Last Man Out: A Personal Account of the Vietnam War

Overview

"I WAS AMONG THE FIRST MEN IN,
AND I WAS THE LAST MAN OUT."

In Vietnam, at both the start and finish of the conflict, 2d Lt. James E. Parker Jr. saw the war as few men did. Now, with uncommon insight and raw honesty, he captures the stark realities of jungle combat, heavy casualties, and heroic sacrifice. From the tight confines of a VC-occupied Cu Chi tunnel to bloody firefights in areas that hardcore VC and NVA vets had controlled for decades, Parker relives the rain, the ...

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Overview

"I WAS AMONG THE FIRST MEN IN,
AND I WAS THE LAST MAN OUT."

In Vietnam, at both the start and finish of the conflict, 2d Lt. James E. Parker Jr. saw the war as few men did. Now, with uncommon insight and raw honesty, he captures the stark realities of jungle combat, heavy casualties, and heroic sacrifice. From the tight confines of a VC-occupied Cu Chi tunnel to bloody firefights in areas that hardcore VC and NVA vets had controlled for decades, Parker relives the rain, the heat, the horror, the pain--and the anguish of kneeling beside a buddy whose blood turnd the soil black as he lays dying. Vietnam exacted a very high price. Parker pays tribute to the men who paid it.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Uplifting and insightful."
--Publishers Weekly

"Candid, realistic, very readable. . . . An important contribution to the literature of the Vietnam War."
--ED BURKE
   President, 28th Infantry Association

"Describes in vivid detail the total hell of ground combat and the great trust and camaraderie that develops among men."
--WILLIAM G. BAINBRIDGE
   Sergeant Major of the Army (Ret.)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804119412
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/2/2000
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: 1 BALLANTI
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 4.16 (w) x 6.88 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

James E. Parker Jr. was born in North Carolina in 1942. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he served in the U.S. Army from 1964 to 1967. He was recruited by the central Intelligence Agency in 1970 and spent his entire career working undercover both in domestic assignments and overseas. Now retired to Pinehurst, N.C., he lectures and writes.
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2001

    Last Man Out by James E. Parker, Jr. Reviewed by Phil Duncan

    Jim and I met at the Reunion at the Ramada Inn in Columbia, SC. I purchased his book.. I had looked at it in Barnes and Noble, and seen what Ed Burke and SGM Bainbridge said about it. Both of whom I respect. I am glad I waited for an autographed copy. Anyway, I just finished reading it. I sure like his writing style. It is so smooth. I couldn't put it down. He knows how to build tension then hold it there and takes his time coming to a conclusion. Felt good to read this stuff. If someone said something to me, I would just yell, 'Not Now!' 'Later'. But I also didn't want to finish it either. I want to thank Jim for writing this about his experiences. I really enjoyed tagging along through your tour. It was a neat glimpse of the beginning as well as the end of the war. I know a local fellow who was at Fort Riley when you all left. He stayed cause he was armor. He did go later to the 9th Division in the Delta. He ended up in the infantry anyway. He was a first sergeant. He came back with a CIB, Purple Heart and Silver Star. So he did his job. While Jim were Fort Ord, I was stationed at the Presidio of Monterey. I was studying Bulgarian with ASA. I was there August 66 to April 67. Then I went to Vietnam. Then I left for Fort Riley to complete my service. I was there when the 1st Division came back to Riley. At first, I didn't care about the CIA stuff, but as I read on I got hooked and couldn't quit. I will recommend this to everyone I meet. I wish others would put their true-life VN experiences on paper. There is a great important to that. Thanks again, for such an exciting book to read. My only regret is that I finished the book. Everything in this book rings true. Phil Duncan, A and HHC, 2/28th Inf. 1st Inf Division. Oct. 67-68. Black Lions, Sir!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2001

    The best military book I read in a long time!

    Last Man Out: A Personal Account of the Vietnam War by James E. Parker, Jr. is the best book I¿ve read in a long time. If this author didn¿t have a tape recorder or a diary that he wrote in everyday then I have to say he has a most remarkable memory. James takes the reader back to his home in North Carolina and introduces his family and friends. He continues as he makes the decision to enlist in the Army at a time when others were already doing everything they could to avoid serving their country. The reader goes through Basic Training with James and his buddies at Fort Gordon, Georgia in February 1964. Two months later after being named ¿Outstanding Trainee¿ James reiterates some of his time while at his Advanced Infantry Training. You are there when he signs up for Officer Candidate School and while he waited to be selected. You go through that six-month course with him too beginning in November at Fort Benning, Georgia. Upon graduation James goes to Jump School. From there the book gets even better. James first Permanent Party duty station was at Fort Riley, Kansas with the 1st Infantry Division. Then through his Tour of Duty in Vietnam. James told about an encounter with General William Westmoreland following a mission. The general flew in to review the troops, present medals and then was gone. It was a mere media event. When the general departed, another officer walked the line and took back the medals. After Nam James next assignment took him to Fort Ord in Monterey, California. He became the Officer-in-Charge of the 6th Army Area Drill Sergeant School. It was a great assignment. BUT James was thinking about leaving the Army but he ¿felt guilty about forsaking my duty, abandoning my obligation to country at a time of war.¿ Unable to find a job that suited him he applied for and was accepted as a member of the Central Intelligence Agency. By September 1971 James was headed back to Southeast Asia ¿as a case officer in the Lao program, the CIA¿s largest covert operation.¿ James was involved with several operations before heading stateside in 1973. He spoke openly about them. By January 1975 James was the only American left in Vi Thanh province. At that point he secured himself a ¿bodyguard.¿ James wrote of the fall of Ban Me Thout, Hue, Da Nang, and Saigon. He took part in the evacuation of the Vietnamese who worked as agents for the CIA. He spoke of the problems encountered onboard the USS Vancouver and the transfer to the USNS Pioneer Contender. James Parker Jr. wrote an incredible account of his military and civilian service to our country and the people of South Vietnam. It is a book well worth reading. I¿m glad I had the opportunity to meet the author in person in 1998. AND I¿m glad I took the time to read his book. You will be also.

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