All Expenses Paid

This book is non-fiction. All names have been changed to protect and respect the individuals’ privacy.
I feel qualified to say that public opinion of the American combat infantrymen in Vietnam has been, and still is, generally incorrect, and has resulted in faulty and unfair judgement. Most of this has been caused by movies and books that contain drugs, sex and many other untruths, but claim they are telling the facts as they were, “Vietnam – the way it really was.” Another part was caused by biased news media. This constant negative barrage has resulted in what I feel is the greatest atrocity of the war; sending America’s young people to courageously fight that dirty war, not giving them the support they needed and deserved, labeling them "drug users," or "murderers" for the unfortunate tragedies of war which only combat soldiers had witnessed before this televised war. It seems that the infantry is accused of these things more than any other part of the Armed Forces.

It has become an automatic response when learning you served in Vietnam, that you were immediately labeled as an offender of these problems, especially drugs. When it happened to me, I was not only very insulted, but also very disappointed that having been to Vietnam was the only qualification needed.

I decided it was way past time for someone to say something in defense of the soldiers. America still doesn’t know much about the infantry because no one has told them.

This easy-to-read book is to speak up and set the record straight, since no one else has bothered to do so. It’s a day-to-day recount of the infantryman’s life; danger, environment, circumstances, stress and much more. The story is about how the boy next door became a combat soldier, then a pawn and finally a target for society’s ill-conceived disgust with the soldiers it sent.

It is written in the first person because it’s my story. I have compared my experiences with other infantry veterans and have found that our tours were very similar. It also helps to draw the reader “into” the events rather than looking at them from the outside. It covers all facets of daily life in the infantry but focuses on the human interest aspect, as opposed to the military and political environments.

I have recalled most of the book from memory. An experience like this is not forgotten, having been burned into your memory, nor does it even fade much. A small part was supplied by letters home, kept by my parents.

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