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Not Going Home Alone: A Marine's Story

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2003

    Leading From the Front

    James Kirschke was a leader in every sense of the Marine's definition of that word. His story captures the feelings of Marine combat leadership and the day-in and day-out life of the Marine rifleman in that Vietnam War. Though his Corps life was much shorter than mine, we both shared many of the same experiences and feelings. We both had a problem in leaving the point position in a movement to contact to the proper Marines for that job. He writes with such vivid detail about his experiences, surroundings, personnel, and situations making an interesting, educational read. This book is full of good combat advice to the unit leaders at all levels; a reminder of the common sense things--like avoiding potential enemy registration points and the direction for running air strikes. His story is a helpful insight on the stress of fire fights. I wondered about his book title; he covers that: during his tour in Vietnam, a buddy escorted home each Marine killed in action. A must read for all military personnel, especially Marines

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2001

    Espirit de Corps in Vietnam

    1LT James J. Kirschke recounts the unceasing test of stamina and courage endured by Marines who served at the DMZ and An Hoa regions of Vietnam in 1966-1967. Unlike the cynical portrayals of reluctant warriors marking time until their return to the world and indifferent cruelty to the indigenous population, this book describes the Marines as having high morale under sparse and brutal conditions; employing vigilant and professional combat tactics in the field; and making all efforts to reduce suffering by the innocent local population. For 13 months, every step is measured taking into consideration a guerrilla ambush, an organized NVA assault, and the never-ending threat of land mines and booby traps. The author's writing style is brilliantly clear, with detailed facts and accounts of the people who served and the engagements that took place. The book comes to a shocking conclusion, and the reader comes away with a sense of inspiration, respect and gratitude.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2001

    How it must have been

    Not Going Home Alone is retired Marine Captain James J. Kirschke's narrative of his Vietnam tour as a platoon commander with the 3d and 2nd Battalions, 5th Marines, until his grievous wounding in the An Hoa Valley. Kirschke goes beyond combat accounts (although he provides plenty) to show us what a platoon commander in combat has to think about and do. The book would be good reading for anyone considering becoming a Marine or Army officer, especially as a grunt, and who wants some idea of what can be required. Kirschke brings the Marines he served with alive for us, and Not Going Home Alone is a wonderful memorial to his comrades who died in Vietnam and who have died since. The book is very well written and a useful reminder that the Vietnam War and Vietnam veterans are not as portrayed by Oliver Stone and his ilk. Not Going Home Alone has a special resonance for me; like Kirschke I was a grunt lieutenant in the 3d Battalion, 5th Marines, although in more peaceful times (1981 through 1983). While I cannot vouch personally for his Vietnam descriptions, Kirschke's descriptions of Camp Pendleton, Okinawa and the Philippines brought back a lot of memories. This is an outstanding book; here's hoping it finds a huge audience. P.S. to Hollywood: Not Going Home Alone would make a great movie, if you don't mess with it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2011

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    Posted May 2, 2012

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