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Boys of '67: From Vietnam to Iraq, the Extraordinary Story of a Few Good Men [Kindle Edition]

Charles Jones , Tony Zinni , Anthony C. Zinni
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

At once a gritty, intimate account of combat, an inside look at military leadership in a turbulent era at home and abroad, and a sweeping saga of the modern-day United States Marine Corps, Boys of '67 tells the story of a trio of extraordinary Marines. James Jones rose to become the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO. Ray "E-Tool" Smith saw combat in Grenada and Beirut in 1983. Marty Steele reshaped the Marines' tank forces. Together, they represent a generation of Marines who met unprecedented challenges and made the Corps America's premier fighting force.

Editorial Reviews


A great read. --Richmond Times-Dispatch

A riveting and entertaining overview of the Corps over the last three decades. --New York Post

A welcome addition to any war fighters professional library. --Leatherneck

From the Author

I never planned to write a book about the Marine Corps. Though I grew up as a Marine "dependent," with a brother who fought in Vietnam and a father who was a three-star general, I was into reading Kesey, not Clausewitz. But the Corps kept invading my personal space -- especially in the form of a tall, adventurous first cousin who became a Marine and followed in my father’s footsteps.

By the late 1990s, Gen. James L. Jones, had become the top military advisor to then-Secretary of Defense William Cohen. In 1999, Cohen named Jim the 32nd Commandant of the Marine Corps. -- a powerful post that put on him on the president’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.

As a newspaper reporter, I began to reflect on the more than 50 years of military service of my family members, and, after my father’s death, began to think about chronicling their stories.

This effort expanded into something far beyond a family saga to encompass the Marine Officer Basic School graduating class of April 5, 1967. I met living legend Maj. Gen. Ray Smith, a highly- decorated officer and hero of the Battle of Hue City. I got to know a passionate man from Fayetteville, Ark., Lt. Gen. Marty Steele, who fought for racial justice and took on more than his share of other burdens for Corps and country.

"Boys of ‘67" tells their stories, and sheds new light on this proud, idealistic, and courageous fighting organization -- the U.S. Marine Corps.

Product Details

  • File Size: 5063 KB
  • Print Length: 436 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0811733947
  • Publisher: Stackpole Books (February 1, 2006)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #663,503 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Marine Corps in way you've never seen before March 26, 2006
I've read a fair amount about Marines, everything from your straight up shooter memoirs to scholarly stuff in the Marine Corps Gazette, Marine Times, Naval Proceedings and so on. Boys of '67, however, is unlike the others. It focuses on three 2nd Lt.'s fresh out of Basic in April 1967 and follows them for the next four decades as they and the corps change and grow. It mixes combat and peace and politics like a novel. Sort of spoiler -

The 2nd Lt.'s all become generals. In fact, one, 4 star general James Jones, is the current commander of NATO. How he got there from a hilltop in Vietnam surrounded by the NVA is nothing short of amazing.

This book reads like an epic, and it is. ONe of the other 2nd Lt's son ends up a Cobra pilot and from there now flies Marine One for the President! This is a book about Marines, their Corps and their country. More than that though, it's about their devotion to duty and to each other. If you want an uplifting read about men of honor and how they fought and bled for this country I highly recommend this book.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Inspiring Portrait Of Three USMC Generals June 5, 2006
"Boys Of `67" is a brilliant and coherent chronicle that follows the lives of three Marines who trained together in 1967 and who went on to almost mythical heights with their careers. This book is inspiring and entertaining; but above all, this is a fascinating tale of how three young Marines go through their careers and become generals.

The book takes us from their officer training to Vietnam and beyond. These men are true heroes in the very sense of that word. You cannot help but admire them as they are portrayed in the pages of Charles Jones' book. He takes this journey of their three individual lives and masterly weaves them altogether so that we can more fully understand the significance of what these men were able to do.

This book honors the finest traditions of the Marine Corps and the men and women who proudly serve. It is full of history, facts, insights, and personal observations. It is also a little controversial with its stand on how the war in Iraq was handled. It comes off as an honest and well balanced look at modern warfare and policy; however, the book is really about the men who fought those wars and who dealt with the results of those policy decisions.

I fully recommend this book to read! It receives the MWSA's Top Rating of Five Stars!

This book also receives my personal endorsement!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Boys of 67" is a Great Read in '06 April 24, 2006
The new book by Charles (Chip) Jones titled "The Boys of '67" is an extremely well written, thoughtful account of three Marine officers as they make their way in the United States Marine Corps and life. This book can be read and appreciated in a number of ways: as a recent history of the Marine Corps; as a review of some of the major foreign policy efforts of the U.S. over the past 40 years or as the compelling, engaging and thoroughly human story of three fascinating men and those around them. I think the book works on all three levels.

The first chapter delves right into the recent run up to the war in Iraq and offers some new insight into that planning.My first impression was that this chapter was a jarring introduction to the story that Jones lays out. After reading further and understanding how the Marines are called on to jump into battle on a moments notice, this first chapter begun to make sense as it illustrated how unexpectedly the Marine Corps can be asked to move into one of their many roles.

After the first exciting chapter, the story Jones tells settles down to a chronological account of how Jim Jones, Ray Smith and Marty Steele forge and lead their way into Marine Corps history. I found the the book to be a "page turner". Charles Jones writing style and his skill as a researcher/historian shows the hallmarks of a writer who has honed his craft making "The Boys of '67" pleasurable reading from start to finish.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Living History April 26, 2006
The "Boys of '67" is simply terrific. As an army enlisted soldier and Vietnam vet, reading the early chapters of this book brought back many memories. What's most interesting about "Boys of '67" is it follows three future marine generals careers from basic officer school at Quantico through their Vietnam deployment and through post-Vietnam, Grenada, Lebanon, the first Gulf War, Somalia, the peace-keeping deployments of the 1990s, and Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. It's like reading the recent history of the Marine Corps in one book.

The "Boys of '67" is a fabulous read and lays out for future officers what it takes to succeed in a military career.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Read! May 1, 2006
Duty, Honor, Country". If anyone is looking for a definition, read The Boys of 67. The book is a extraordinary account of Marine Corps history in the last 40 years as reflected in the careers of 3 accomplished officers. Jones' puts the reader onsite to experience first hand the events and circumstances that ultimately shape leaders of the Corps. Jones' writing style is fluent and very readable, does not get bogged down in too much technical terminology but uses just enough jarhead jargon and detail to keep the reader engaged in the military milieu. The reader will get a real sense of being part of the scene in the battle sites of Vietnam, Grenada and Beirut, and a real appreciation for what it really means to be one of a "few good men". Being a son, grandson, brother and brother-in-law to Marine Officers, this book puts into perspective the family of which I am a part. Anyone associated with the Corps, vets, active duty, wives and dependents, will enjoy this book and feel the same sense of pride and appreciation for such a fine group of men diligently standing watch for our sakes.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating story
Highly recommended reading. Behind the scenes accounting of who modern day Marines are and what motivates them. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Bill
3.0 out of 5 stars Good action but a little hard to follow
This book started strong with good storytelling and action. Then it tapered off and I never finished it. It was also a little difficult to follow at times.
Published 14 months ago by Charles D Anderson
2.0 out of 5 stars As an NCO, I couldn't relate & deleted after only a few pages...
After about 10 minutes of reading this, I found myself unable to relate. It felt like the author was beating his chest and messaging me to "look at me & my officer buddies". Read more
Published 15 months ago by john
5.0 out of 5 stars Great modern history of the Marine Corps
Just the right amount of detail following 3 instrumental leaders of the modern Corps. Apt insider descriptions of Grenada, Beirut and Gulf War 1 as well.
Published 20 months ago by R. Welch
3.0 out of 5 stars It's okay!
Being a Vietnam vet to me this book was not very interesting and to me there was some things that I did not agree with. I'm not saying it's not totally true.
Published 20 months ago by Ronald Jackson
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book
This book was originally recommended to me by a Marine who thought I might be interested in the story of General Ray Smith and his opposition to women in Combat. Read more
Published on June 16, 2010 by Norman J. Fulkerson
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for any Marine
As a Marine officer of the same year group (1967)with personal knowedge of these men, I could not put the book down. Its realism leaps out at you. Read more
Published on July 4, 2009 by Virginia Gentleman
3.0 out of 5 stars A disappointing beginning
I have just begun to read this book and the first chapter begins with sniping at General Tommy Franks and the Bush administration. Read more
Published on March 25, 2006 by Michael T Kennedy
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More About the Author

Charles (Chip) Jones is an award-winning journalist and author of three works of nonfiction: Boys of '67: From Vietnam to Iraq, the Extraordinary Story of a Few Good Men (2006, Stackpole Books); Red, White Or Yellow? The Media & the Military at War in Iraq (2008, Stackpole Books); and War Shots: Norm Hatch and the Marine Corps Combat Cameramen of World War II (2011, Stackpole Books).

Boys of '67 follows a group of young Marine officers from their start at Basic School in Quantico, Virginia through the Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War, the tumultuous 1970s, and up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. One of the three main characters, Gen. James L. Jones, is Jones' first cousin. Jones' late father was Lt. General William K. Jones, a hero of a number of the Marine Corps' Pacific campaigns of World War II.

Red, White or Yellow examines the miscues of the media in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and profiles the work of a lone Marine Corps public affairs officer handling media inquiries at Camp Fallujah.

War Shots tells the story of the Marine combat cameramen in World War II through the eyes of a living legend, Norman T. Hatch, who found a way to film two of the most important battles of the war: Tarawa and Iwo Jima. Jones got to know Hatch after meeting him at a speaking engagement and was astounded no one had yet written the story of his remarkable life.

The book's web site is

A 1974 graduate of the University of Kansas and the Hollins College creative writing program in 1989, Jones worked as a reporter at the Roanoke Times and Richmond Times-Dispatch, and was associate editor of Virginia Business magazine. He's married to Deborah Jones, his creative partner in literature and music in Richmond, Virginia. They have three grown children: Lauren, Chief, and Mary.

Jones serves as communications and marketing director for the Richmond Academy of Medicine and Access Now, a specialty health care program for the uninsured. He can be reached for speaking engagements and book signings at or 804-622-8136.


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