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A Marine's Year in Vietnam: A Tour With No Happy E
by BernWei1aolcom on February 11, 2013Review Written By Bernie Weisz, Historian, Vietnam War. Contact: BernWei1@aol.com Pembroke Pines, Florida USA February 12, 2013 Title of Review: A Marine's Year in Vietnam: A Tour With No Happy Ending.
After over a forty year passage of time, author Frank Cox decided to set the record straight by documenting his personal remembrances as an Artillery Forward Observer in Echo Company, Twelve Marines during the Vietnam War. He would arrive in July of 1965, in what was known as America's "build up period," and leave in April of 1966 with memories he preferred to block. Those reminiscences are starkly recalled throughout the pages of "Lullabies For Lieutenants." Among the plethora of Vietnam War memoirs that exist, the vast majority have a sobering lament to them. Considering the fact that over 58,000 Americans were killed with 21% of those younger than age 21, it would be hard to find an upbeat memoir about a war that not only did the U.S. Government give up on, but so did an ungrateful populace. So why did Cox decide to write this book about his participation in an unpopular war after over four decades? First he allowed emerging memories as a catalyst to create the emotions of rekindled aggression and adrenalin, serving him well in his career as a stock broker. After discovering letters written home to his mother while in Vietnam, Cox's decision was made. The author explained his reason; "To honor the young Marines of that strange war who were slashed across their cheeks and throats by five foot tall, razor sharp elephant grass as they crossed into the thick green foliage hiding enemy ambush positions."
Despite B-52 carpet bombings, defoliating the enemy's sanctuaries, rapidly ferrying into battles troops and evacuating wounded by helicopters, as well as incredible Brown and Blue water naval assets, Cox summed up the American experience in Vietnam as follows; "If I had been an odds maker when I returned to America in 1966, I would have unblinkingly installed the NVA/VC consortium as an overwhelming 3 to 1 favorite to win. But I'd have lost the other proposition: over or under 8 more years of war. I'd have bet under 8 more years. I couldn't have conceived how mad our leadership would become in order to let it linger on for so many years. Maybe our country needs more history majors. Our insistence and proclivity to apply quick, hi tech responses in nonindustrial hotspots fails us." Like most Vietnam Vets, Frank Cox felt the U.S. waged the war in Vietnam with hands tied behind its back, with 58,000 plus paying the ultimate price. Mr. Cox sums up his book incisively by remarking; "In the Vietnam War, if you thought it would happen, it didn't. If it happened, you never considered it." This memoir is an important addition any understanding of America's involvement with Vietnam and essential reading!
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