Examining the Myths of the Vietnam War

War Stories I -- The View From the Field

Day Two -- Tuesday, July 27, 2004 First Session 0830-1015 (Click to see video) (Click here to see transcript) [Suggestion: you might want to listen to the Video while reading the transcript. To do this, open the Video which will take you toWindows Media Player and then minimize it and open the transcript.]

6. War Stories -- The view from the field – What were we doing when we were not killing babies, raping, murdering, fragging and taking drugs? Who are the real American heroes?

Speaker/Moderator: [Steve Sherman introducing our VIP participants]

Speaker’s biographical information:

Website :

Discussion Forum: Click here to discuss this Session

Articles of Interest:

Why Vietnam?, Dr. Robert Turner
The 1968 Tet Offensive in South Vietnam, Arnaud deBorchgrave
What does it take to earn a Silver Star: Godfrey's Story, by John Cleckner
Unfit for Office, by John P O'Neill, Wall Street Journal
The Men, Rick Whittaker
Reflections on April 30, 1975, George Petrie

Suggested Reading:

A Distant Challenge: The US Infantryman in Vietnam, 1967-1972; Infantry Magazine, Albert N. Garland (ed.); The Battery Press, Nashville, TN; 1983.
Green Berets at War: U.S. Army Special Forces in Southeast Asia, 1956-1975; Shelby L. Stanton; Presidio Press, Novato, CA; 1985.
A Life in a Year: The American Infantryman in Vietnam, 1965-1972; James R. Ebert; Presidio Press, Novato, CA; 1993.
Portrait of the Enemy; David Chanoff and Doan Van Toai; Random House, NY;
SOG: The Secret Wars of America's Commandos in Vietnam; John L. Plaster; Simon & Schuster, NY; 1997.
The Soldiers' Story: Vietnam in Their Own Words; Ron Steinman; TV Books, NY; 1999.
Vietnam: A Reader from the Pages of Vietnam Magazine; David T. Zabecki (ed.); ibooks, NY; 2002.

Individual histories (The bibliography here would be substantial, here are some)

War Story, Jim Morris
Silence was a Weapon, Stuart Herrington
13th Valley, John Del Vecchio
The Advisor, John Cook
Rice Paddy Grunt, John M.G. Brown
Once a Warrior King, David Donovan


“It was, by any measure, a stressful twelve months. (High blood pressure, incipient hay fever) Although my tour involved no formal combat, nothing dangerous, I admit to having had trouble appreciating the wholesome, outdoorsy rigors of warfare. There were no beds. No books. The food was called chow - a word that speaks volumes. The days seemed to stretch out toward infinity, blank and humid, without purpose, and at night I was kept awake by the endless drone of mosquitoes and helicopters. (Why wars must be contested under such conditions I shall never understand. Is not death sufficient?)

Tom Cat in Love, Tim O’Brien, Warner 1998 p.57