cover image Five Four Whiskey: A Memory of War

Five Four Whiskey: A Memory of War

Robert Sweatmon. Westholme, $26 (256p) ISBN 978-1-59416-207-7

In this worthy Vietnam War memoir, former infantryman Sweatmon focuses on his 1969–1970 tour of duty as a member of the U.S. Army 25th Infantry Division’s mechanized C Company. Sweatmon spent many anxious hours on night ambush missions and as a machine-gunner and radioman on an armored personnel carrier (APC). He saw the war at its grittiest, and was seriously wounded when his APC was blown up by an enemy mine during the May 1970 incursion into Cambodia. Sweatmon recovered from his wounds and was sent back to the war, spending his final months on guard duty atop the famed Nui Ba Den (Black Virgin) Mountain in Tay Ninh Province. A retired history teacher, actor, and screenplay writer, Sweatmon elucidates what it was like for him to get drafted, shipped into the maelstrom of the Vietnam War, and become all but inured to the death and destruction that was part of everyday life there. The book also sheds light on the unique type of warfare faced by mechanized infantry units in the tropical climate of Vietnam. [em](Nov.) [/em]