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Combat Corpsman: The Vietnam Memoir of a Navy Seals Medic Paperback – November 1, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Greg McPartlin is a former Navy SEALs medic who served a year in Vietnam just as the war was escalating. He is the owner of McP's, a SEAL hangout bar in Coronado, California.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (November 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425205827
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425205822
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Kay's Husband on July 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is a very readable and informing memoir by a past Marine and eventual Navy SEAL Corpsman, better known as "Doc" to all those broken in combat he mended.

The majority of the book tells of his service in Vietnam during the mid to late 1960's, with the west coast branch of SEALS. Most SEALS were only stationed in country for 6 months at a time, for as the author states, the constant intensity could dull their senses, and that could cost them their lives. The North Vietnamese put bounties on all these "green faced men" hoping to kill a SEAL whenever possible. The bounty was both a tribute of their respect for the SEALS but also a sign of their deep-seated fear of the SEALS.

I was leaving the Navy to come back for college at about the time Greg McPartlin was entering the Navy. So some of the topics he talks about are very familiar to me, but a reader does not need to be "prior service" to read and enjoy this book.

In a review written for The Military Book Club recently, I stated that this book is one of very few excellent books it's been my good fortune to encounter. His story and that of his fellow SEALS will give the reader an insider's view of the "above and beyond" nature of service all these men gave, and each of these individuals are true heroes in the best sense of the word. Though undoubtedly each would not find that a compliment with which they are comfortable. They, for example, would turn down a Purple Heart award, unless they were terribly wounded. No rear echelon types here; however that may be, all of these men are some of the finest to ever wear the uniform of the United States.

Only two items would have made this a stronger book: a good map of Vietnam showing the area Mr. McPartlin describes; and a few pictures of all the men in his group.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stratiotes Doxha Theon VINE VOICE on November 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
If Navy SEALs are considered the toughest combat troops in the US forces, then their corpsmen have to be the toughest of the toughest. Here is the story of a young man's search for significance and adventure played out in the crucible of Vietnam. Young men like Mr. McPartlin are America's greatest asset. That there are such men in an the modern age of cynicism and distrust is nothing short of amazing. As the legendary Col. John Boyd was fond of reminding us, "machines don't fight wars, people do, and they use their minds." Upon reading this book, one would add "the toughest use their heart."

In this book, Mr. McPartlin takes us to the heart of the warrior code. Along the way he applies that code not just to a passion for battle but a passion for the lives of his fellow warriors as well as the enemy combatants he finds in his care. Here is the epitomy of an American warrior hero. Mr. McPartlin represents the kind of American warrior we all wish we could be - courageous, tough, and yet without loss of compassion. The toughest of the tough are those willing to care in the face of hopeless and impossible situations. Once you start the journey with Mr. McPartlin, you will want to carry on to the end.
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By EMT on October 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book found me. I was not exactly looking for a good book to curl up with. As a matter of fact, I was not looking for a book at all! I was shopping for my home when I found this book laying with some discounted cook books on display. My father was a combat medic in Vietnam at the same time the author was. I had lost my father 6 months prior to finding this book in 2009. Spooky, but true. Anyway, It peeked my curiosity and I bought the book. A TRULY AWESOME BOOK!!!! Those of you who are retired service men and women of the Vietnam war or have family members who have served in Vietnam who cannot talk openly about experiences of the war and who have suffered with PTSD for many years (as did my father who never openly spoke of his experience). This book gives a vivid depiction AND understanding of what it was like there. I highly recommend this book to anyone!
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By Thorson74 on July 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
The first time I read this book, I had borrowed it from my local library about two years ago. I could not put it down! I read it again about six months ago, and I know I will read it again. Too bad it couldnt be made into a movie, and keep its integrity.
Mr. Mcpartlin brings you into the story so well, you just cant wait to see what is going to happen next. From the first page to the last you will be gripped and entertained, and frankly, wanting more when it is done.
Since my first reading, I have bought this book three times. Two of them I gave as gifts for people I thought would like the book, AND THEY LOVED IT.
Combat Corpsman was one of the first memoirs of the Vietnam war I read. I have now read about twenty, and this is one of the best I have come across. I truly recommend it to anyone to read.
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By DahRock Obama on October 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was great, not a single thing wrong with the book. I love some of the humor the author puts in there. These SEALs in Vietnam were some of the bravest men ever, this gave great insight to what it felt like to be a soldier in vietnam. Overall probably one of the best reads in my perspective.
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By Doc on February 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book very emtional. These are stories told in a biographical or stories of the men who were there and told of their stories about who that corpsmen of medics did for them. Some are just downright unbelievable. I am proud to have carried on their(our) traditions.
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