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"He seems to have brought to this book the ear of a musician and the eye of a painter . . . the premier war correspondence of Vietnam."--Washington Post. "The best book I have ever read on men and war in our time."--John le Carre." . . . Dispatches puts the rest of us in the shade."--Hunter S. Thompson.
of a thousand operation-miles of high summer dry season stroke weather, six-canteen patrols that came back either contact-less or chewed over by ambushes and quick, deft mortar-rocket attacks, some from other Marine outfits. By September they were “containing” at Con Thien, sitting there while the NVA killed them with artillery. In II Corps a month of random contact near the Laotian border had sharpened into the big war around Dak To. III Corps, outside of Saigon, was most confusing of all, the
sonic-electric ballbreakers that were still on the boards; and for back-up, deep in all their hearts, there were always the Nukes, they loved to remind you that we had some, “right here in-country.” Once I met a colonel who had a plan to shorten the war by dropping piranha into the paddies of the North. He was talking fish but his dreamy eyes were full of mega-death. “Come on,” the captain said, “we’ll take you out to play Cowboys and Indians.” We walked out from Song Be in a long line, maybe a
engines, everything was still. If there had been something more, just one incoming round, he might have been all right, but in that silence the sound of his own feet moving over the dirt was terrifying to him. He later said that this was what made him stop. He dropped his duffel and looked around. He watched the plane, his plane, as it touched down, and then he ran leaping over some discarded sandbags by the road. He lay out flat and listened as the plane switched loads and took off, listened
take my fucking life, You Bastard, but please, please, please, don’t take those. Whenever a shell landed in a group, everyone forgot about the next rounds and skipped back to rip their pants away, to check, laughing hysterically with relief even though their legs might be shattered, their kneecaps torn away, kept upright by their relief and shock, gratitude and adrenaline. There were choices everywhere, but they were never choices that you could hope to make. There was even some small chance for
Music, Inc.: Specified seven words from the song “The Tighten Up” by Archie Bell & The Drells (this page). Copyright © 1968 by Cotillion Music, Inc., and Orellia Publishing Co. Also, specified seven lines from the song “For What It’s Worth” by Stephen Stills (this page). Copyright © 1966 by Cotillion Music, Inc., Springalo Toones and Ten-East Music. All Rights Reserved. Used by permission. Don Williams Music Group: Specified line of lyrics from the song “Foxy Lady” by Jimi Hendrix (this page).