enlist because they can’t experience it anywhere else. The book also describes the bouts with PTSD the soldiers experienced after coming home from the war. One man, once he was diagnosed with PTSD, was kicked out of the army. When he showed up at the VA for PTSD treatment, that same army told him that PTSD was not a recognized condition and therefore they couldn’t help him. The quality of writing is merely sufficient, and it has a tendency toward being overly sentimental. Nevertheless, it’s a fascinating bit of history from the soldier's point of view.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Best Pants

    Incredible. Wiest follows a company of soldier's in the early years of the Vietnam war as they recieve their draft notices, train for war, prosecute war, and cope with their experiences. As the book unfolds we see the real accounts of men who rapidly lose faith in why and how they are fighting. Are they really dying to defend Americans and stop communism? Can we even win this war? Should we even win? The means of carrying out the war change vastly and rapidly for the men of Charlie Company 4th o Incredible. Wiest follows a company of soldier's in the early years of the Vietnam war as they recieve their draft notices, train for war, prosecute war, and cope with their experiences. As the book unfolds we see the real accounts of men who rapidly lose faith in why and how they are fighting. Are they really dying to defend Americans and stop communism? Can we even win this war? Should we even win? The means of carrying out the war change vastly and rapidly for the men of Charlie Company 4th of the 47th and this further contributes to their feelings of hopelessness. The author does a good job of reminding you throughout who the various men that fight and die are so you don't have to commit 40+ names and personalities to memory. 1967 was an important year for Vietnam. American prescence began to ramp up considerably, but this was pre-Tet Offensive (FEB 1968). Afterward hating the war and its veterans became fully mainstream and the military largely realized we weren't fighting a "normal" war. Historically American wars were won by killing and bombing an enemy into submission. In 1967 many leaders still thought this was a viable strategy. This was not the case in Vietnam. Unfortunately no truly effective strategy to fight a war of ideallogy was implemented throughout the course of the war. This book is brutal and honest and does nothing to glorify or spit shine war. Favorite character: Terry McBride the machine gun toting, tough as nails, trophy taking soldier we all want by our side in a warzone.

  22. 4 out of 5

    L.V. Sage

    Just finished this book a few days ago. It focused on the boys in Charlie Company, most of whom had gone through basic training together & then went off to Vietnam together as well, which was something of an anomaly. Most boys trained and then were sent off separately to join their respective companies based on assignment and military needs. Needless to say, they formed a tight-knit group and shared everything with one another. As many of them are killed or wounded, their numbers dwindle quite r Just finished this book a few days ago. It focused on the boys in Charlie Company, most of whom had gone through basic training together & then went off to Vietnam together as well, which was something of an anomaly. Most boys trained and then were sent off separately to join their respective companies based on assignment and military needs. Needless to say, they formed a tight-knit group and shared everything with one another. As many of them are killed or wounded, their numbers dwindle quite radically, leaving the "originals" to cling to one another almost desperately while distancing themselves from the newbies that are brought in as replacements. Author Andrew Wiest does a great job of portraying the individual men from their time before the war to training to combat and then their return to "the world". So many suffered with PTSD, a condition that was unknown and poorly addressed for most of the years after their return. One thing was clear throughout: the bonds that young men make in the military and in combat are never broken and there is none stronger. In fact, the only thing that truly helped these men was finally reuniting with their old buddies again after many, many years. Excellent and important read.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sven

    I missed a more broader and balanced view on the war. And I absolutely don’t understand the underlying „my country calls, I serve“ pathos, the author is so obvisousy fascinated by. He did a great job in collecting the memories from the men of charlie company drafted in 1966 but totally missed to answer the most decisive question: What makes Americans run from war to war even with the experiences of Vietnam in the collective memory? (He portrays a Vietnam Vet proud of sending his daughter to Iraq I missed a more broader and balanced view on the war. And I absolutely don’t understand the underlying „my country calls, I serve“ pathos, the author is so obvisousy fascinated by. He did a great job in collecting the memories from the men of charlie company drafted in 1966 but totally missed to answer the most decisive question: What makes Americans run from war to war even with the experiences of Vietnam in the collective memory? (He portrays a Vietnam Vet proud of sending his daughter to Iraq, years later. Because he (the father) knows from own experience, the benefit of services for maturity. This is weird.) The stories of the young men suffering and dying in Vietnam are tragic. But May Lai was too. Abu Ghraib was too. Guantanamo is too. This book is a sentimental collection full of heartbreaking anecdotes, nourishing the spirit, which will repeat these tragic events again and again, from war to war: unquestioned patriotism and the believe, that there must be something like a „justified“war – and it’s always the opponents fault, that the war is this dirty.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    As the son of a Purple Heart, Bronze Star 1st Cavalry (Airmobile) 2/7th Cav, Company C combat veteran, this book was an eye opener. I lost my father in 1985 to suicide which no doubt had to do with PTSD and pain from 3 AK-47 slugs received at Ia Drang. His name was Harley Arlen "Sam" Smith. I finished reading this months ago but didn't know what to say. My father was 19, and a brave young man. I feel him in my blood even though I lost him when I was 6. It is hard to get vets to talk about war, an As the son of a Purple Heart, Bronze Star 1st Cavalry (Airmobile) 2/7th Cav, Company C combat veteran, this book was an eye opener. I lost my father in 1985 to suicide which no doubt had to do with PTSD and pain from 3 AK-47 slugs received at Ia Drang. His name was Harley Arlen "Sam" Smith. I finished reading this months ago but didn't know what to say. My father was 19, and a brave young man. I feel him in my blood even though I lost him when I was 6. It is hard to get vets to talk about war, and as best I can, I understand that. This book is as close as I've gotten, other than maybe "Dispatches" (highly recommend). But if there are any 1965-1966 1st Cav guys out there who would like to help honor his father and if you were bravely in Ia Drang, I'd love to hear from you. Doesn't have to be public and won't be used publicly. Just a son of a "Gary Owen" 1st Cav 2/7 warrior. The bullets that hit him are still ricocheting down time, affecting my mom, my younger brother and myself - and probably ended this particular Smith lineage forever.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Chuck Thomas

    The Boys of '67 is a very good book recounting Charlie Co.'s 4th Battalion/47th Infantry/9th Infantry Division and its tour in Vietnam during 1967. Not just a story about the deadly battles that this unit fought in, the book also goes into detail about the makeup of Charlie Co. in 1966-67 (10% of the draftees were from the Cleveland, OH area), as well as the basic training that they endured together in Fort Riley, KS. This unit was a "Band of Brothers" in the truest sense of the phrase, drafted, The Boys of '67 is a very good book recounting Charlie Co.'s 4th Battalion/47th Infantry/9th Infantry Division and its tour in Vietnam during 1967. Not just a story about the deadly battles that this unit fought in, the book also goes into detail about the makeup of Charlie Co. in 1966-67 (10% of the draftees were from the Cleveland, OH area), as well as the basic training that they endured together in Fort Riley, KS. This unit was a "Band of Brothers" in the truest sense of the phrase, drafted, trained and fought together....and for those still alive today, part of a family with a unique shared experience. A well written book. Appreciated the maps that were included with the stories of each battle, helped me visualize where each platoon was located and where Viet Cong bunkers were. Surprised that there were no actual photographs included (Kindle edition) but the author did include a link to the 9th ID's website to visit to see pictures.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chris Gillies

    This book has the dubious honour of being only the second book I've never finished. Initially this book was very hard to get into. Names of people are rattled off at will, scenes are set for a number of individuals (who are already mentioned in the very first chapter and who you may already know are alive, dead or injured) and their backgrounds, and I found very little of that interesting or relevant. I'm sure that for the family of Charlie Company soldiers mentioned in the book it will be inter This book has the dubious honour of being only the second book I've never finished. Initially this book was very hard to get into. Names of people are rattled off at will, scenes are set for a number of individuals (who are already mentioned in the very first chapter and who you may already know are alive, dead or injured) and their backgrounds, and I found very little of that interesting or relevant. I'm sure that for the family of Charlie Company soldiers mentioned in the book it will be interesting to read, but far too much detail goes in initially. I suspect that the book has been written by how a teacher thinks it should be written, rather than a publisher. The narrative is simply too dry and uninteresting for me to enjoy or want to enjoy the rest of the book. If you want a good Vietnam book, read Chickenhawk by Bob Mason.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    Learned about this book after Brother Gary Maibach shared some of his experiences in Vietnam, including that he was interviewed for this book. I really enjoyed the in-depth look at a group of men who gave all or at least some of their lives for each other serving their country in Vietnam. The heartache and loss that they suffered is almost incomprehensible, and I kept wanting to know that the survivors eventually found peace after all the turmoil they suffered at such a young age. It's a well-to Learned about this book after Brother Gary Maibach shared some of his experiences in Vietnam, including that he was interviewed for this book. I really enjoyed the in-depth look at a group of men who gave all or at least some of their lives for each other serving their country in Vietnam. The heartache and loss that they suffered is almost incomprehensible, and I kept wanting to know that the survivors eventually found peace after all the turmoil they suffered at such a young age. It's a well-told story that kept my interest from beginning to the brief summary of where the survivors are today at the end, and it's gratifying to know that at least some of them were able to live somewhat normal lives. Thank you, veterans and your families, for your service. Your sacrifices humble me...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Clayton

    I wanted to read this book because it occurred to me that I probably didn't have a very complete picture of Vietnam. When I learned about Vietnam in school it was about the mistakes, regret and a lot of armchair quarterbacking on what we should and should not have done. I specifically picked this book because it told the stories of actual soldiers and their progression from basic training, to combat and into old age. Reading this helped me better understand the phrase "War is Hell" and I found m I wanted to read this book because it occurred to me that I probably didn't have a very complete picture of Vietnam. When I learned about Vietnam in school it was about the mistakes, regret and a lot of armchair quarterbacking on what we should and should not have done. I specifically picked this book because it told the stories of actual soldiers and their progression from basic training, to combat and into old age. Reading this helped me better understand the phrase "War is Hell" and I found myself frequently surprised at what these guys who were, at the time, much younger than I am now were experiencing on a daily basis.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Edy

    As a teenager in the 60s, I lived through the Vietnam War. I lost friends in the war. I think my hatred of war began when I realized that more than 58,000 soldiers, mostly boys near my age, died in that far away land--and for what? Within a short time after the war ended, Saigon fell. Reading this book was difficult because I thought of those kids I knew who served in Vietnam and wondered how many of the them had similar experiences. That being said, I'm not sorry that I read it. As a teenager in the 60s, I lived through the Vietnam War. I lost friends in the war. I think my hatred of war began when I realized that more than 58,000 soldiers, mostly boys near my age, died in that far away land--and for what? Within a short time after the war ended, Saigon fell. Reading this book was difficult because I thought of those kids I knew who served in Vietnam and wondered how many of the them had similar experiences. That being said, I'm not sorry that I read it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ross

    You can read my review of this book here - http://warstudies.wordpress.com/2012/... You can read my review of this book here - http://warstudies.wordpress.com/2012/...

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