Combat Recon: My Year with the Arvn

Robert D. Parrish, Author
Robert D. Parrish, Author St. Martin's Press $19.95 (291p) ISBN 978-0-312-05403-8
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-312-92713-4
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Parrish arrived in Vietnam in 1967 as a first lieutenant ``eager to kill Viet Cong and participate in the great adventure.'' He spent the first half of an action-filled year as an adviser to an ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) infantry battalion and the second half performing simliar duties with an ARVN reconnaissance company. Both units were part of the 5th ARVN Division operating a few miles north of Saigon. Among the mayhem he caused, he threatened to decapitate a tank commander and to shoot down an uncooperative pilot, and he concocted a plan to assassinate a meddlesome colonel by means of a faked Viet Cong ambush. Parrish is not an easy fellow to admire, with all his bragging about ``good kills'' (which include the gratuituous zapping of water buffalo), but the retired lieutenant colonel's memoir is valuable for its rare descriptions of South Vietnamese ``grunts'' who fought with dedication and skill. Photos. (Feb.)
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