"The best new book on Vietnam in years"
Here is the soldier’s life in gritty detail, through his own eyes, in his own words, heart to heart and uncensored by the Army: the long muddy patrols, the search and destroy missions, tank and artillery warfare, donut dollies, and life back in base camp—in the rear with the beer. See it through the eyes of those who were there; the dangerous dustoff, the grim calculations of the field hospital, and the cynical stalemate that followed as the long war ground down to an end.
Published also for the first time are extensive excerpts from enemy diaries captured during the war, revealing how deeply indoctrinated the soldiers were, and how difficult their lives became. NVA soldiers write about the long trek down the Ho Chi Minh Trail, the terrifying bombing runs, life in the tunnels, and the constant scavenging for food. They gloat about the corruption that brought them the American weapons they used to kill Americans, and American medicine they used to heal themselves.
When the 25th Infantry Division returned to the States in 1971, its five-year photo files were ordered burned, along with other “non-essential” documents. But Burns, who ran the Division publications team in 1969, had been setting aside the best slides and prints for future books and magazines, and when his tour was up he took them over the Air Force photo lab and traded his refrigerator for a set of dupes. And then he forgot about them. Now these amazing pictures come back to tell their story of bravery and tedium, of South Vietnamese corruption and betrayal, and of American heroes sent to serve and suffer in a ragic and frustrating war. Release 1.02.
The Author: After graduating from OCS at the top of his class and a year as a Signal officer in Washington, Christopher Burns was assigned as Command Information Officer of the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam where he led a team of photographers, writers and editors producing a weekly newspaper, a quarterly magazine and other special publications. His book about 25th Division operations, 1969: Vietnam, was named the best publication in the Army for that year, and he was twice awarded the Bronze Star. After leaving the Army, Burns worked as a media executive, serving as Vice President of the Washington Post, Senior Vice President of the Minneapolis Star and Tribune, and Executive Editor of UPI, the worldwide news service.