I listen to and have recently started to write reviews. I've found the reviews have helped me to select books.
Charlie Company was once again being used as a name for a group of soldier's who grew to become a very tight community of young men who went to fight the war in Vietnam. The first group of Charlie Company fought together in WWII. There has not been another Charlie Company since Vietnam.
The members of Charlie Company were very young, 19 to 23 years old, when they first arrived in Vietnam. Some were drafted. They would receive their draft papers in the mail and were told when and where to report. Most in Charlie Company were draftee's but some had enlisted.
Without consciously realizing what was happening, the men paired off and became such enduring friends, that they became closer than brothers. They waited impatiently for their first conflict to occur.
The first conflict happened and Charlie Company was baptized in the blood of war. They were no longer young. These MEN were now warrior's who now understood the words, what to kill or be killed truly meant. As there buddies were killed or maimed by enemy fire it became impossible for them to form another close relationship. When the replacements arrived, who took the place of those brother's who were no longer a part of Charlie Company, the original member's tolerated them but did not become their friend's.
One of the men of Charlie Company was a conscientious objector and agreed to be drafted but only as a medic who would never carry a gun. He would be killed but not kill. He did survive his tour of duty, never to have the scourge of PTSD present itself.
This was not so for quite a few of the other 29 men who made it home out of the 130 of the original men of Charlie Company. Some were able to struggle through life as a contributor to society. They were able to hold down a job, marry and have children but continued to suffer through PTSD.
However, there were other survivors who functioned poorly in society or were unable to deal with real life at all. Some of these men became what we refer to as the"homeless."
Some of the survivor's who suffered from PTSD did not like crowds. They would scan their surroundings looking for any enemies. When hearing the back fire of a car they would fall to the ground, looking for cover so as to protect themselves from death. Their dreams were as real as if they were actually fighting in a previous battle.
I found the true story, The Boys of "67: Charlie's Company War in Vietnam, very sobering. The story made we see just what happened when the men fighting in a war had to raise a gun and shoot another man. They were given permission to kill. They learned too quickly what the cruelty of war really was.
There was depth and true feelings written into the words of the author, Andrew West. If you do read this book you will understand what the war in Vietnam was like. These men fought hard for their country, our country, the USA. Many of these men died or were maimed for life. It would take time but PTSD was finally realized for what it was, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Although the men did survive the war some of these men had minds that did not survive the war.
Why the Vietnam War became a war that wanted to be forgotten, I'll never understand. These men answered the call of their nation. When their country needed men to protect their country, the men who went to Vietnam and fought as hard as any man in any war of the past. Give these men the honor that they deserve.
The narrator made the book come alive. I was able to feel the fear, see the bunkers, get into the mind of a man who did not want to kill but had no other choice but to die himself and understand why these men still cannot leave the war behind after 30 years.
There have also been medical problems that these men have taken home with them when the jungles were sprayed with "agent orange." Agent orange was used to kill the vegetation so prevalent in the jungles of Vietnam. Some suffer from skin problems that never will go away, there are others that have had varied types of cancer appear and the newest finding is that agent orange also can cause diabetes.
Read this book and realize that the Vietnam War is a war to remember.
Jason Redman had wanted to become a SEAL from a very early age. He made that dream come true. However, he had never internalized what it meant to be a leader. Redman did not respond well to criticism. He pretended to listen to other's but never considered that they might have good ideas. Instead, he did it the Redman way.
Redman's fellow team member's raised their hands high when asked if they considered Redman as a bad leader of men. Each man in turn refused to be a member of his squad. He had been reported to have put himself and the member's of his team in danger. There was no trust.
Redman's commander had no recourse but to hold a council meeting to decide if the coveted Trident that he wore should be taken away. There was one man participating in the council meeting who had worked with Redman who was adamant that he should be made to turn his Trident in.
A scathing letter had been written by the council's leader. Redman was shaken to his core after reading the report. He was told that the only way that letter could stay out of his permanent file was if Redman agreed to go to Ranger School to learn leadership skills. Redman was quite angry and did not concede that his leadership skills were lacking. However, he agreed to attend Ranger School because he did not want to give up his military career.
There were a few men who watched him closely during Ranger training. He had been taken aside and told that he needed to change his attitude and start putting all of his effort forward in order to survive. The Ranger's were the best when it came to leadership.
Redman continued with his bad attitude when he began his time with the Rangers. He requested to leave the Ranger's. His request was accepted and he would be taken back to his SEAL team in a few days. The letter that had been written would now become a permanent file in Redman's record and he would have to leave the SEALS.
Redman had an epiphany while trying to get to sleep. He realized, that instead of taking responsibility for his own actions, he always blamed his short comings on someone else. He withdrew his request to leave the Ranger's and made a commitment to himself that he could do his best and not allow that letter to be put into his permanent file. Redman wanted to stay a SEAL.
This memoir was very well written. I was reluctant to purchase this book because I had already read many books about the SEALS. However, I was wrong. The story of Jason Redman was a great listen. The narrator made listening enjoyable. This memoir only touches lightly on the rigors it takes to become a SEAL. The reader will know Jason Redman when he or she finishes this book. The character's are well developed and there is suspense and action. I don't think you will regret purchasing this book.
This is a true account of a few of the men and women who fought in and some who continue to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq. The book also tells us about the acts of valor that our warriors did for the freedom of their country, the USA. Many interviews were conducted with the receivers of these medals themselves, their loved ones and the men who served with them. There were two Medal of Honor recipients who were killed in action.
America's heroes usually do not think that any actions taken during a particular battle should have honored them with a medal of valor. They'll say that all of the men who fought this battle with me deserve the medals. Because without them, the battle could never have been won. The men and women who fight together consider themselves brothers. There is nothing they would not do to save one another.
One Medal of Honor victim threw himself on top of a grenade to save his men. Yes, they experience fear but I've read so many times that when these men enter a battle the fear disappears and they concentrate on fighting the enemy. However, if they see a comrade in trouble, these same warriors will protect a brother, resulting in his own injury or his own death.
These accounts will give you just a small taste of what the war was like for a handful of men and women. They tell the interviewer what occurred. The narrator did a great job making the book an easier listen. Each remembrance explains some parts of the battles they fought and how they definitely are potentially facing their own death each and every time they faced the enemy. I think I would like to read this book again to give myself the opportunity to once again hear about and understand what the member's of our military do to keep us safe and free. I say Thank You to our military.