The Boys of ’67: Charlie Company’s War in Vietnam

Andrew Wiest, Author
Andrew Wiest. Osprey (Random, dist.), $25.95 (376p) ISBN 978-1-78096-202-3
Reviewed on: 07/16/2012
Release date: 09/18/2012
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Wiest (coauthor, Vietnam’s Forgotten Army), who teaches Vietnam War history at the University of Southern Mississippi, concentrates on the human side of the Vietnam War with an in-depth chronicle of a group of men drafted into the army in 1966 and trained together with the 9th Infantry Division, the only division of draftees that was “raised, drafted, and trained for service in the Vietnam War,” Weist notes, and thus developed unusually strong bonds. After training in the States, the men went to Vietnam in January 1967 as a unit on a troop ship. Very few other American fighting units shipped out to Vietnam; the overwhelming majority arrived singly as replacements because of the one-year rotation system. In Vietnam, the men of Charlie Company slogged through the worst the war had to offer. The unit lost half its members to death and injury within two months, and too many of the men suffered anew after returning home, battling posttraumatic stress disorder for decades. Wiest spent three years interviewing 61 officers and men of Charlie Company, 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry. He tells their stories well and empathically, especially those of the dozen or so men whose lives he examines closely before, during, and after their service in the nation’s most controversial overseas war. Illus. (Sept. 18)
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