Bold, dark, and intense short stories of the Vietnam war. The LRRPs of Vietnam (Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol) were the cavalry scouts of their war, traveling by helicopter rather than mustangs into remote and unfriendly territory. The mountainous jungles of the central highlands were especially inhospitable, filled with snakes and wild animals, and criss crossed with the tributaries of the Ho Chi Minh trail that lay hidden beneath the thick, triple-canopy jungle foliage. It was the job of small teams of LRRPs to penetrate the ridges and valleys of the rainforest to track and identify enemy activity. These short stories are less about patriotism and heroism than about the gut-wrenching reality for the Vietnam combat soldier. If you're looking for action-adventure, this series is not for you. Combat soldiers are celebrated for simply doing their best to get by, not as superheroes, but as young men who often acted heroically but sometimes foolishly in circumstances not of their own choosing. One reviewer commented "the bond and the folly of immortal combat ring loud and clear from the page, and the story's told with all the realism, language and pathos of experience." The mood of the stories is dark and somber rather than triumphalistic: a hauntingly honest and brutally true retelling rather than a glorification of the Vietnam experience. The opening installment is entitled "Eleven Bravo" and tells the story of a newbie grunt infantryman on a torturous twenty-three day hump through the jungle. "Here Comes Charlie" is the second installment of the series and begins with a helicopter insertion into remote territory and ends with a LRRP team encounter with NVA. "Cat Quiet" is the third installment. With striped face paint and tiger fatigues, four LRRPs creep through the jungle. Cat quiet stealth is their only ally, but with a pair of surprises. The fourth installment is "Chasing After Wind" and explores twists of fate in the context of a barracks poker game, a wind that blows where it will, and a malevolent joker in the deck. "Elijah Fire" refers to the LRRPs as forward observers who called down fire from heaven: artillery, fighter jets, or helicopter gunships. The author refers to the series as "autobiographical fiction". They are based on true incidents, but the stories are told with literary embellishment. The author served with K Company, 75th Infantry (Rangers) in the central highlands of Vietnam in 1969-70, and he was twice awarded a bronze star for valor in combat.
About RW Holmen
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Published November 1, 2011
by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
History, War, Travel.