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The Bridges of Vietnam

From the Journals of a U.S. Marine Intelligence Officer

Fred L. Edwards, Jr.

Publication Year: 2001

As an intelligence officer during the Vietnam War, Fred L. Edwards, Jr., was instructed to visit every major ground unit in the country to search for intelligence sources—long range patrols, boats, electronic surveillance, and agent operations. “Edwards found time to keep a journal, an extremely well-written, sharply observed report of his adventures. Along with contemporary postscripts and a helpful historical chronology, that journal is a significant improvement on most Vietnam memoirs. It is the record of a Marine’s on-the-job education.”—Proceedings

Published by: University of North Texas Press


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pp. v-7

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pp. vii-xvi

In response to the suicide of Admiral Jeremy Boorda, the Chief of Naval Operations, on 16 May 1996, retired Marine Lieutenant General Bernard E. Trainor wrote, "Within the armed forces the distinction...

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Chapter 1. Initiation

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pp. 1-38

A quick goodbye to my wife in the blackness of predawn. My mind spins as I slide into a seat on the bus. The sun will never come up this day because the bus will lurch from Oceanside's darkness into the Los Angeles smog belt, and will slip from there...

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Chapter 2. Professional Education

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pp. 39-82

It seems that every Monday of this war I am rising at some ridiculous hour in order to catch a plane. Last Monday I went south. This Monday I'll go north, but not nearly as far as Okinawa. I swallow my two weekly Aralin pills to guard against malaria, and...

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Chapter 3. Internship

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pp. 83-115

That's right! Yesterday afternoon the boss asked me if I'd like to have Sundays off when in Saigon. So this morning I slept until 0900, the first time I've done that since I left the States. When I rise, there's nobody on my floor except me and the maids chattering in...

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Chapter 4. Residency

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pp. 116-157

I have a little intestinal trouble this week, and know that this hour in the sun at the Vietnamese Marine Brigade Compound just before the noon meal will be rough. But after seventeen years I foresee no new experiences for me at this Marine...

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Chapter 5. A Long Tunnel to Nowhere

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pp. 158-182

We plan to eat dinner at the Navy club, called the Stone Elephant, but when we arrive we find that field uniforms are no longer allowed. During my past visits, there always had been standing room only in the bar, and a waiting line for the dining room....

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Chapter 6. Sabbatical

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pp. 183-188

I receive notification that I'm booked for an R&R flight to Hawaii on the twenty-first. To be eligible for the flight, I'll need a new smallpox vaccination. Of course I discover that there is no smallpox vaccine anywhere in the United States Military Assistance...

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Chapter 7. Transition

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pp. 189-200

Lieutenant Colonel Harry Holeman, the J-2 MACV science advisor, wants to discuss a project involving long-range patrolling with several members of G-2 and G-3 at II Field Force headquarters in Long Binh.l Harry's clearance precludes in-country trips...

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Chapter 8. Initiation

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pp. 201-212

"Fred, I've been informed that everybody here works long hours and lives with danger and hardships for a year. As a morale-booster, the policy is that each person who completes a satisfactory tour of duty at MACV should know that he will go...

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pp. 215-220

Before my first trip to Vietnam, I believed that most politicians, professional soldiers, and concerned citizens accepted the concept of going to war to protect their country's national interest. I didn't know that many of those responsible for war-making...

Appendix A. Selected Vietnam War Chronology

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pp. 221-250

Appendix B. Terms and Acronyms

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pp. 251-259

Appendix C. Bibliography

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pp. 260-261

Sketch Maps

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pp. 262-265


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pp. 267-273

E-ISBN-13: 9781574414943
Print-ISBN-13: 9781574411386

Page Count: 296
Illustrations: 4 b&w illus. 4 maps.
Publication Year: 2001