|About the Book|
The Vietnam Diary – 1966 - 1967 is a collection of letters and poetry written during a young man’s tour of duty in Vietnam. It includes photos and flashbacks that occurred during the author’s writing of the book, and is illustrative of the lives ofMoreThe Vietnam Diary – 1966 - 1967 is a collection of letters and poetry written during a young man’s tour of duty in Vietnam. It includes photos and flashbacks that occurred during the author’s writing of the book, and is illustrative of the lives of the thousands of troops that experienced that controversial war.The author joined the Marine Corps in 1966 and by the fall of that year was in Vietnam in the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Division in Golf Company, Weapons Platoon, was posted as a machine gunner. He was involved in 2 major battles, many smaller ones and was wounded twice.The journal is a chronological account of his year there starting from boot camp in San Diego to his final days in the service.Mixed with his actual journal entries are letters he writes home and poetry he wrote that reflects his response to the war, combat and death. The letters to his father and his mother and sister are distinctly different in content and tone, the journal entries the musings of a young boy away from his family for the first time in horrific conditions, the poetry fresh with promise, and the remembrance’s often painful. By way of example:Excerpt from Letter to Dad:“But speaking of your counter-insurgent, you can bet your boots that’s what we are. We employ the same tactics they use with heavier armament and better equipped personnel. We are hardly conventional troops, though they call us that back home for political as well as social reasons, but we use much the same tactics as do the VC short of torture, killing of innocents, etc. although there are scattered incidents of these as in any war. But we hide in the field, search and destroy, sweep, ambush, etc. generally being miserable, wet, hungry, cold-hot, and wishing we were home.”Excerpt from Letter to Mom & Sis:I received my tentative orders and I’m scheduled to go overseas Nov. 21, so it looks like I’m not going to get a chance to see you before I go. There isn’t real need, for love explains and shows all, and it is enough to carry me across those waters. I love you both and I know that I am loved, so I’m content until I return next fall.Excerpt from Journal Entry:Relatives and family…worry. They worry about me and I worry about them worrying about me. Winds flowing every way and I’m coming back…worry is ungood and bothers. Forget and live life as I’m doing on my part with death possibly just around over there…Part of a poem written after six months in-country:What brings me here?What leads my pathTo find this dreary horrorSinging a muddy melody ofBlood and lost friends?Perhaps a quiet somebody willCome leading me by the handTo sit and explain those thingsAnd all things and, and…Excerpt from a Remembrance:I could feel the bullets whizzing around my head like angry hornets and then there was a loud clap next to my face with the sonic slap of a bullet that just missed me. I crouched down unable to see where it came from, cursing and angry then got up and moved forward. Eventually the firing stopped. No one was hurt and that bullet didn’t have my name on it. Still left me shaking.The author served a 2 year enlistment and was honorably discharged as a Lance Corporal with two Purple Hearts. He was profoundly affected by the war both physically and mentally and it drastically changed the way he looks at life.