Military Book Reviews

Unlikely Warriors by Lonnie M. Long and Gary B. Blackburn

Unlikely Warriors by Lonnie M. Long and Gary B. Blackburn

At the peak of the war, over 6,000 Army Security Agency (ASA) soldiers were assigned to every major U.S. Army unit operating in Vietnam. They were sworn to secrecy and, for the most part, never receiving any recognition for the magnificent job they did. That, however, changed over the last few years, allowing two ASA veteran authors, Lonnie Long and Gary Blackburn, to chart the years that ASA operated in Vietnam - occurring from 1961 to 1973. ASA is first ordered to Vietnam in 1961 by President John Kennedy to assist the Vietnamese government in correcting their dismal intelligence-gathering operations.  The mission was assigned a top-secret category, and every effort was made to hide their identity. So when the very first ASA team arrived in South Vietnam at Tan Son Nhut AFB in May 1961, the ninety-two team members did not wear uniforms but rather indistinguishable dark suits, white shirts, and dark ties. Each carried new red U.S. diplomatic passports and manila envelopes containing...

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Valentine’s Day by Charles A. Van Bibber

Valentine’s Day by Charles A. Van Bibber

In the late nineteen sixties, the author made a life-altering journey that led him out of Texas and into the U.S. Marine Corps and eventually into the jungles of Vietnam as a machine gunner during the tumultuous year 1968.   'Valentine's Day' (so named because Van Bidder's unit, 2nd Battalion, 27th Marine Regiment, departed Camp Pendleton for Vietnam on February 14, 1968) is a very excellent read.  What makes it so is the straightforward accounting by the author on the horror, boredom, camaraderie, humor, heroism he witnessed. He also is brutally honest about his own discomfort with war in general. However, this is not just an account of Marines in combat; it's also looks at changes in participants affected by war. This is true of every war that has ever been waged. For the warriors of old and those veterans of Vietnam and the Middle East, the war touched their lives forever, leaving an indelible mark in their hearts and minds. Van Bibber's book reflects this reality...

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