Like many young men who came of age in the late 1960s, W. Thomas Burns, the author of "Vietnam, The Memoir of a Sandlot Soldier", joined the military and found himself in Vietnam. Burns, despite the title of his memoir, was a United States Marine who joined the Corps in 1967. By May of 1968, he was in-country, fighting with 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division. "Vietnam, The Memoir of a Sandlot Soldier" isn’t a book about strategy, tactics, or the history of the war....
4 Vietnam War Myths Civilians Believe
Movies and television have painted a deeply embedded picture of Vietnam veterans in the American collective consciousness. Somehow, despite the numerous books, articles, and documentaries produced about the war and those who fought it, some of them are simply untrue. The false ideas aren't just small myths, either. These misconceptions paint a distorted picture of who fought in Vietnam and the ability of the enemy and shaped how we perceived war for decades after the conflict ended. Here are...
We’ll All Die As Marines by Colonel Jim Bathurst
For seventeen-year-old high school dropout Jim Bathurst, the Marine Corps reputation for making men out of boys was something he desperately needed when he enlisted in March of 1958. What began as a four-year hitch lasted nearly thirty-six years and included an interesting assortment of duty stations and assignments as both enlisted and officer. We'll All Die As Marines narrates a story about a young, free-spirited kid from Dundalk, Maryland, and how the Corps captured his body, mind, and...
Maj. Gen. Sidney Shachnow, U.S. Army (1952–1994)
Sidney Shachnow was born in Lithuania in 1934, Sidney Shachnow faced oppression in his homeland and found his calling in the U.S. Army after immigrating to America in 1950. Sidney Shachnow enlisted in the military in 1955 and served for more than 39 years, including 32 in the Special Forces community. His top posts included leadership of the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School and U.S. Army Special Forces Command at Fort Bragg and U.S. Army-Berlin in Germany. "Maj. Gen. Sidney...
Hidden Army by Lawrence Rock
According to Pentagon records, nearly four million personnel served in and around Vietnam; most in Vietnam, others on flight bases in Thailand and ships in adjacent South China Sea. Of those 3,917,400 million men and women ordered to the Southeast Asia Theater, ninety percent were not sent there to fight. They were there to support the ten percent who were. Support troops included pilots, sailors, medics, nurses, cooks, clerks, drivers, engineers, communications people, military police, and...
Vietnam War – The Battle of Ia Drang, LZ X-Ray
American involvement in Vietnam can stretch back as far as the end of World War II, depending on how you define "involvement," but one thing is for sure; when the U.S. committed its combat troops to defend South Vietnam, things got hot almost immediately. The most stunning example of the ferocity of Vietnam battlegrounds is the 1965 Battle of Ia Drang, the first time the U.S. Army fought a major battle against the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN), North Vietnam's regular forces. ...
Service Reflections of SSgt Jimmy Carlisle, U.S. Marine Corps (1965-1978)
To leave home when I turned 18 to get away from a noncaring father and an abusive stepmother. I was one of six children that were not allowed to go past the 8th grade in school and were put to work year-round to earn money for parents. Four of my brothers and sisters left home the day they turned 18, and I was gone two weeks later as soon as I could join the Corps.
Service Reflections of SFC Joseph Wilson, Jr., U.S. Army (1967-1990)
My father was a WWII Navy veteran (1945-47). In 1964 – 65 I became a Cadet with the Civil Air Patrol in the Borah Cadet Squadron in Boise, Idaho, and later with the Gowen Field Cadet Squadron also in Boise, Idaho.Despite them being similarly reserved and not the type of men to brag, I could hardly wait to visit them so I could beg them to tell me war stories. The experiences they shared with me made a lasting impression during my early childhood, which further aroused my desire to serve my country.
Service Reflections of SSgt Eugene Delalla, U.S. Air Force (1965-1968)
In reality, my first choice of military service was the Army. This was back in ’64. Then, as fate or providence would have it, an Air Force recruiter came to my high school (in the Bronx, NY); from that point on, I began planning my entry when graduation came in ’65.
Service Reflections of Cpl Barry McDown, U.S. Marine Corps (1969-1971)
Within 90 days after Richard Nixon was inaugurated, he sent me an excellent thank you note for being 19 and indicating that he would be pleased if I would show up for work. He very much insisted I report for the draft.
Service Reflections of GMG3 Ronnie Gregory, U.S. Navy (1971-1975)
When I became aware that I was not interested in finishing college in my sophomore year, I sought out the local Coast Guard recruiter, but they were not looking for entry-level recruits at that time. As my draft number was low and I was soon to be status 1A, Dad had served in the Navy in WWII, so I talked to the Navy recruiter and enlisted in December 1971.
Vietnam Beyond by Gerald E. Augustine
When Gerald Augustine shipped off to Vietnam in 1966, he brought a 1949 Kodak Brownie Hawkeye box camera at the behest of his mother. It turned out to be a great decision. About the Author of Vietnam Beyond He used the camera to document his experiences during and after the Vietnam War, and some of these images are included in his new book, "Vietnam Beyond." A Middletown, Connecticut native, Augustine graduated from high school in 1963 and went on to study at Central Connecticut State...