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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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    Juliet's Nurse

    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

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9 Local Warehouse Military- Vietnam War
12 Remote Warehouse Military- Vietnam War

We Were Soldiers Once...and Young: Ia Drang - The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam

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We Were Soldiers Once...and Young: Ia Drang - The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam Cover

 

 

Excerpt

Prologue

In thy faint slumbers I by thee have watch'd

And heard thee murmur tales of iron wars...

-Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part One, Act II, Scene 3

This story is about time and memories. The time was 1965, a different kind of year, a watershed year when one era was ending in America and another was beginning. We felt it then, in the many ways our lives changed so suddenly, so dramatically, and looking back on it from a quarter-century gone we are left in no doubt. It was the year America decided to directly intervene in the Byzantine affairs of obscure and distant Vietnam. It was the year we went to war. In the broad, traditional sense, that "we" who went to war was all of us, all Americans, though in truth at that time the larger majority had little knowledge of, less interest in, and no great concern with what was beginning so far away.

So this story is about the smaller, more tightly focused "we" of that sentence: the first American combat troops, who boarded World War II-era troopships, sailed to that little-known place, and fought the first major battle of a conflict that would drag on for ten long years and come as near to destroying America as it did to destroying Vietnam.

The Ia Drang campaign was to the Vietnam War what the terrible Spanish Civil War of the 1930s was to World War II: a dress rehearsal; the place where new tactics, techniques, and weapons were tested, perfected, and validated. In the Ia Drang, both sides claimed victory and both sides drew lessons, some of them dangerously deceptive, which echoed and resonated throughout the decade of bloody fighting and bitter sacrifice that was to come.

This is about what we did, what we saw, what we suffered in a thirty-four-day campaign in the Ia Drang Valley of the Central Highlands of South Vietnam in November 1965, when we were young and confident and patriotic and our countrymen knew little and cared less about our sacrifices.

Another war story, you say? Not exactly, for on the more important levels this is a love story, told in our own words and by our own actions. We were the children of the 1950s and we went where we were sent because we loved our country. We were draftees, most of us, but we were proud of the opportunity to serve that country just as our fathers had served in World War II and our older brothers in Korea. We were members of an elite, experimental combat division trained in the new art of airmobile warfare at the behest of President John F. Kennedy.

Just before we shipped out to Vietnam the Army handed us the colors of the historic 1st Cavalry Division and we all proudly sewed on the big yellow-and-black shoulder patches with the horsehead silhouette. We went to war because our country asked us to go, because our new President, Lyndon B. Johnson, ordered us to go, but more importantly because we saw it as our duty to go. That is one kind of love.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780345472649
Author:
Moore, Harold G.
Publisher:
Presidio Press
Author:
Moore, Lt General Ha
Author:
Moore, General Ha
Author:
Galloway, Joseph
Author:
Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway
Author:
Various
Subject:
Military - Vietnam War
Subject:
Military - World War I
Subject:
Military - World War II
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Publication Date:
20040631
Binding:
MASS MARKET
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
480
Dimensions:
6.86x4.28x1.10 in. .53 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » General
History and Social Science » Military » Sale Books
History and Social Science » Military » Vietnam War
History and Social Science » US History » General

We Were Soldiers Once...and Young: Ia Drang - The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam Used Mass Market
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$7.99 In Stock
Product details 480 pages Presidio Press - English 9780345472649 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The true story of the U.S. soldiers who fought at one of the most savage and significant battles in Vietnam. "A gut-wrenching account of what war is really all about, which should be 'must' reading for all Americans."--Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf (Ret.).
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