This book was a complete surprise from the used book stacks at a local library. A striking cover, don't let it put you off...a bespeckled and stern looking middle-ager in a wheelchair...with apparently no lower limbs. Then you notice his hands. Either awkwardly placed or crippled, it's hard to tell from the photograph. As you go on to read the cover blurbs you expect a typical war journal.
In comparison to "Born on the 4th of July" and other tomes of this period, this is not the least what you might expect. It is actually a story more in the vein of Pat Conroy, author of "The Great Santini". A boy growing up in a marine family. His first childhood rifle, the regular moving and uprooting, the legacy from birth of trying to live up to your father's legend. But this book is so much more than typical narrative.
From the beginning the author sketches his relationship with his parents and family and life leading to his own expected military career. In 1968 during the escalation of the conflict, the author arrives fresh from officer training to the reality of Vietnam. I'm only up to this chapter now but will be reading this book to the last page. The author alternates through serious, humorous and sad observations in this often misunderstood chapter of history. Definitely worth hunting down a copy.