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On Point Mass Market Paperback – December 9, 2001


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (December 9, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312980442
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312980443
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.8 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,803,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Don't miss this one."--Booklist

"Well-written, combat-heavy memoir."--The VVA Veteran

About the Author

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

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 10, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As a former Army draftee (Medic) who served late during the Era 1969-1971 I was taken by the humility with which Roger Hayes writes about his experiences. He does not portray himself as a hero but simply as a victim of circumstance who accepted the challenge of being drafted and like many other draftees made the most of it. The book is written in simplistic term with occasional bits of GI lingo of that time dispersed throughout which also appealed to me. It was my privelige to serve with many other GI's the majority much like Roger Hayes. He does a good job of telling the story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James B. Walker on September 26, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This reviewer has read dozens of first-person accounts of infantry combat in Vietnam, and ON POINT ranks among the best of them. Especially impressive are the author's descriptions of the many small details inherent in the life of a typical 'grunt' - details not normally covered in most books on this subject. For instance, in addition to his excellent tales of infantry combat, author Hayes also provides us with information about the average infantryman's weaponry, uniforms, equipment, additional duties, medical treatment, rations, and a host of other interesting subjects. Another plus is Hughes' avoidance of lengthy discussions about the politics of the Vietnam War. This makes ON POINT a welcome departure from the clear anti-war, anti-military bias that is so apparent in such books as 'A Rumor of War' and 'About Face.' However, ON POINT does have a few glitches. Chief among these is Hayes' claim that the Russian-designed AK-47 assault rifle fires the same ammunition as the American M14 rifle and M60 machine gun. That's absolutely untrue because of the differences in cartridge case length and chamber headspace dimensions between the Communist and American weapons. There are also many minor errors, such as referring to the Combat Infantryman's Badge as a 'medal'; the use of 'air force' instead of Air Force; a reference to Eric 'Burton' (instead of Eric Burdon) of the rock group The Animals; the omission of the M1911A1 .45-caliber pistol from a list of standard infantry weapons; and the constant incorrect use of the word 'rounds' instead of 'bullets' (i.e., "we could hear the rounds zing past us..."). Quite a few other small mistakes appear throughout the text, but these are overshadowed by the book's assets. Anyone with an interest in the Vietnam War from the infantryman's point of view will probably enjoy ON POINT.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Albarelli on May 19, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Congress should pass a law that requires everyone who has seen the movie "Platoon," to read this book, and those who had voted the movie best picture of the year, to read it twice. "On Point" is good at keeping it simple, and it is a realistic depiction of life in a combat unit during the height of the Vietnam War, 1968-69. Its attention to the details of daily life and the recollections of firefights and incidents are impressive, given the detrimental effect time has on memory. Hayes must have kept a good supply of paper and pens in his track to write all those letters to his mother. That's an advantage mechanized grunts had.
Though the book reads like a field manual in places, it goes deep into the action and portrays it factually. It is very apparent at the outset of the book that Hayes is not a professional writer, but his skills improve as the book progresses, just as his skills and prowess in the field progressed over the 12 months he was in Vietnam. This makes the book come alive and seem very honest.
The autobiography lacks emotional reactions to the tragedies of combat that the author and his friends must have felt. It doesn't hint at any religious inclinations--the no-atheist-in-foxhole syndrome. But Hayes didn't deny having any, so maybe he did. Surely, he did deny that he smoked pot, drank booze, and went whore hounding. Why not touch on the most poignant thing about combat--the emotional response to life and death itself? The only really human response in the book is Hayes' reactions to life in the "world" after his return. Granted, Vietnam was not the hell that the movies and novels pretend it was. It was not as intense as the endless shelling of positions in WWI, the massive invasions in WWII, or the human wave attacks of Korea.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nate Dray on September 11, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A candid straight-talking memoir from a Vietnam veteran who served in III Corps region around Saigon and Cu Chi in the 25th Infantry from Oct 1967 to Oct. 1968. He was Armored Infantry and was involved in some of the heaviest operations of the war.

The memoir gives one great insight into how many soldiers on the ground must have felt. They fought for one another and weren't particularly concerned with the philosophical ramifications of their actions. Understandably so. Devoid of strategic shop-talk or academic sociology lessons, the account is related without criticizing or defending the US involvement in Vietnam. It's an objective and human telling. Hayes' suprised me with his discipline and compassion. A great read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MikieB on March 22, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I went to high school with Roger. The way he comes across in this book is the way he comes across in real life. These are first hand accounts, not "war stories". This book was required reading by the Army's Advanced Officer's Course. It was recommended reading Army War College, and the Command General and Staff College. It was required reading for all Juniors at a university in Arkansas. It also won two other awards from military organizations. Roger is a very mild mannered individual, and does not embellish anything in the book. If anything he is very under spoken. The book is an excellent read and very true to fact.
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