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A Blonde Bomb Goes To Vietnam Paperback – April 3, 2013
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A disclaimer: I was on a hill numbered 1338 on Christmas day, 1967, dirty, lonely, scared I guess, stuck in some meaningless war halfway around the planet from my home, out in the battlegrounds with my outfit, when Chris Noel showed up to entertain us. Just stepped off a helicopter and walked to the middle of our perimeter. Those helicopters were flying targets. You can see that day, that hill, my outfit (not me personally) in this book, Chris in her red top, green miniskirt and white boots. People, as far as I'm concerned Chris Noel can do no wrong.
That said, this book is not so much "written" as it is cut-and-pasted together from newspaper articles and photographs from the sites and events described, strung together with a few written paragraphs here and there. Many of the photographs are full page blowups from snapshots taken by infantrymen on Kodak Instamatics (a tiny snapshot camera common in the late 1960's and early 1970's, about like today's throwaway cameras) and the like. The pictures of my outfit from Christmas 1967 are grainy blowups, but it doesn't matter to me. I recognize Chris, and I recognize some of the guys walking near her.
Even though I knew much of the history I learned much about her personal life after her years in Viet Nam. Her brief, disastrous marriage to a soldier. The grief she felt from all the suffering she had witnessed. How much she had paid to support us without even knowing it.
It is my opinion that everybody who, these days, sees me with my Purple Heart hat on and stops me and says, "Thank you for your service," should buy this book as a way of saying, "Thank you for your service," to Chris Noel. It's not a great book, but it is a valuable learning tool, and she is a great American and a great person.
And My Mother Danced with Chesty Puller: Adventures of a Marine in the rear, to combat in Vietnam