Hell, If It Exists, Cant Be Much Worse Than This...
Forty-six days without a bath. Jungle rot sores up and down both arms, oozing pus, stinkin' like death. Livin' on bomb crater water, C-ration white bread, peanut butter, and cigarettes. Sweat all the time, clothes get so crusted with sweat, they stiffen up at night when you sleep. Haven't had clean jungle fatigues for almost a month now. Mosquitoes swarm you every night, and leeches climb on and suck your blood any time you get near water. No weekends, no holidays, never a day off. The nights are hardest. Can't smoke, can't talk. Just stare into the darkness, listen to the lizards and bugs, try to stay awake, and listen for gooks. An hour here at night is an eternity.
At some point, you stop believin' you're gonna' make it.
Former infantry rifleman and platoon sergeant Gary DeRigne has created a novel set during the Viet Nam War that is brutal, honest, heartrending, tragic, and hopeful in turns. Told as only one who experienced the war firsthand can relay, One Young Soldier is a thoughtful and enduring work of literature that is as engaging to read as it is disturbing. DeRigne does not spare the reader the brutalities of war in all its nightmarish horror. This sensitive and unforgettable first novel is a triumph of literary war fiction.