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Mighty Men of Valor: With Charlie Company on Hill 714-Vietnam, 1970 Paperback – Large Print, January 12, 2013
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From the Author
Mighty Men of Valor: With Charley Company on Hill 714 - Vietnam, 1970 is my personal story as well as an anecdotal history of the 2nd Battalion 502nd Infantry Regiment. As part of the 1st Brigade of the famous 101st Airborne Division, the O-Deuce "Widow Makers" battalion were often in the thick of the heaviest fighting in the I Corps Tactical Zone. I try and describe my transformation from a spoiled college drop-out into a seasoned, combat infantry grunt, often called boonie rats. Like the infantry in any war, we had a pretty rough time; some of us survived and some did not. Many of us carried the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with us when we went home. The effects of PTSD are often masked, sometimes manifesting themselves only years later after another traumatic event brings them to the forefront. This is what happened to me after I was involved in the on-duty shooting death of a fellow law enforcement officer 6 years after I returned from Vietnam. This book is not a clinical, detailed military history of the 502nd Infantry Regiment but it is the personal history of a survivor of combat and the effects of PTSD. What happened to me is still happening to the combat veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq; there's really nothing new or different about the trauma of infantry combat except it's happening to a different generation in a different time and place.
From the Inside Flap
In other parts of Vietnam in the spring of 1970, the combat action had begun to slow down; but not so in the northern-most provinces of the Republic of (South) Vietnam. These five provinces (Quang Tri, Thua Thien, Quang Nam, Quang Tin and Quang Ngai) made up the I Corps Tactical Zone. The 3rd Marine Division left Vietnam in early 1970, leaving the responsibility for the vast area of the I Corps entirely to the 101st Airborne Division and its South Vietnamese allies. In April, the division began an operation code-named Texas Star. During the next six months, the 101st would fight several big engagements against an increasingly aggressive North Vietnamese Army (the NVA).
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It maybe fair to predict that the author, John Roberts is a thoughtful and decent man , compassionate and soft spoken. You hardly read him talk about his men and how he supervised them as a sergeant. He hardly writes about the personal relationships of those around him or men he worked . This is best described as a personal book with shallow brush strokes. Finally, I thought his comments towards the end about his wife and how they lived on after the war was excellent. I would have wanted to read more. I liked that he included a segment written by his wife. Heart warming and fulfilling and helps understand what John Roberts experienced.
If you are Vietnam Vet and want to read an account of accuracy and gut wrenching action in the bush this is it! if you love the gore and want first hand accounts, read Mr. Roberts book! Nicely done my brother, Screaming Eagles forever!!!
I'm not saying anything else, you just have to read it. In a few months, I'll certainly read it again.