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In 2003 (after decades of scribbles and a drawer of notes) I finally completed my memoir, "They Called Us Grunts." What was intended for my family turned into a published (limited) hardcover edition.
I wrote my memoir as seen from the eyes and mind of the twenty-one year old draftee I was at that time. Surprisingly, many of the veterans who read my book felt the same way. Many even said it helped them rethink (in a good way) of their own time in Nam.
The book is an uncut account of my tour of duty in Vietnam (To the best of my recollection). If some entries seem vulgar, obscene or offensive, they probably are. I wrote of the war as I lived it. I offer no apology other than to say my moral values today would not condone such a lifestyle.
"They Called Us Grunts" is now available as an ebook on Amazon.com. Those of you with a subscription to Amazon's Prime Reader can download and read it for free on your Kindle App.
"Noli Me Tangere"
Mar '67 - Mar '68
Reply with quote #2
Welcome home Brother. I to have completed my memoirs on my tour of Viet Nam last Wes. What I need to do now, is to have them edited and published. I need to obtain publishing rights on picture's that are not mine etc. that I added into my memoirs. Thank you so much for posting. You wrote the one line that I really needed to read. I was concerned about the vulgar and boom, boom girls that I put into my memoirs. I agree our moral values today would not condone such lifestyle . We have to tell it like it was in Viet Nam, or it would not have any meaning to the reader. "WAR IS HELL!" There is not one Veteran out there, that has been in combat, would disagree. Joe Fair has done really well on his book. I pray that we can do the same with our memoirs, as Joe has done on his memoirs. Good Luck! Patton Black Scarf Battalion 1/2 Delta Company, November Platoon RTO Recon. 29er Platoon RTO, Point Man Nam June 67-68.
Reply with quote #3
Thanks for what you said.
My biggest concern when writing my memoirs was in how people would react to the language I used not to mention some of what I wrote about. I was especially concerned as to what my daughters would say. As it turned out no one made any mention of being offended. Those that did respond thanked me. It was like getting the "Welcome Home" none of us received.
Reply with quote #4
If y'all are worried about the language in your respective books, read John Del Vecchio's "The 13th Valley", a highly, critically acclaimed fiction of the war.
Very rough language, which made the novel more realistic. Lay it out the way it was. Someone has to, as the media never did.
Reply with quote #5
Steve, your more than welcome Brother.
BCC thanks for your impute, and your right on about the media. I agree, tell it like it was. On another note. My Son-in- Law, his Stepmother his a fiction novelist she has written over thirty books to her credit. I have made contact with her and she has now introduced me to some of her editor's for me to choose to edit my memoirs. I received an e-mail from one of them, a lady who studied about the Viet Nam War, not only that she has family member's that were in the war. Which makes her a perfect candidate to edit my memoirs. She is not only an editor of non-fiction and fiction but she is all so a writer. I must say, its not going to be cheap to have my edited but it will be a good read. Yes, I have included the History of the Black Scarf Battalion. That is all. Patton Black Scarf Battalion 1/2 Nam June 67' June 68'
Reply with quote #6
The best of luck on your book. I will down load it to my Kindle and read it in the next few days once I finish the book I am currently reading. I will also write a review at Amazon.com. My book, Call Sign Dracula- My Tour With The Black Scarves April 1969 to March 1970 was published March 2014 by Sunbury Press. Perhaps you have read it. Thanks for writing your story for all to read. Joe Fair A 1/2
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I just downloaded your book a couple of days ago. I'm about a quarter of my way through.
I enjoy how you mention little things that only those of us who had been there would know about, because I mentioned then also (e.g., the gecko lizard, and the furn that curled up when it was touched).
I'll also give you a review on Amazon when I finish reading your book.
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I am enjoying the hell out of your book! Just read a section that had me laughing.
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Like I said at the beginning of the book, "If I make you laugh, I've done my job."
In addition to laughing perhaps you will recall some of your own memories from fifty years ago.
I'm hoping other readers do the same.
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I finished the book this afternoon. Don't think I have ever read a book that fast, but it was hard to put it down. I was there with HHC, 2/2 from February 3, 1967 to Jan 30, 1968. I was in the Ground Surveillance (radar) section. We spent most of our time attached to the line companies and spent a lot of time with "B" company. Many of the things you have in your book are shared experiences and are also in my book. As you know when you get a little age on you, the memory gets a little rusty and sometimes I found myself questioning the things I had written. When I saw the same memories in your book it put my mind at ease knowing that someone else remembered them the same way. Your language was dead-on and any GI will understand the language you used because they have spoken the same. GREAT JOB! I highly recommend this book to other members of 2nd Infantry Regiment. Tom
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I appreciate your candor.
Yes the book is a quick read. My aim (for the veterans anyway) is that they will pause to reflect on their own memories of the same or similar events.
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Still trying to find and down klar your book They Called US Grunts,very anxious to read....All of you Guys keep inspiring je to finish ja book "Jungle Date".As Tom as mentioned many Times that as we all mature with time our memories tend to lose clatity of year gone by of our service in the NAM after 50 plus years. I don't want to print unintented Dates....I congratulate all of you schon have completed your books.Joe I have already read your book that you gave to me at the Reunion at Pigeon Forge in 2014. Stephen I know that we bumped into each other in the chop-chop Line,ha,ha,ha...Again I am looking forward to Reading your book.
B 2/2 Inf, 3rd Platoon,Track B231
9 Dec 1967-10 Dec 1968
Reply with quote #13
I have read your book and found it most interesting and a very good read. Job well done! I have written a review on Amazon.com Joe Fair A 1/2 April 1969 to March 1970 Author of Call Sign Dracula
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Hi Stephen, just got through reading your book....good reading and it brought back alot of memories especially the Battle of Xom Bung because it was on my mothers birthday 6 Jan 1968 and the really the first day of my baptism in batlle, the day I carried my first KIA (the medic from the 18th Inf who was left behind) out of the hedgerow/rice paddy, and I was left for dead in the jungle that day after we went back into the jungle after ther Air Strikes. It was about 1200 Hours on 6 Jan 1968 when B 2/2 was set up on highground adjacent a small hamlet. I just had opened a can of Chicken Noodle C-Rations when B 2/2 was alerted to RIF for the 18th Inf who had made heavy contact with the VC. So off we went down the hill like Hell on Wheels, as we go closer we you see that the rest of the 18th Inf was being airlifted from the location. We dismounted from our carriers and began to sweep the woodline. Victor Charlie opened up with a machine gun, we hit the ground for cover. I was on the far left flank of the my Platoon (3rd Platoon) of the company left flank. We got up again, I was moving to the far edge of the hedgrow when Victor Charlie opened up again, once more we hit the ground, lucky for me because that barrage of machine gun fire came as I almost entered the kill zone. With the amount of machine gun fire Cpt Gratzer ordered us to pull back to the rice paddy and yelled for the body of the medic to be picked up. Me and Rodriquez went to the area where the medic was still in kneeling position where he was killed. He was a red haired guy. I picked up the medic by his wrist and Rodriquez held him by his feet, once again Charlie opened up with his machine gun, we hit the ground with the body of the medic, Cpt Gratzer was yelling loud for us to get out of there, we pick the medic back up, he was getting heavy, I looked at the medic and did not see any wounds on his body, again Charlie opened up with that machine gun and we hit the ground, the shock of the impact shook the head of the dead medic thus moving a patch of his red hair scalp showing where he'd been shot in the head. Rodriquez picked up the medic again, it was hot, sweat was running down my face into my eyes and I wished that I'd eaten those C-Rations for extra strenght, the medic was getting heavier and heavier, finally some guys from our came to our help, we put the medic into a poncho, carried him for about 10 meters and he busted through the poncho, we finally got the medics body back to our Track B231.Air strikes came in droping bombs and Napalm..Then Cpt. Gratzer said that we were going back in to sweep the area (I thought to myself he must be crazy). Once inside the jungle I was next to the last man in the Platoon column with SP4 Smith when Charlie opened up on us again with those machine guns..we all started to quickly DI-DI-MAU the area, as we came to a small clearing I twisted my ankle, I went down, my helmet falling of my head, my weapon flying in the air as I called for medic.the medic in my Platoon was a CO (conciencious objector) he turned around watched me as I hit the ground and kept on beating foot out of there....soon I was all alone in the jungle. After a few minutes I finally got myself onto my feet and started slowly limping towards the direction were the platoon had fled...10 minutes later the platoon came back to pick me up....Lucky for me Charlie did not sweep the area where I was laying!!!!!!!!!