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Hardcover On Point: A Rifleman's Year in the Boonies: Vietnam 1967-1968 Book

ISBN: 0891417095

ISBN13: 9780891417095

On Point: A Rifleman's Year in the Boonies: Vietnam 1967-1968

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

The young draftee was a typical army rifleman: a grunt. This description may be from another edition of this product.

Related Subjects

Asia History Military Vietnam War

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Hooray for the Electric Strawberries!!!

There are darned few gems out there (A rumor of War, Caputo; In Pharoah's Army, Wolff; Survivors, Grant; Bloods, Terry; Reporting Vietnam, various) amidst the rubbish (Steel My Soldiers' Hearts, who cares; Charlie Company, various, Very Crazy, G.I., various) littering the landscape of the Vietnam War bookworld. Not to mention all of the so-so books in between. This is an odd little book because its writing style is so matter of fact and essay-like. The author recounts his Vietnam experience from beginning to end and runs through these events as if he were writing a manual. I guess that in a sense he really is. The really great thing about this is that he includes details of daily wear, routine, equipment and its everyday use that is often left out in books about Vietnam. A reader will learn a lot in the course of this book, not just about equipment either, for the author seems to be a naturally thoughtful person who has the gift of objective observation. Despite the low-key and somewhat self-effacing manner, this author, unlike most of the viet vet so-called grunts I have known, continued his field friendships when he got 'back to the world.' I think this says a lot about the sort of guy Hayes is. Years from now I think that people will realize that Vietnam, even though we lost it, was probably the 2d most important war we've fought (revolution being the first, obviously; civil not being a foreign war but a police action, ha, ha) because it was, quite simply, a thinking man's war. I mean this to include everything, the atrocities, violence, criminality, civilian murder, as well as the tactics, technology, psychology and strategy. Hayes did well in this environment because, I believe, the fellow has a good head on his shoulders. Shame on us for not having leadership with the same qualities. Never mind, read this book and see why the American soldier is known and admired best not for his brute strength and bravery but for his resourcefulness and can-do attitude. This is trite but if Hayes' account is at least 90 percent true, his conduct in the war can make us all really proud that he is an American.

A grunt's year in vietnam

Roger Hayes gives a good description of what his life was like as an infantryman in Vietnam: describing training, combat, life in Vietnam and some infrequent R+R. If you want over-the-top writing (e.g. "Dispatches") this book is not for you. I appreciated the workman-like way in which Hayes writes; emotional involvement in his story requires some thought, reflection and a willingness to see and feel the war through his eyes. This is a good book and I am glad that he has written it.

Unique presentation of a Vietnam experience

I was in the Army during the Vietnam war but stationed in Germany where I spent a good deal of discretionary time eating schnitzels and drinking beer and wine. Having been trained (I thought), and mentally prepared to go to vietnam, then having an easy tour in Europe left me with the feeling that I was something of a "slacker". I found Mr. Hayes's presentation of his personal experience as an infantryman very informative in its level of detail and for me, something of an elixir for my own memories of this episode in the American experience. Notwithstanding what I got out of the book, I would recommend it highly for the broadest audience having even a casual interest in this page of history. The level of detail in the author's recounting of his battlefield experiences gives the reader clues as to what it took to not only survive but to deal with the ever present death, carnage, and travails of fellow soldiers and the Vietnamese populace. I believe the book's presentation to be an outstanding balance of information, observations, and emotional impacts that I've not found in other readings. Mr. Hayes reveals himself as an individual having a measure of wisdom well beyond his tender age during the year in which he was tossed into this horrible crucible which defined his character and that of so many of his fellow heroes. Have no doubt that this group of soldiers, somewhat maligned in the past by misguided critics, was made up of individuals such as Hayes and his comrades--each with his own story--and represents patriotism on an order to match that of any past conflict. Mr. Hayes is a worthy spokesman for his fellow Vietnam war participants and veterans. His reporting skills are tempered with an uncommon sensitivity toward the anguish of all those touched by the war and the insight and ability to capture it for the reader. I think the book is unique in its perspective and has much to recommend it whether it is your first venture into Vietnam chronicles or your thirst to know what it was really like over there has not yet been slaked. In conclusion, my thanks to Mr. Hayes for providing this record and to him and his silent partners for answering the call and acquitting themselves on a par with all those having gone off to war in the past. An outstanding book.

On Point is On Target

Roger Hayes staring out of the cover reminded me of another face I used to see in the mirror thirty years ago. Mine. His recollections vividly re-create the memories of all who passed under the arched sign "Welcome to Tigerland. Home of the Combat Infantryman for Vietnam" at North Fort Polk, Louisiana. His succinct writing style makes it easy for the younger generation to experience from a safe distance the FNG experience (not knowing where he is or where he's going), the slow maturation that only comes from combat experience (you always remember the first dead human being), and the inevitable sadness of losing companions (you never forget them). His experiences as a mechanized infantry soldier also demonstrate the reason that this war in particular posed such a unique problem to our commanders. Because the APCs made so much of a racket, hot food was helicoptered in since the commanders assumed that the VC already knew where they were laagered (one of the essential rules of combat being ignored . . . that of noise discipline and of concealment). Looking back on his experience, I am sure he wonders how any of them ever survived. This book also opens the reader's eyes to the daily highs and lows of life in a combat zone, where beautiful, peaceful days would instantly change into a furious hell when the APC you were riding on exploded. A timely, easy book to read as we remember our friends and loved ones who, twenty-five years after the fall of Saigon, still occupy so much of our memories.
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