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2: Yellow Green Beret, Volume II: Stories of an Asian-American Stumbling around U.S. Army Special Forces Paperback – April 6, 2012
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From Kirkus Reviews
More accounts about the life and making of a U.S. Special Forces officer from author Wong (Yellow Green Beret: Volume I, 2011). In a follow-up to his first installment of essays on being a Green Beret, the author digs deeper into his own thought process behind attending West Point, completing the multiple obstacles in the process to becoming a Green Beret, and the mission of the Special Forces. The author admits frequently that he never seems to have held any particular knack for military duties. Overcoming failure through discipline works as a general theme in mastering arts from the deadly (close-quarter pistol shooting) to the humorous (karaoke singing in the karaoke-crazed culture of the Philippines). Other adventures include tank maneuvers near the DMZ in South Korea and live combat in Iraq. Even though the author has obtained an elite level in the U.S. military, he almost always seems like a regular joe. Occasional pop-culture references may fall flat for some readers, particularly as time goes on (will readers 10 years down the road know, or care, who Justin Beiber is?), but they have the effect of reminding the reader that the author is not a caricature of military recruitment; he is a real person. Outlining the thoughts and actions of a real person gives the book its value. In a time where any discussion in the media about the military tends to polarize, it’s refreshing to encounter a readable collection of personal stories from a Green Beret who seems to have no motivation (political, boastful or otherwise) outside of telling his own story. Though the prose isn’t always polished, it is by all accounts honest and worthwhile. Required reading for those interested in the Green Berets or life in the U.S. Army.
About the Author
After growing up in Northern California, Chester Wong attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, and served in the United States Army as an Armor and Special Forces officer. He served and deployed in four combat tours to Iraq and the Philippines, and received several medals for his accomplishments, including two Bronze Star Medals. Wong also worked extensively throughout Southeast Asia and the Middle East in special operations missions.
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Top customer reviews
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DISCLAIMER: this review is not from an Asian-American, but it is from an Italian-American stumbling around Army Special Forces for the past 23 years.
I just recently read "[Yellow] Green Beret: Stories of an Asian-American Stumbling around U.S. Army Special Forces" Volume I & II by Chester Wong. All I can say is the writing style of these books is excellent; witty and revealing to the uninitiated. All of these volumes are a compilation of humorous stories and rants that sound so familiar from inside the Special Forces team room. I think both of these books are pretty good representation of the daily life and antics within Special Forces. I can relate to all the stories in both books because they stand on their own merits, no matter if the reader is Asian or not. As I read these books I found myself laughing and giggling at points like a little girl, just because his descriptions of team life is just so spot on. I highly recommend both these volumes to anybody wanting to get a candid look inside the modern Special Forces. DOL!
As entertaining as the the stories are, their true value lie in showing how the author adapts & overcomes in the face of crushing defeat. Success is groovy, but in the long run, it's sometimes better to learn from failure and excel.
Chester also touches on the sensitive subjects of gays in the military and women serving in combat . He shares his views based on his experiences in the field. I find it curious that Congress and the "talking heads" on TV debate these issues endlessly yet we rarely hear what our service members have to say. Perhaps it would behoove the Department of Defense to listen more to its warriors rather than politicians & pundits.
After going through plenty of military-themed books over the years, it's clear that how well the author tell the story separates the great from the good. I've read Vol. I & II and I consider YGB to be in the "great" category. My only complaint is the lack of photos. So the world isn't perfect, but YGB is still worthy of a place on your bookshelf. Or Kindle.
I absolutely enjoyed reading the first two volumes of YGB and am impatiently waiting for the third to come out. Having not read a single book in the past decade, surprisingly I found myself unable to put down your book and finishe each of them in a couple days. My non-Asian wife was shocked that I was actually reading and jokingly commented that I was only reading because the author was "one of your people", I could only wish! Although I served in the US Army as well, it was nowhere near your capacity as a West Point educated, Special Forces officer, awesome! I'm gonna officially elevate you to Jeremy Lin status amongst Asians. I will start wearing a cardboard cutout of the YGB character over my face, like the the fans do with Jeremy Lin's during the Knicks games! lol Your Papa John's story during SERE training did remind me of event during testing for the Expert Field Medical Badge. During daytime navigation testing, Instead of finding them stupid markers, a few of us found a German Restaurant in the middle of the black forrest and decided weinerschnitzel and pilsner beer were more important. I know it apple and oranges and the consequences of each situation were vastly different, but your story just brought back that memory along with a chuckle.
Whats the time frame of when YGB3 will be out? I'm also thinking you should try out to be a contestant on "Top Shot"!
Most recent customer reviews
This is no first person guts n glory type series of books.Read more