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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Guns are Silent, but the Memories Remain
The Guns are Silent, but the Memories Remain
I've always enjoyed "where are they now" reminisces. General Hal Moore and Combat Reporter Joe Galloway do yeoman's work in this sequel to We Were Soldiers Once...and Young. The original book was about the horrific first major battle of the Vietnam War in the Ia Drang Valley in November 1965. Surrounded and barely able...
Published on September 12, 2009 by Robert C. Olson

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18 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK follow up
Maybe my expectations were too high....after all 'We Were Soldiers Once..and Young' is one of the all time great narratives of war. This one pales by comparison, but it still worth picking up. It's more a reflective piece and in that regard gets too self-absorbed in places. Definitely worth the read, but don't expect to get swept up like the first book.
Published on September 8, 2008 by madhatter


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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Guns are Silent, but the Memories Remain, September 12, 2009
By 
Robert C. Olson (Vacaville, California USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
The Guns are Silent, but the Memories Remain
I've always enjoyed "where are they now" reminisces. General Hal Moore and Combat Reporter Joe Galloway do yeoman's work in this sequel to We Were Soldiers Once...and Young. The original book was about the horrific first major battle of the Vietnam War in the Ia Drang Valley in November 1965. Surrounded and barely able to escape with the remnants of his battalion after 3 days of ferocious combat, General Moore longed to one day return to that hallowed ground that so many American and Vietnamese fought and died for. Finally after lengthy bureaucratic delays, he and 10 veterans of that now fabled battle, plus several of the enemy commanders, returned to the "Forest of the Screaming Souls"-The Ia Drang Valley. This book is their story of completing the circle, of putting to rest the combat demons that try men's souls. Further, the book allows the authors to explore how that war changed them all, as well as the two countries. It was an emotional journey both back to the past and to the future as Moore and Galloway examine how that battle impacted their lives and their soldiers' lives forever.
The Chapter on Leadership is very good and pertains to the realities of life whether in the military or fighting the corporate wars of today. The Chapter on War is interesting in light of the struggles America is undergoing today in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The touching Tribute to Hal Moore's wife Julie is very inspirational and worth the read, as most non-military families do not understand the heavy price military wives pay for their husband's career choice.
All in all an excellent book. As a retired military officer who served in Vietnam, Panama, and Desert Shield/Storm, I found it both touching and illuminating. The guns may be silent but the memories remain forever. It is when one is alone that those days of intense camaraderie grips one's soul to its very core and whispers that it is for the living to remember and NEVER FORGET.
Hearty recommend. It would be best if you read We Were Soldiers Once...and Young first to give you the full flavor, but it's not an absolute requirement. All in all General Hal Moore and Joe Galloway have written a fine book and I salute them.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential closure, June 13, 2009
By 
Devil's Advocate (Over your shoulder!) - See all my reviews
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I need hardly add superlatives to the monumental epic that was "We were Soldiers Once..." I consider myself priveleged to have read and thereby shared the epic events described in the company of a humanitarian, reflective and yet ultimately humble hero, General Moore.
You rocket in on that chopper and the book gets it on from the get go.
Once you are through the X-Ray and Albany horrors don't expect a respite. I cried like a child as the fallout from the deaths of these brave men was spelled out by those they left behind.
I recommend that you then watch the Mel Gibson movie to compare your mind's eye picture of the battle with Hollywood's. Old Mel did a fine job. It was exactly how I had pictured it. Book followed by movie; usually such a move is a fraught exercise but this only enhanced my understanding.
The film does not address the subsequent Albany ambush and what appears to be a huge embarassment for the army. Failures all along the line led to a needless massacre. The army looked the other way in the aftermath. Moore does not shy away from the controversy in this second book and Westmoreland gets a lot of stick. (Nothing compared to Moore's later stinging rebuke of Dubya and Rumsfeld...may they burn in hell for the US lives they have so recklessly thrown away)
"We are Warriors Still" I found compulsory reading in order to complete my Ia Drang experience. I found it mesmerizing and heartbreaking. Moore and his comrades do the ultimate service to their dead buddies by flying to the now deserted battlesite and walking the lines on one last patrol.
I ate up the book barely pausing in my need to equate now with then; in my pleasure at feeling the noble warmth of Moore's humanity. Those troops could not have had a better commander in the field. A Rommel of a man!
That being said, I share my fellow reviewers' consternation at Moore's forgiveness and embrace of foes who callously murdered both US POWs and wounded in the field.
The NVA General An's comment that they were worried that the wounded soldiers would kill them if not silenced is simply not good enough. I know some of you out there will bring up Mai Lai but that was an exception. An seems to talk of this murder as an unfortunate but necessary policy. People have gone to the gallows or the Hague for less. Moore also mentions the massacres by the NVA of the civilians in Hue and on the road to Cambodia. We're talking in the tens of thousands here. Never heard Hanoi Jane bleating about that side of the conflict. Yet Moore incomprehensibly still finds it in his heart to see the NVA as patriots. I'm sure Stalin was one too but I'd still like to have put arsenic in his tea if I'd sat with him.
There's also a chapter on leadership which seems a little out of place in this book and seems more geared to military cadets reading the book as a designated text.
In closing, you simple cannot not read this if the first book hooked you in.
I'm just waiting for the book and movie on Ricky Rescorla. A life so extraordinary it couln't have been scripted better by Shakespeare.
General Moore, Joe Galloway I salute you.
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76 of 96 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wistful and weepy, August 21, 2008
By 
Charles A. Krohn (Panama City Beach, Florida) - See all my reviews
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Hal Moore sums up his interesting life in this short book. It's only partially tied to the 1965 battle in the Ia Drang Valley. Still, he describes moving events in 1993 when he, Joe Galloway, a few veterans and a couple of former North Vietmanese officers meet to reflect, re-live and celebrate sacrifice on both sides. They even hold hands and pray.

The book is more about the important events in Moore's life: how he got to West Point,side-trip to Dien Bien Phu, assignments to Korea, leadership lessons and views on warfare.

One of the problems I had reading the preface is I couldn't figure out who wrote it. I also question why the authors characterize the war as good nationalists driving out the bad foreign invader,namely the United States. Moore seems to say in the end, the good guys won: "...they (the North Vietnamese) were fighting so hard because, like America's own revolutionaries, they had a burning desire to drive foreigners out of their native land...and now that the guns had fallen silent and peace had return to their land they proved to be proud fathers, good husbands, loyal citizens, and, yes, good friends."

My impression was and is the North Vietnamese were fighting to unify the country under an NVA banner. The real losers were not the Americans but the South Vietnamese. After the NVA victory an estimated 100,000 South Vietnamese were executed, others died in reducation camps and at sea. Despite what Moore/Galloway write, I don't think there's any moral equivalency between us and the North Vietnamese on one side, the South Vietnamese on the other.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Where have all the flowers gone..., October 8, 2011
By 
Lisa A. Johnson (ROCHESTER, NY, US) - See all my reviews
I really liked this book. I now see Hal Moore as more of a person with his own flaws and idiosyncracies, but still a great warrior and hero. When you see the movie "We Were Soldiers" (starring Mel Gibson) you find yourself frequently saying "That wasn't in the book" (We were Soldiers once...and young,) and you wonder if once again Hollywood took 'Artistic License' with a great classic book. However, all of those moments are explained in this book. This book gives a more well rounded view of Hal Moore and Joe Galloway...and especially Sargeant Major Plumley, and other soldiers. Many of the humorous moments in the movie weren't in the original book, but are described in this book. All of my favorite movie lines came from Sergeant Major Basil Plumley and all of those came from this book 1) Commander at base in Vietnam to Hal Moore: "How many men do you have battle ready, give or take." LTC Hal Moore: "Sergeant Major?" Plumley: "395 sir, EXACTLY." 2) Plumley to Joe Galloway in the heat of battle: "Can't take no pictures lyin' down there, Sonny!" 3) LTC Moore: "I wonder what was going through Custer's mind when he realized he'd led his men into a slaughter." Sgt.Maj. Plumley: "Sir, Custer was a pussy. You ain't"

I also really enjoyed reading Harold Moore's reflection on the events and his feelings and interactions with his "opposite number" from the North Vietnamese Army. Even though I was a little girl during the Vietnam War, like everyone else in America, I guess I needed some closure on this. It was soothing to read about Hal Moore's rainy night on the old battlefield with some of his old comrads and how the battlefield was largely the same as they remembered, but when one old soldier searched for fragments or momentos all he found were wild flowers that weren't there before, but now seemed to thrive on the soil fertilized by the blood of the fallen. It reminded me of Peter, Paul, and Mary's Anti-Vietnam War anthem "Where have all the flowers gone?" I guess they found them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Dulce Bellum Inexpertis", July 11, 2012
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"We Are Soldiers Still" is the continuation of the stories of the men of the 1st of the 7th and the 2nd of the 7th Cav and how they continued their lives after those fateful days in the Ia Drang Valley in November of 1965. This journey essentially will bring the hoped for closure of these combatants who still to this day carry the baggage of the actions they took and the horrors ever resultant of such combat.

General Moore and Joe Galloway take several trips back to Vietnam where they meet with their former enemies who included General Giap, General Man and General An who in fact was the commander of the forces who fought Galloway's unit in the battle of the Ia Drang Valley. After many attempts to visit the Ia Drang Valley, the Vietnamese government finally acquiesced and a small group of veterans along with Joe Galloway from the 1st of the 7th and 2nd of the 7th Cav spent a whole day and night at the sacred battle site. They walked the battlefield with their former enemies retelling old combat stories In fact with a little scheming General Moore got to spend the whole night at the battle site with his veteran friends and his journalistic buddy Joe Galloway
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A great deal of thought and discussion through interpreters gave much light as to what really happened on those fateful days in the Valley. During this meaningful series of discussions a bond of professional respect and yes even friendship was realized. The healing powers of the years and the realization that the men on both sides were just doing their soldierly duties, made them realize that their enemies were human just like they were.

Later upon further persuasion General Moore and Joe Galloway visited the battlefield of Dien Bien Phu. General Giap further discussed why the Americans refused to learn the lessons of the mistakes the French made in the French-Indo China War. Frankly I do believe General Moore who was fully educated in the readings of Bernard Fall already knew the consequences of the actions taken by the USA. He knew all to well!!!

General Moore gives us his theories of leadership and yes he gives us a bird's eye view of what he thought of the war in Vietnam. No spoilers here, you have to read the book for that. But what I will say about these tenants of leadership and his take of the wars in Vietnam and Iraq are what I also firmly believe in. Moore along with Galloway have written a follow-up book which is just as good as the first book. In saying that, usually follow-up books are just a rehash, not here with this great read. Please read it, and see the basic and good principles which are indeed common sense and seem easy to do, but in actuality living these principles takes a great deal of discipline and no fear of failure.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book review, July 2, 2011
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A very good read,a part of history that is not bloated by Follywood.I was in Vietnam and can relate to what the authors of this good book went through,as well as most other Vietnam vets.At least we Vietnam care for each other,and what each of us have to say,unlike the way the rest of America treated Vietnam vets so many years ago.I highly recommend this book to every sane person who wants to know what Vietnam is about.A hardy thumbs up.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Companion Book - Different from Many "War" Books, December 16, 2008
By 
Thomas O. Morrison (Ogdensburg, NY United States) - See all my reviews
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-This book is very different from "We Were Soldiers Once... and Young" and in doing so is an excellent companion book to it. "We Were Soldiers Once..." is an amazing narrative on the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley and manages to fit a ton of details into a compelling narrative. This book is a refreshing follow-up to the story of the combatants and their lives after the Ia Drang Valley. It delves into the "enemy" leaders and information from the Vietnamese(Communist) point of view on the action and it features updates on the participants of both sides.

-More importantly though, it is the story of Vietnam after the War and it manages to convey the notion that after the US left Vietnam that there was still a long struggle to become an independent country free from other countries' control. It also pushed forward the notion, however unpopular, that despite the US being pushed out of Vietnam that the country was still able to rebuild itself into a vital and successful place.

-As someone who visited Vietnam in 2001, I was very impressed by the development of the country and its mix of capitalism and communism and by the resiliance of the people. Many Vietnam War books tend to focus on the impact of the war on the US and the perception that without the US that Vietnam really had no chance. This book shows that the country did survive and is prospering. This book is a vital companion piece in showing that there is/was more to Vietnam than just the battles.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vietnam Legacy, December 25, 2009
Hal Moore's & Joe Galloway's book..We Are Soldiers Still.." is to some degree is the extension of the first book...We Were Soldiers Once and ...Young. Above all else, the book is a testimony to the soldiers who fought that faithful day in November of 1965 against several NVA regiments.

The book may provide some closure for those who served in Vietnam...and as such a must read for those who remain haunted by the "why" of it all. In the end, it is about you and your buddy...about you and your unit...about you and survival.

The book takes it all back to November of 1965 when America sought to stop the Communist "domino effect" in Southeast Asia into the future with discussions with those on the other side providing a depth to the "why".

It should be noted with great care and meaning Hal Moore's wife is buried amongst those fallen soldiers of Ia Drang..at the Ft. Benning cemetery..those were her boys..then and now.

Having walked the Benning cemetery some years ago while going through Advance Officers Infantry Course one comes upon the rows of those lost...a daunting and remembering moment.

Hal Moore in several paragraphs discusses the war in Iraq...the comments he made, I and many others who served in Iraq would concur.

Thanks to both Moore and Galloway for bring the past to the future and for all those enduring years remembering those lost...we shall never forget!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Return to Hallowed Ground, January 30, 2009
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There's a few things that potential readers need to evaluate before they purchase this book. As others have mentioned, if your goal is to recapture the terrific narration of the experiences of Gen. Moore and his Bn. in Vietnam, in an action sequel, then you will be disappointed. If more strategic analysis, in retrospect, is your expectation, you will not be rewarded. However, if you are seeking, as I was, to read more of Gen. Moore's keen and thought-provoking perspective, then you will be extremely satisfied. Please note, this book is not a vehicle for Hal Moore's analysis and retrospect, solely. This is a narrative of an experience. A new mission. One left undone and finally realized for several old soldiers that needed to go back. That needed to evaluate their experiences and place them in perspective.

Readers should, also, expect to read the unexpected: the North Vietnamese vet's perspective. Their thoughts. Their lives after the war. These aren't provided in detail and length, but are present for inspection and contemplation.

You will be reminded that ordinary older men you see in common life may have done some extraordinary things. They have experienced that which cannot be translated fully, but should be contemplated, nonetheless. You will read of men's thoughts that should be remembered. Perspectives of men that should be revered and held in highest esteem. I know I do. Most of all, this book, as did his first, made me review the priorities I have in life. Gen. Hal Moore has an ability to make one ponder and 'realign' scales of importance. His touching epilogue regarding his wife is beautiful.

Finally, my grade. This tale of Gen. Moore and his compatriots is very good. Not excellent, but a rewarding read. As one veteran states, the war is finally over him. I think you will be able to FEEL and understand why this is true for he and his old warrior friends, once you read this.

Happy reading...
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15 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading., October 6, 2008
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Certainly no one can question the courage or loyalty of Lt. Gen Moore or that of his co-writer Mr. Galloway. However don't expect to read another Soldiers Once....this is a review of Gen Moore's return to Viet Nam. I'm not sure everyone would equivocate the North Vietnamese, with the troops of the American force as the General seems to do here. Whether we should forgive and forget, that they were just good ol' boys doing their job, would seem to me to be up to those who were there also to decide. It would seem that there would be those who are not willing to forget and forgive so easily as the General seems to do. However this should be recommended reading for any young person....well worth the time.
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We Are Soldiers Still: A Journey Back to the Battlefields of Vietnam
We Are Soldiers Still: A Journey Back to the Battlefields of Vietnam by Harold G. Moore (Paperback - August 1, 2009)
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