Top positive review
Reviewed in the United States on May 26, 2021
This final book in a great series gave me some nostalgia. I was a Hollywood marine and part of the first reduced eight week platoon in San Diego during the Vietnam war—-uh, conflict. I served as nothing but a locker lugger (supply), but the greatest compliment I ever received was from a gunnery sergeant following a training attack by 80 marines on a hostile town with 13 “Charlies” defending. I led a squad of 20 marines. We were told very few training attacks succeeded and this exercise was to teach us just how dangerous it was to attack an urban area.
We fired blanks as we advanced building to building seeking snipers and booby traps. My time was spent directing my squad, advancing one or two men at a time while providing covering fire from other marines. I was “killed” just before my last remaining marine got the sniper who nailed me.
As I walked off toward the rest of the “dead” marines in my company, a grizzled ole gunny stepped up and said, “Son, I’ve never seen a squad better led and directed on this course. I hope you’re headed for the grunts. They can use you.”
I have never been prouder in my life, even though I had to disappoint him with my MOS. It made me a better man and marine, and although I was with a Motor T battalion in Vietnam, I volunteered for every perimeter patrol we sent out, wanting to live up to that NCO’s praise.
Col. Brazee brought those memories back especially in the early books of Recruit, Sergeant, and even Lieutenant though I never got beyond E5. The small unit tactics, the knot in your stomach as you approached a suspected enemy position, the fear of letting your buddies down, the sudden terror in the night at a surprise rocket or mortar attack all came back as I read Brazee’s books.
And even his final book that deals with the disappointment of a Marine feeling let down by his own government had an impact on me. I came to the conclusion that we sure as hell weren’t fighting to stop communism (and we didn’t). And it was David Hackworth’s book, About Face, that gave me insight into the ugly truth of why so many young men died in that war — more than all other wars we’ve fought since.
But Colonel, you captured the essence of what it means to be a Marine even with the futuristic weapons. Men, and women, still remain human beings, capable of great good as long as they don’t care who gets the credit.