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.
SEALs are trained to perform the most difficult missions that were once thought impossible. The SEALs will go anywhere and do anything, " to protect those who cannot protect themselves." The SEALs are a brotherhood that would lay down their live for one another. The SEAL knows that when on a mission that they face the possibility of death.
Eyes on Target relates to the reader a few of the operations that the SEALs have undertaken. These missions killed SEALs, fellow Americans, other members of the elite forces of the Army, Air Force and the Marines.
First, Lt. Commander Marcinko was the founder of SEAL Team Six. The SEAL Team Six members, at that time were called pirates. Their tough practices, fighting was not uncommon, drinking everywhere and as much as each member could drink, although they would not drink before a mission, were well known. When Lt. Commander Marcinko left SEAL Team Six, Commander Ryan Zinke took his place. He was certainly a different kind of leader. Many of the older SEALs as well as some of the younger SEALs left. Commander Ryan Zinke took time but did change the way that SEAL Team Six functions today.
The SEALs participated in the Vietnam War. There were two SEALs in the Vietnam war, Norris and Thornton, who both received the medal of honor. Thornton insisted that Norris also be rewarded the medal of honor. Norris was in the hospital and had not been released. However, Thornton removed Norris from the hospital in a wheelchair, to be present when he was to receive his medal of honor. However, Thornton explained how the actions of Norris were also consistent with the rules that constituted his receiving the medal of honor, too. Both men received their medal of honor together at a later time. That was the first and last time in history that this has occurred.
The mission of Eagle Claw, whereby 52 Americans who were being held hostage in Iran and were to be rescued, turned into a debacle. The different entities of the armed forces did not work together as a team. Each segment devised their plan but none of them shared each other's plans. Therefore, the one side did not know what the other was doing and the rescued attempt was compromised and had to be called off.
The mission to capture bin Laden was successful. However, at the time, he was armed and dangerous and was killed. However, before this occurred, the men on the first black hawk were roping down and all aboard were killed when the black hawk exploded after being hit with an RPG. There were 48 Gold SEALs killed at that time, the largest loss of SEAL Team Six men at any other time. At the time of my listening of this book, that figure still stands.
Lastly, was the unheard and ignored pleas? from Ambassador Stevens, who was at his station in Benghazi. The terrorists started early and gave the American's more than enough time to get out of Benghazi. Ambassador Stevens, who will ever know why, chose not to call for help early and when he did, making the White House aware for the immediate evacuation of all American's, his pleas fell on deaf ears. The number of calls for assistance were too many to be counted, made by many of the American's at the compound. Unfortunately, no one except two SEALs, who were not called but who were made aware of the crisis, came and saved all American's except for two, Ambassador Stevens and another member of his team were in the compound that had been set on fire.
The two SEALs, who climbed up on the roof of a building next door, kept some of the terrorists distracted enough, that the other American's were driven away in a Hum Vee to the airport and out of Benghazi. Political F...Up?
The two SEALs, who saved the trapped American's, died. Therefore, the count is now 4 American's dead. "I will not fail. I'm never out of the fight." "All gave some and some gave all."
These true accounts clarify, once again, that the request from President John F. Kennedy, before his assassination, was to create a team of SEALs, was steering our military in the right direction. After WWII the demolition team was no longer a part of the US Navy. Furthermore, the Army and the Marines have the Green Berets and MARSOC, which are now a part of the elite warriors of the US war on terrorism.
I enjoyed listening to this book very much. If you are interested in this genre of books, this one is a good choice. The narrator was excellent. I would have liked to have finished this book in a day but I required more time in order to absorb what I was listening to. In fact, this is the second time that I've listened to this book. I've listened to these events while listening to other books but I've found that I've learned a little more with each listen.
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.