Cover image for On point : a rifleman's year in the boonies : Vietnam, 1967-1968
Title:
On point : a rifleman's year in the boonies : Vietnam, 1967-1968
Author:
Hayes, Roger S.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Novato, CA: Presido Press, 2000.
Physical Description:
xx, 249 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Language:
English
Reading Level:
1070 Lexile.
Personal Subject:
ISBN:
9780891417095
Format :
Book

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Call Number
Material Type
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Status
Central Library DS559.5 .H395 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Central Library DS559.5 .H395 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

A memoir of one American "grunt's" year-long tour of duty in Vietnam. For much of the time he served in the dangerous position of pointman. The author later came to the conclusions that the war was wrong, but here presents his personal impressions of his stint (chronologically constructed from the letters he sent home during his time there). Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR


Author Notes

Roger Hayes is a park ranger working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He lives with his family in Carlyle, Illinois.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The year Hayes, a typical draftee, spent in Vietnam saw the bloodiest fighting of the war, including the Tet offensive. He served with mechanized infantry (i.e., mounted in M-113 armored personnel carriers) in the 25th Infantry Division ("Tropic Lightning" aka "The Electric Strawberry"), which was heavily committed at Cu Chi and in the defense of Saigon. He saw his share of fighting, wounds, hardship, and successful R & R, eventually becoming, through a combination of competence and attrition, the second-ranking NCO in his company. He comes across as neither rebel nor victim--a survivor certainly worth several green lieutenants or "shake and bake" NCOs. He is a solid, sometimes vivid writer who provides, from the user's and sometimes the target's perspectives, valuable information on many of the weapons used in Vietnam, and shows consistent respect for the Vietnamese. He has made a good postwar life for himself. Vietnam memoirs are still multiplying like rabbits, but don't miss this one. It is way above average. --Roland Green


Publisher's Weekly Review

In October 1967, young Roger Hayes arrived in Vietnam for a 12-month tour as a rifleman with the U.S. Army's 25th Division. The tour coincided with the most violent year of the Vietnam War for American forces. Now, some 30 years after returning to the United States, Hayes has produced a literate and thoughtful journal of his time in beautiful, embattled Vietnam. Unlike many battlefield memoirs that focus on hardship and hardware, this is a work that addresses the culture of war, and of this war in particular, through the eyes of an intelligent innocent. The battles are certainly here, but their accounts contain fresh insights into even the most familiar aspects of war. As depicted by Hayes, American soldiers attempting to retrieve the bodies of their fallen comrades are unnerved because the spirit of the enemy lingers over the battlefield even after the fighting has been over for a day. Elsewhere, we learn that the Vietcong were rumored to have dismembered G.I. corpses in order to prevent them from being reincarnated into able-bodied men who could then become soldiers. Just as intriguing, though, are episodes recounting the daily lives of American troops in Vietnam, such as the horrifying and painful "immersion foot," whereby the sole of a soldier's foot became incorporated into the fabric of his socks or his boot sole. Packed with details and curious observations, this could easily wind up on university reading lists for courses examining the culture of war. Photos. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Hayes is a fine example of the American soldier or Marine on the cutting edge in the Vietnam War. Young, working-class, and intensely loyal to his fellow soldiers, he responded to his country's call in the simple conviction that its cause was just. Wounded four times, he served honorably and well throughout his yearlong tour as a member of a mechanized battalion in the 25th Division. Hayes offers the reader insight into the world of a frightened, green rifleman who evolves into a skilled and competent veteran squad leader. Personal narratives of frontline service tend to concentrate on battle scenes and the effects of these actions on the participants. Hayes prefers to spend much of his account describing the everyday life of the soldierDfood, comradeship, living quarters, relationships with civilians and officers, etc. A low-key, workmanlike memoir, this book is recommended for academic and public libraries.DJohn R. Vallely, Siena Coll. Lib., Loudonville, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Chapter One BEGINNINGS AND FOREWARNING Drafted My first military experience occurred long before I was inducted into the U.S. Army. When I turned eighteen in February 1965, I was summoned to Chicago from my home in Freeport, Illinois, for a draft board physical. About thirty of us from my high school class traveled to Chicago on a bus. Upon boarding early in the morning, I noticed that most of the young men with whom I would be traveling carried an envelope. Afraid that I was missing important documentation, I asked several of them about the contents. Each of them replied that it was something that pertained only to them. It turned out that the papers they were carrying were letters or documents from family physicians providing evidence of existing medical conditions that rendered each of them unfit for military service, thereby causing them to flunk the draft board physical examination. Several active members of our high school football and basketball teams who were there that day had bad backs or knees. Despite the resulting pain and discomfort, these individuals continued to compete on the school teams, thereby establishing evidence that the most athletically gifted and strongest of my high school counterparts were not physically eligible to be soldiers. Only three of us on the bus were considered fit enough to pass the physical.     In October 1966, at the age of nineteen, while in my third semester at a community college, I received a letter from my local draft board advising me that I had been reclassified 1-A, which signaled that I was ready to be drafted. I had previously been assigned a 2-S rating, which meant student deferment.     I visited the local draft board. "I am enrolled in college," I explained. "Here are my grades from last semester and my enrollment papers. Why am I now 1-A?"     "You didn't fill out our questionnaire," came the response.     "What questionnaire?"     "There was a notice on the bulletin board at your college."     "I didn't see it," I responded. "Can I fill it out now?"     "Nope, it's too late."     I thought for a moment. "Enrollment for next semester is next month," I said. "Would I be wasting my money by signing up?"     "Yes, you'll probably be drafted in May," I was told.     They had my number and probably had a quota to fill. If I had asked, they probably could have told me the date of my induction. Seven months later, in late April 1967, I received a telegram, the one that began with the word "Greetings," advising me that I had indeed been drafted and would enter military service on May 8, 1967. A letter to my congressman probably could have altered this situation, but my family was not like that. If the government needed you and called, it was time to go.     Because I knew well in advance that I would be a soldier, I had plenty of time, seven months, to become mentally prepared for leaving home and entering the army. The more usual way of getting drafted was to receive a telegram mandating induction within about two weeks. Most draftees had only fourteen days to get their affairs in order. With seven months to prepare, I was ready by the time May rolled around.     I found that the waiting period was similar to learning that you are to become a parent. In the nine months before the baby is born, the mother and father go through a period of mental and physical preparation, and by the time the baby arrives, they're ready.     The difference in being drafted was that rather than taking on the responsibility of caring for a dependent little one, I and other draftees were plucked out of the comfortable lives we knew and placed in a new and totally different environment. All ties with our previous world were cut off, except for those that came through the U.S. mail.     The experience was probably more traumatic because of our tender ages. We had only begun to explore the adult world we had not yet fully entered. Our family ties were still strong; most of us still lived under our parents' roofs.     I have concluded that people as young as we were, between the ages of nineteen and twenty-five, make the best soldiers for the same reason that they make the worst drivers: They have not yet realized their own mortality. People of that age do not know how easily death can occur. As a result, they take chances and willingly perform numerous dangerous tasks. I was no different.     During the months I had to prepare for being drafted, I had time to think about what was going on in the world. Of course, I was aware that my country was involved in a war in a land I had heard of on the news but could not locate on a map. I decided that if I was going to be a soldier, I wanted to be where the action was. I was certain that nothing would happen to me. All I have to do is be careful , I thought. One of the first lessons each of us learned in Vietnam, one that struck home quickly, was that this concept was about as wrong as it could be.     I would soon learn two things: First, there are certain things that soldiers in combat can do to reduce their chances of becoming a casualty; second, there are more ways to increase those chances. Both lessons had to be learned quickly, and most of the details were not taught during our training. Unfortunately, these skills and knowledge increased but did not guarantee a soldier's chance of surviving. In the end, those who died or were wounded terribly were not the poorest soldiers. They were not the least prepared or the least careful. Too many of them were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. It could have easily been someone else. It was, to a certain extent, the luck of the draw. TRAINING Fort Leonard Wood After being inducted into the U.S. Army in Chicago on May 8, 1967, I was sent to Fort Leonard Wood, in Missouri, for basic training. Several new inductees, including me, from northern Illinois were put on a train late in the evening of my first day in the military.     We rode throughout the night, and the next morning I awoke to excited chatter. My companions were gesturing and pointing to something outside the window. I joined them and received my first glimpse of the St. Louis arch across the Mississippi River. We crossed the river into St. Louis, Missouri, within half a mile of the famous landmark, then pulled into Union Station, where we would change trains. A few hours later I stood on the platform of the last train car as we traveled through the rural countryside of Missouri. As I watched the tracks disappear behind us, it occurred to me that these tracks were carrying me from the life I knew into a whole new world. But I had yet to realize that it would be a world filled with adventure, rich new relationships, and where danger would always lurk nearby.     My traveling companions and I spent the first day at Fort Leonard Wood in the civilian clothes we'd had on when we arrived. It felt strange standing in formation while wearing blue jeans. Most of us felt out of place because everyone else wore army fatigues. Later that day, we lined up for our first army haircut. Some of the guys joked, "Just a little off the sides," but everyone received the closest cut the barber could provide. For the first time since infancy, my scalp was exposed. Trying to place some of the guys I had come to know a little proved challenging with our new haircuts, and we laughed at one another's appearance.     The next day we were issued fatigues. Wearing them made us feel a lot more like soldiers, whether we wanted to or not. All of us had a long way to go, however, before the army would think of us as soldiers.     I was assigned to a basic training company that had been established in World War II-style Quonset huts in a previously unused field. All of the newer brick barracks were already in use, because so many troops were being pushed through training during the years when our country was engaged in war. Most training battalions are made up of three or four companies. The battalion to which I was assigned had six companies. I was in F Company, 1st Battalion, 3d Training Brigade.     Each of the eight Quonset huts that made up our company area consisted of a long, arched structure with the roof curving from one side to the other, forming a semicircle over our heads. The floor was concrete. Each hut housed a platoon of between thirty and forty men. Army bunks were arranged perpendicularly to the two walls, one after another, with an aisle down the middle. At the end of each bunk was a foot locker. Near the head of each bunk against the wall was an upright locker for storing our uniforms.     There was no plumbing in the platoon huts. A separate building held those facilities, and there we congregated each morning to shave, shower, and use the bathroom.     If we awoke in the night and had to go to the bathroom, we put on our pants and trudged to the latrine across the open area between the two rows of huts. I was grateful that my training was in May; this would not be fun in January.     Over the next few weeks we were taught to march, stand at attention, and recognize the rank insignia and other uniform characteristics that identified officers and noncommissioned officers (NCOs). We learned how to execute a proper salute, which we would use each time we encountered anyone at or above the rank of lieutenant.     One evening, a few of us were returning from the post exchange (PX), the store where we could purchase snacks, stationery, shoe polish, books, transistor radios, and other items. A military sedan carrying a major passed us on the street. The car circled around the block and pulled to a stop along the curb near us. The major emerged and chewed us out for not saluting him. We had not yet learned to recognize the flags on the front of the olive-drab vehicles that displayed the rank of the officer riding inside.     On another occasion, about halfway through the training cycle, I was the last of our company to leave the mess hall. In my right hand I was carrying a cookie, which I intended to enjoy later at my bunk. The last person I expected to see coming through the door as I exited was a lieutenant. In an instant I considered my alternatives. Do I transfer the cookie to my left hand so I can salute with my right? No, by the time I do that, the lieutenant will be past me. Almost instinctively, I threw up my left hand and performed a perfect salute, albeit with the wrong hand.     "Good evening, sir."     "Good evening," he responded, returning my salute.     I made it about half a dozen steps.     "Wait a minute. Get back here."     "Yes, sir?"     "Didn't they teach you the proper way to salute an officer? You never salute with your left hand. Now, drop and give me twenty-five push-ups."     My cookie waited for me on the sidewalk as I executed the prescribed exercises. To make sure the proper method of saluting was ingrained in my brain, the lieutenant had me salute him with my right hand before he excused me. Basic Training Objectives and a Personal Victory While in basic training--which is, in part, the indoctrination into military life--I snapped out of what I considered one of the world's biggest inferiority complexes. I realize, though, that to those who have them, they all seem large. Throughout my high school years, I suffered from an acute lack of self-confidence. In addition, my family was poor, and I and my brother and sister seldom had nice clothes to wear to school. My graduating class numbered more than four hundred, distributed among about four levels of social strata. I hovered comfortably near the bottom. I felt that I didn't know enough to hold up my end of a conversation on a wide variety of topics. In basic training, however, things changed for me.     The military has three main objectives in basic training, called boot camp by the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marines. One objective, of course, is to familiarize recruits--called trainees by the sergeants who composed the cadre--with military life. Through a series of lectures, lessons, and experiences, new soldiers learn how things work in the military and where they, as soldiers, fit in.     A second objective is to condition new soldiers to follow orders without question. A sergeant on a battlefield, for example, does not have the time, inclination, or opportunity to explain to the members of his platoon his decisions concerning the placement of weapons or people. To indoctrinate recruits with this concept, trainees are assigned a multitude of tasks that have no apparent purpose. The intention is that by the time the trainees get to a battlefield, they will be used to doing what they are told unquestioningly and not debate the sergeant on the placement of a machine gun or anything else.     The third objective of basic training, and the one that eliminated my inferiority complex, is the development of teamwork. For military effectiveness, it is important that soldiers learn that a group of individuals can accomplish feats that individual soldiers cannot. To be effective, one must become part of a team.     The first step in the progression toward teamwork is the elimination of those factors that make individuals unique. To accomplish this, the military sees to it that all trainees have the same haircut, wear the same clothes, and eat the same food, together as a group. They get up at the same time each morning and go to bed at the same time each night. They have the same schedule for polishing their boots and writing letters to mothers and wives or girlfriends. They clean the barracks as a team. Daily training activities are performed as a platoon, squad, or company. If it were possible, the army would probably have us all go to the bathroom at the same time, too, although that would place undue presure on the plumbing infrastructure.     Sometime during this process, I discovered that I was like everyone else, that no one was better or worse than the others. There were no football stars and no members of the most popular group of kids; none of us was considered smarter or dumber than anyone else. We were simply the same, which is exactly what the military expected. With this realization, my sense of inferiority that had kept me company for years went away, never to return. Basic training accomplished that. The war would soon begin to build a high degree of self-confidence.     The process of self-discipline is the next step in developing what the military calls unit cohesiveness, or teamwork. This involves the success or failure of the platoon, not of each individual therein. It also involves group punishment.     When individual soldiers break the rules or otherwise mess up, as they inevitably do, the platoon as a whole is punished for the acts of its individual members. If the shine on a soldier's boots does not meet the drill sergeant's approval, the entire platoon performs push-ups, goes into chow last, or is dealt some other form of punishment.     At first, members of the platoon feel sorry for the individuals who are the cause of the group's punishment and offer to help them. Eventually, however, the group resents being punished for the acts of those who never seem to get it. Some of the group will begin avoiding the troublemaker, although some will still attempt to help.     If this procedure is successful, the individual will fit in with the group and all will be forgiven, which results in unit cohesion. But if the individual fails to learn or try, the platoon builds up the pressure, which can lead to intimidation at the least and possibly violence, including acts sometimes referred to as blanket parties--a form of anonymous group punishment.     In this manner, people who fail to become integrated members of the platoon are weeded out or corrected. The army does not care which. The platoon takes care of its own problems. Although this process appears cruel, it is necessary in order to create a group of soldiers who can act as a single unit, as an effective military force. After going through this process, soldiers are more easily assimilated into whatever units they are assigned at the completion of training. Training Routines Because we were restricted to our company area during much of our training, we provided our own entertainment. In the evening after chow, we gathered on the low hillside outside the back door of our Quonset huts and told stories, talked about our girlfriends, and bragged of sexual exploits. Some of the guys brought out coffee cans and played them like conga drums, and we sang the songs of the day. I joined a few men who could sing harmony, and we sometimes performed for the others.     My favorite part of training was the rifle range. We marched, drilled, and learned to shoot M14 rifles, which were produced after World War II. We had heard of the newer M16 rifle, but none of us saw this weapon until we reached advanced individual training (AIT) for infantry. In my youth, I had shot my dad's .22 rifle a few times, but the M14 was the first serious rifle I had held. Our weapons training began with classroom blocks of instruction. It would be three weeks before any of our rifles were loaded with live rounds.     Once on the range, I learned that I was a natural marksman and qualified expert with the weapon, the highest rating possible. Qualifying involved identifying and firing at olive-drab pop-up targets that appeared at distances ranging from twenty-five to four hundred meters. Each target stayed up for only a few seconds, so it was advantageous to find the target as soon as possible, then aim and fire. For the farthest targets, I aimed at the head and was pleased to see the target drop when my round struck home.     Each morning we ran a mile before breakfast. After eating, we performed physical training (PT) led by one of our drill instructors from a raised wooden platform. Other sergeants circulated among the trainees to provide further guidance for specific exercises or, more commonly, to harass those who failed to complete the prescribed number of repetitions.     Because we did not have regular barracks and had been set up in a small, previously empty area, we didn't have a good spot to do our exercises. We performed them in a gravel parking lot. Dents formed in our hands during push-ups. Gravel dug into our backs during the ground exercises. A beginning routine developed that consisted of kicking some of the larger stones out of the way to make our immediate area more comfortable.     The live-fire exercise was one of the highlights of basic training. For the first time, we experienced machine-gun rounds fired over our heads as we negotiated a course. Two M60 machine guns were positioned on one end of the range and we began on the opposite end. The machine gun fired continuously as we crawled the distance. We were told that in a previous cycle, someone had stood up and was shot and killed. We were to utilize what was called the low crawl, which is performed with one's chest never leaving the ground. If we doubted that live rounds were being fired, all we had to do was glance up to see the red tracers zipping over our heads.     Multiple rows of barbed wire stretched throughout the course, and paths had been formed where trainees from other companies had crawled, then clawed their way under the rows of wire. It was easiest to follow these trails and low spots under the wire. Unfortunately, it had rained recently and the indentations were filled with water.     As we concluded the course, we were allowed to stand behind the machine guns and watch as our fellow trainees followed us. I was surprised to see that steel bars had been placed parallel to the ground under the barrel of each gun. This was to prevent the machine gunner from accidentally shooting any of us. In a way, it was a disappointment. We had believed that this was a life-threatening exercise. In actuality, we could have stood up and not been endangered.     Toward the end of our training, as we began performing as a unit and demonstrating the qualifications of someone who could make it in the army, the drill sergeants hinted that we were something more than "trainees," a term used in a derogatory way to describe civilians who had not yet made the successful transition to military life. We were proud to hear the word "soldier" enter our sergeants' vocabulary. They slowly began to treat us with less disdain. By the end of training, some of these sergeants became almost likable, something we would not have believed a few weeks previously.     I did not excel in every aspect of training, but I performed well enough to finish in the top third of the company. The scores came from written exams, physical training, weapon qualification, and completion of the various classes, ranges, and lectures. As a result, I--along with the others in the upper third of the company--was promoted to private E-2 upon graduation. Because there was no stripe for this grade in those days, the higher rank meant nothing more than a few more dollars on payday. Fort Polk Upon graduation from basic training, I was ready for the next step. I was sent to Fort Polk, in Louisiana, for advanced individual training along with others who had the military occupational specialty (MOS), or job, of infantryman. Our training brigade area was nicknamed Tiger Land. There was an arch over the entrance to the brigade area with a tiger painted on it. Every time we passed under the arch on the way in or out, we were to growl ferociously.     While in basic training, I volunteered for the infantry, not a difficult achievement during time of war. At Fort Polk, I was assigned to the mortar platoon of my infantry training company. I didn't want to be a mortar man, and I approached our first sergeant and asked if I could be transferred to a rifle platoon. He advised me that once I was in Vietnam, I'd probably be a rifleman anyway and, once I was, I might be glad that I had received mortar training. It would teach me to discern whether an unexploded round was ours or the enemy's, and what type of round it was. I'm pretty sure he was just politely putting me off to avoid hassling with the paperwork, but it actually turned out the way he described, although probably based more on coincidence than anything else.     So I was trained as a mortar man. We operated in teams of three, learning how to set up the mortar tubes, then peering through the side-mounted sights and aligning crosshairs on red and white aiming stakes a short distance away. The stakes were one of the few things in the army that were not olive drab or black.     The platoon fired the mortars only once, and I was sick that day. To qualify with mortars, however, all we had to do was set them up properly within a specified time period. The team I was with had learned well; all of us were able to perform each role. We aced the qualification and were assigned the rating of expert with the 81mm mortar. Firing the mortars consisted only of attaching the appropriate number of charges on the fins, which determined how far the round would fly, then dropping the round in the tube once the gun was set up. The more critical act was aiming the tube, and we excelled at that.     One of the most memorable events of advanced individual training (AIT) was the escape and evasion (E&E) course. For this exercise, we were trucked out to an area in the boonies and dropped off. The objective was to get back to a designated location, point A, on our own--a distance of maybe a mile, although it seemed like several. The woods were full of "aggressors," soldiers from some other permanent unit of Fort Polk, who would to try to catch us on the course. If caught, we were taken to a detention or "prisoner-of-war" camp, where we would be interrogated and "tortured."     The torture consisted of inflicting punishment and pain without causing permanent damage. We had heard stories from trainees from other companies who had gone through E&E before us. In one form of punishment, "prisoners" were placed flat on the ground with arms and legs extended as far as possible and tied to stakes in the ground. Then a wire was stretched across the upper lip of the unfortunate detainee and fastened to stakes pounded in the ground on either side of him. When the prisoner failed to respond to questions to which the correct response was more than name, rank, and serial number, the aggressors would kick his feet. Some of our peers came back from the detainee camp with cuts on their upper lips. This infuriated us; our peers were being brutally mistreated, and the physical scars were against the rules of engagement.     Others were forced to do push-ups until they could do no more. Some were placed naked in a fifty-five-gallon drum and a large block of ice was dropped in their laps, then the lid was put in place and the drum was beaten with clubs.     There was no way I was going to end up in the prisoner-of-war camp. But then, I've always been good at sneaking around in the woods. The most dangerous part of the course came when the group I was with approached a road that had to be crossed to reach point A, our objective. There were plenty of secluded locations offering a good view of the road where we supposed the lazy or more unimaginative aggressors would be hiding.     A few of us gathered in the darkness where we could see the road, whispering to one another and wondering where to cross. Someone volunteered to try it, and he was chased. The rest of us made a mass run for it while the aggressors were busy. I was pursued briefly, but I melted easily into the woods. For the remainder of the course, I stuck to the swamps, where I figured that no aggressors would be lurking. I saw or heard a few, but they were easy to evade.     Afterward, a few of us who were upset about the treatment that our fellow trainees had received in the detention camp began making plans to return to the camp over the weekend and burn it to the ground. On Friday morning, however, our sergeants handed out three-day passes, the first we had received since we arrived at Fort Polk. We were being given a holiday off base. Our priorities quickly changed, and we forgot all about revenge. Perhaps the timing of the three-day passes was more than coincidental.     In AIT, we qualified with M16s. Those of us in the mortar platoon also trained and qualified with the .45-caliber pistol. Once again I excelled in shooting and qualified expert with each weapon, as well as the mortars.     The .45 was the most difficult. This weapon was designed and produced with interchangeable parts, and the action was loose enough so that it could be fired after being dropped in mud, dirt, or sand. It was reliable only at short range. To qualify expert required hitting a human silhouette placed twenty-five meters away at least twenty-five out of thirty times. I was lucky and made the minimum number of hits to qualify expert. I'm not sure I could have done it twice.     As in basic training, I graduated from AIT in the upper third of my class and was promoted to private first class, E-3 (enlistment grade 3). Receiving my first stripe was a short-lived glory, though, because of a regulation mandating that no one under the rank of E-3 could be sent to Vietnam. That hurdle, if the rumors were true, was overcome by promoting to private first class everyone who arrived in Vietnam who had not yet attained the coveted grade.     I didn't have long to swagger around with my one stripe. I had been in the army for six months, and within days I would begin a month's leave prior to being shipped to Vietnam. Copyright (c) 2000 Roger S. Hayes. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. vi
Introductionp. xiii
Acknowledgmentsp. xviii
Glossaryp. xix
1. Beginnings and Forewarningp. 1
2. Trainingp. 4
3. In-Countryp. 15
4. Joining the Companyp. 26
5. Field Expediencyp. 36
6. Learning the Ropesp. 55
7. Tacticsp. 70
8. Life in the Namp. 93
9. Saddle Up; We're Moving Outp. 112
10. The Enemyp. 120
11. The Year of the Monkeyp. 124
12. In Contactp. 132
13. First Bloodp. 141
14. Recuperationp. 147
15. Back Outp. 163
16. Rain and Bloodp. 173
17. Squad Leader, Bobcat Charlie 23p. 186
18. Combat Operationsp. 197
19. Last Battlep. 228
20. Dau Tiengp. 232
21. Going Homep. 243
Epiloguep. 245
Appendixp. 249

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