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Marines Never Cry: Becoming a Man When it Mattered Paperback – February 6, 2017
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Marines Never Cry is a compelling account of a youth who strives to mature in the most challenging place possible ... the Marine Corps and a confused, deadly war with the fears and frustration of mortal combat. There, his ideals and core beliefs are sorely tested and found wanting at times. Throughout the book, he has reason to cry when he loses those closest to him, but he doesn't. Tim Hall gives us a Vietnam equivalent of Catch 22 with his capacity to personalize not only his war, but also the unique life and experiences that molded this young man. - Bob Fischer, Colonel USMC (Ret), Senior Advisor to 6th Bn., South Vietnamese Marines, Vietnam 1966-1968 Author of Guerrilla Grunt, Covan and co-author of The Miracle Workers of South Boulder Road In Vietnam, we Marines learned quickly that war never goes well or as planned. Tim Hall brings that "lesson learned" home to a new generation of readers who have no idea what transpired fifty years ago, in a faraway Southeast Asian country. Through his main character, Zeke Hammond, an all-American kid from rural roots, Tim weaves actual tales of intrigue, levity, and danger that most people have never experienced or even thought of in their entire lives. He did change names to protect both the innocent and guilty alike. In this book, Tim aptly records United States Marines going about their daily routines of boredom and toil, of events both good and bad and the untimely dangerous exploits of Marines, who "never cry" until the war is over. Tim's poignant book takes place in the mid 1960's during one of America's longest and costliest wars. Very well done, brother Tim! - Grady T. Birdsong, Corporal, USMC 1st Bn., 27th Marines; 2nd Bn., 9th Marines, Vietnam 1968-1969 Author of A Fortunate Passage and co-author of The Miracle Workers of South Boulder Road Marines Never Cry paints a good picture of how things were for truck drivers in Vietnam, particularly those who convoyed into dangerous places like An Hoa. I know because I was a grunt in that area, specifically Operation Allen Brook at Go Noi. You'll find my name referenced several times in the book, Every Marine: 1968 Vietnam; A Battle for Go Noi Island. I know first-hand what those truckers experienced when they drove those big ass trucks-BATs, as Tim calls them-through what was called "Indian Country" to bring us the ammo and everything else we needed to fight the war. God bless the truckers; they're the unsung heroes of Vietnam. - Wesley S. Love, Sergeant, USMC 3rd Bn. 27th Marines, Vietnam, 1968
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Zeke Hammond was an ordinary guy with a tough attitude who tested himself by joining the Marine Corps and going to Vietnam during the war that many of his fellow citizens thought was wrong. The story follows him through training, Vietnam, and his return to "the world." He faced losses he did not expect to encounter both there and at home while he was overseas.
One of the important aspects of this book, that you don't see many other places, is what the personal cost was for him to leave his former life to serve his country. His grandparents passed away, his fiancée was killed, many of the things he held dear were taken from him while he was gone. His mother suffered abuse from people just because he volunteered to serve in a war that became unpopular at home. Very few people thanked him for his service and some even derided him for it.
It is altogether an excellent read that rings true to the war and its times.
Semper Fidelis, Dean Glorso, Vietnam Veteran, 1968-69
An additional Thought:
"In Arvada, Colorado during February 2016, I witnessed Tim Hall, Author of 'Marine's Never Cry', render a perfect, and respectful Marine Corps salute to Major John Keith Wells. Tim's salute was upon greeting Keith in Hospice Care. Keith, the Marine who lead the charge up Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima in February 1945, then deathly ill at age 94, raised his right arm and returned Tim's salute in triumphant form. It was a beautiful thing to see. This tearless gesture I witnessed, illustrates the deep-seated strength, respect, and love Tim Hall, and Marines of all generations have for each other". Semper Fidelis - Dean Glorso, USMC Vietnam Veteran, Artist/Poet
His credentials prove he’s intelligent, but intelligence doesn’t guarantee literary aptitude or competency, so his talent in altering facts to fiction in such a fluid and believable manner is an envied and impressive achievement. There’s a comfortable rhythm in his narrative that makes it an easy and enjoyable read, a compelling cadence that draws readers into his stories; a gift many authors lack.
Marines Never Cry is fiction based on reality, but really, it reads like an autobiography, full of real-life emotions: fear, elation, laughter, hate, love and heartbreak. Like Full Metal Jacket, Platoon and Apocalypse Now, this book was a real eye-opener that shed a new light on the war in Vietnam; a war full of unsung heroes!
I give this book two thumbs up—five-stars—and recommend it to anyone who appreciates the sacrifices and dedication of those in every military branch who serve our country with pride resolve and honor.
Lt. William L. Aumiller, Retired, Denver Police Department
Author: Better Rags: A Police Officer’s Story