Life and Death in the Central Highlands
An American Sergeant in the Vietnam War, 1968-1970
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: University of North Texas Press
Corporal Edward H. Gillam
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This book is dedicated to his memory.
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When Oliver Stone’s movie Platoon sent us scurrying for a foxhole in our local theaters, I invited a faculty friend, Professor Robert Driscoll, to walk point with me on this cinematic stroll into Stone’s Vietnam War. Bob had served in the Twenty-fifth Infantry Division and D in the III Corps area) as Stone. Both had been infantrymen. ...
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This book is the product of all the pieces of the puzzle that I also an Associate Professor of Chinese history. This book is the four decades I have lived as a veteran with a story to tell. It is essentially a memoir dedicated to the men I served with in Vietnam and Cambodia. It is also a description of the stages by which ...
Chapter 1. The Tet Offensive: Making Space for the Draft Class of 1968
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In every war, there are critical offensives and battles that redirect the course of the conflict. The Tet Mau Than, or Tet Offensive was a lot about Tet in January of 1991. At that time, I was back in was part of a delegation of Fulbright Scholars who were invited colonial Vietnamese history. An important part of that history is ...
Chapter 2. Training the Draft Class of 1968
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In the winter and spring when the Tet Offensive unfolded, I was unarmed, and delirious from malaria and dysentery. A week later, a unit from the 1st Cavalry (Airmobile) found him and delivered him to the hospital ship USS Repose. It was February 1968 before had swallowed. At the time, I was in the Reserve Officers Train-...
Chapter 3. Joining the Vietnam Class of 1969-70
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I started the process of joining the Vietnam Class of 1969–70 in Fort McClellan, Alabama, as an infantry instructor. There was a rest of us got a two-week leave. Then we boarded airplanes that a ghost for a year. I often thought about them in the same child-just keep telling myself, “Maybe something good will happen and ...
Chapter 4. Operation Putnam Wildcat: November 1, 1969, to January 18, 1970
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In September 1969 when I heard of Ho Chi Minh’s death, I naively predicted that I would not go to Vietnam or, if I did go, I would be home for the holidays. Clearly, I had no understanding of the martyr effect on political movements or the barest appreciation of the strength of Vietnamese nationalism. So, I ended...
Chapter 5. Operation Putnam Power: January 18 to February 7, 1970
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The 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry was the 2nd Brigade’s reaction force, so we got pulled in from the field in mid-January for a three-week assignment called Operation Putnam Power. We were picked up by choppers from a hastily cut landing zone and flown to LZ Stinger. We got a two-day stand down, during which we...
Photo page section
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Chapter 6. Operations Hines and Putnam Paragon: February 16 to May 18, 1970
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From mid-January to the first week of February 1970, B Company was assigned to Operation Putnam Power. The objective was to find and destroy the NVA’s Base Area 226. As a unit, we failed. As an individual soldier, I saw and participated in the Vietnam...
Chapter 7. Regional Politics, Diplomacy, and Military Preparations for Invasion: March 11 to May 18, 1970
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In the late winter and early spring of 1970, the Vietnam War intensified dramatically for the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Brigade. At the same time, complications in the political and diplomatic situation in Southeast Asia set the stage for the Cambodian invasion of 1970. Of course, they also raised the...
Chapter 8. The Cambodian Invasion: May 7 to May 15, 1970
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The 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry lifted off from LZ Jackson Hole for Cambodia in the middle of the afternoon on May 7, 1970. Col. George Webb, the acting chief of staff for the II FORCEV, wrote a report on what we did there called, “The Commander’s...
Chapter 9. Joining the Vietnam Veteran's Class of 1970
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It was midmorning on May 15 when the helicopters began to land at LZ Jood to withdraw the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry from Cambodia. Happily for the men of B Company, the usual policy of first men in, first men out of an LZ put second platoon...
Chapter 10. Epilogue
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A week after I got home, Peg and Gene Mullen, the parents of Michael Mullen, came to my family’s home. I had trained with Mike at the NCO Academy and shared a room with him in the barracks at Fort McClellan in the summer before we went to...
Appendix. 2nd Platoon, B Company, First Battalion, 22nd Infantry: Where Are They Now?
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Glossary of Terms
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Page Count: 328
Illustrations: 23 b&w illus., 7 maps
Publication Year: 2010
Series Title: North Texas Military Biography and Memoir Series