Nine From The Ninthby Paul Newman
Thirty years after the Vietnam War, three soldiers collaborate with three short stories each to create Nine From The Ninth. They served with the Ninth Infantry Division in the Mekong Delta. Rangers Bob Wallace and Paul A. Newman depict moments of joy, friendship, and surprise mixed with terror, anger and hate/i>/p>/center>
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Thirty years after the Vietnam War, three soldiers collaborate with three short stories each to create Nine From The Ninth. They served with the Ninth Infantry Division in the Mekong Delta. Rangers Bob Wallace and Paul A. Newman depict moments of joy, friendship, and surprise mixed with terror, anger and hate while serving with Co. E, 75th Inf. (Rangers). Jack Bick photographed and wrote stories about the Rangers and Infantrymen while serving as a Public Information Officer. His stories were published in the Stars and Stripes and The Octofoil, a monthly publication on the Ninth Infantry Division.
This book will make you reevaluate Vietnam and the boys who served there. It will make you appreciate the conflict of cultures, rank, and war. A book to reread, ponder and keep.
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Nine from the Ninth: For the last four years, I have supported the Contemporary History Department at the Navy Historical Center. While our principal focus is to collect and record stories of current Naval significance, we frequently have the opportunity to interview, through the use of oral history, the men and women who participated in military events of yesterday. These interviews always provide new insights and inspiration for historians to capture the true nature of these conflicts for future generations. This book provides a rare glimpse behind the curtain of war. While this review is not an official endorsement of the Historical Center, I found this compilation of short stories to be outstanding examples of the graphic and detailed events of battle that can only be told by those who served their country in the trenches of war. Thirty years after their tour of duty, the detail of combat is still very fresh in their mind. They provide an amazing account of the smell, taste, color, fear, tragedy, humor, friendships, camaraderie, explosion and horror of war. For those of us who have never been face to face with killing and dying while serving their country, this book is a must read. I am grateful for your heroic service to our nation and applaud your efforts in capturing these stories for the benefit of all. I hope that this book provides both encouragement and a template to all of the other unsung heroes of America¿s wars to share their story.
Most everyone has an impression about the Vietnam War, regardless of how little they really know about it. Unfortunately, the movies by Oliver Stone (Born on the Fourth of July) and others provide the slanted ¿facts¿ and distorted perspective that too often define the war for the uninformed. To really understand the war you should first read accounts written by the actual participants and there is no better place to begin than the newly released memoir, NINE FROM THE NINTH. NINE FROM THE NINTH is not a global perspective of the conflict, but it never pretends that it is. Rather, it is a collection of nine stories taken from the personal remembrances of two former US Army Rangers who served with Company E. of the 75th Infantry Rangers, and a third author, Jack Bick, who volunteered and went on combat operations with Company E as a photographer and writer. For them, combat didn¿t include the nightly comfort of an air conditioned Officer¿s Club in Saigon or the relatively safe vantage point of an aircraft 10,000 feet above the jungle. Instead the stories present the personal, close-up views of combat that can only be told by those who have ¿been and done¿, and survived. Jack Bick, accurately observes in ¿Smart Charlie¿ that the Vietnam conflict was unique; as opposed to WWII, US leadership wasn¿t fighting to win, so soldiers generally, including even the elite Ranger¿s, lacked an overall sense of purpose¿.their strategic goal became to survive for 365 days, and go home! Along the way, the three authors, Jack Bick, Paul Newman, and Bob Wallace, formed bonds of friendship that outlasted the terror, anger, and hate of combat and survive thirty years later. Bob Wallace¿s story of ¿Staff Sergeant Frost¿ is a revealing look inside one of the war¿s most legendary fighting groups, the LRRPs (Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols). These six-men, self-contained, voluntary units would deploy for days at a time inside enemy controlled territory to ¿observe and report¿. Regardless if an officer was with the LRRPs, it was the senior sergeants like Frost (E-5s and E-6s) that ran the teams. Their reputations were for eating snakes and ravaging the countryside, but the profane and gritty senior noncoms made the teams work, fight, and ultimately survive. As very young soldiers they were called upon to undertake harrowing tasks that brought about sudden maturity. So brutal was the LRRP experience that lasting for three weeks on a team converted a ¿cherry¿ into a veteran! Paul Newman¿s account of the ¿Bo Bo Canal¿ is a gutsy story of the fighting along ¿a mosquito ridden canal¿ that ran for 20 miles, and became a ¿water road¿ for the VC. Carrying more than 8o pounds of combat equipment the team members would sink so deeply into the mud that walking was often difficult. This uncensored tale isn¿t for the squeamish but accurately conveys the unavoidable brutality of warfare and how it changed the outlook of the men who survived it. After Vietnam the three authors left military service and took with them the best and worst of their experiences in Vietnam. The same training and personal skills that helped them survive in combat ultimately helped them succeed in their later careers. Initiative, risk taking, determined individualism and community involvement were common hallmarks as each man became successful in a variety of endeavors. This is a highly recommended book for anyone interested in real stories of the Vietnam War, and the memoirs of three men who served their country honorably, proudly and well.
I'm amazed that the authors have been able, 30 years from the events, to recall in detail the sights, smells, sounds, and feelings of the war. Before there was the War on Terrorism, the (as of this writing likely) War on Iraq, the War in Afghanistan, the first Gulf War, there was Vietnam, fought by patriotic Americans like these three authors and the members of the 9th who became stars on the Wall. Although America too quickly forgot about our Vietnam veterans, 9 from the 9th gives us another chance to recall the everyday heroism of this generation of soldiers. The language is not for the politically correct squeamish, the sentiments are not for the faint-of-heart peaceniks, but these are stories honestly told by soldiers who deserved better from our country. If you want to know what it was like, run to your local book seller and pick up 9 from the 9th. To the authors: thanks for being there when your country called upon you.
Just another forgotten war...brought back in living drama...telling it the way it was is a needed story for anyone that wants to get acquainted with war. This book connected me with the way it was! And it was real!