A Sniper's Journey: The Truth about the Man behind the Rifle

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Overview

In 1968, Gary Mitchell enlisted in the army and was sent to Vietnam, where he caught the eye of his superiors, who found that he excelled at long-distance shooting-a discovery that set him on the path to a new identity as a sniper.

During his time in Vietnam, American intelligence agents "borrowed" him from his Army unit and used him to carry out planned assassinations most likely as part of the covert Phoenix Program. But this is not just the story of a man at war; it's also ...

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Overview

In 1968, Gary Mitchell enlisted in the army and was sent to Vietnam, where he caught the eye of his superiors, who found that he excelled at long-distance shooting-a discovery that set him on the path to a new identity as a sniper.

During his time in Vietnam, American intelligence agents "borrowed" him from his Army unit and used him to carry out planned assassinations most likely as part of the covert Phoenix Program. But this is not just the story of a man at war; it's also about the war within the man, because the memories of his sniper missions followed him home-and nearly destroyed him.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A compelling, troubling story, this war memoir recounts the hellish experiences of an 18-year-old naif from Texas who volunteered to fight in the Vietnam War only to find himself transformed into a part-time sniper. Mitchell served as an infantryman and as the commander of an armored recovery vehicle for most of his 1969-1970 tour, spending most of his time in the thick of the guerrilla war. Periodically, he would be plucked from his unit by a team of anonymous intelligence operatives (perhaps members of the CIA's Phoenix Program), handed a special sharpshooter's rifle, put on a helicopter and given a mission to stalk and kill someone. For respite, he was given three weeks of temporary duty working with dead American bodies at the Danang morgue. Mitchell survived the war, but soon after coming home he began suffering from terrifying nightmares and rages that would plague him for three decades. Mitchell tells his life story with the help of journalist Hirsh (None Braver), also a Vietnam veteran. Though the later sections dealing with Mitchell's efforts to overcome post-traumatic stress disorder are bogged down with repetitive details and long quotes, the authors' recounting of Mitchell's sniper missions are absolutely riveting. (Jan. 3) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451216526
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 1/3/2006
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.28 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary D. Mitchell (Chief Warrant Officer, Ret.) served in Vietnam, from 1969-1970, and later participated in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.

Michael Hirsh is a George Foster Peabody Award and Writers Guild Award winner.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2006

    Fiction?

    I do believe that the author had experiences with sniper activity during the Vietnam war but his story seems too exaggerated making it sound too much like fiction. I was disappointed because it didn't feel like everything I read was truthful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2006

    want to meet you-kindred spirit

    I too was a pawn in the unsung hero game of using military men to accomplish CIA missions. Except I was supposedly only for gathering of intel or so they said. But I had to fight my way in and out of every situation and I was expendable. Yours is the first book on this forgotten part of the Vietnam War. Congrats on a job well done.

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