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am 22. Mai 2000
Normally, I do not read Vietnam books. And, since this is less than positive, my statement is brief. I was in one of the author's units: 329th Trans. Co. (the Army Riverboats). And it was because of that reason that I purchased the book. But when I got to a remark that went something like " ... just more gooks that needed killing:" I threw the book away. Amazon will not allow this note on the Web, but the publishers of the book allowed that very negative comment to be in print.
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am 17. Februar 2005
The common denominator of John Leppelman's three tours of duty in Vietnam shows clearly why it was not possible to win this war: poor leadership ("higher-higher" REMFs), and poor motivation on the part of the troops ("who gives a f..."). It is also obvious that most of the Vietnamese people did not want to be liberated by John, his buddies, or, for that matter, by his government.
As a personal account it is an excellent book. It shows the war from the standpoint of the soldier who finds himself in a situation in which he has no other choice than to fight. There is no melodrama and no heroics. There are no endless diatribes about the morality of war, and there are no analyses with the benefit of hindsight. The language is terse, factual, often sarcastic, and easy to read.
This is not the ultimate word on Vietnam. However, it is an interesting piece of the puzzle which constitutes this war.
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am 6. März 1997
After being told by a drill sergant in basic training he wouldn't "make it" in Vietnam because of his attitude, John Leppleman proceededs to prove him wrong. Originally with the paratroops, the author participates in the only mass combat drop during the vietnam war. After living through a friendly fire incident with American artillery, Leppleman puts in for a transfer -one that comes with an additional year of combat duty- riverine patrol. After a time in the "brown water navy," our hero joins up with the Airborne Rangers and spends a third year in theatre fighting the war like the enemy, guerrilla style. A good book that describes one man's method of surviving a bad situation. Well written and engrossing, this book will interest anyone who enjoys a good war story
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am 1. Juni 1998
John, wrote a very down to earth story about his experiences in Vietnam. The story that he tells is the story that the Brass tried talking him out of writting. Why, you ask? Because John tells the bloody truth. The truth about some of the battles that the Brass rewrote, showing a more favorable reflection on them. John shared with me, some stories about his writting of this book and of the attemps to get him not to write it the way he did. He felt it was time that some truths were finely told. John was and is a grunt. A member of the Airborne Soldier community. A member of the only true airborne unit in Vietnam. The 173rd Airborne Bridge (Sep.) The title of the book comes from the song from Jump School. The song is played every morning in jump week to wake you up.
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am 4. Juli 1998
I got word of John Leppleman's book from the author himself. Upon entering the sport of skydiving, I bought my first rig from John. He gave me a few details on his new book that he just wrote. Grabbing a copy of it, I found it to be fascinating from start to finish. This book told it all. From the line duty of a grunt, to a ranger, to boat support, John did it all in Vietnam. I have now read over twenty vietnam books focusing on Rangers and Lurps. I don't think I would have gotten into them as much if I had not read John's book. I am now in the process of reading it again. I think that there is enough detail and information in his book that I didn't catch it all the first time. For anyone who wants to read a thorough book on the war, this is a must.
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I have read many Vietnam war stories, and this is by far the best. Leppelman's perspective is unique, afforded by the very different roles he undertook during his tours, distinct from the single-tour vantage points offered by so many others. Avoiding over-dramaticism, he recounts the incredible danger, terror, bravery and stress of combat, as well as the incompetence, frustration, hatred, and even humor he encountered. Leppelman does not glorify or even justify his experiences, but provides the reader with a thought-provoking appreciation for what it was like to have survived his extraordinary ordeal.
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am 19. März 1999
There really are no words to explain it. It's the best book I've ever read. I can't believe any of our boys made it back from some of the instances John wrote about. I think the books best trait is that there's no candy coating-John told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Even when it came to the lack of competantcy of our government. I definitly don't think a movie producer should get his hands on this story. No movie would do justice for Leppleman's words.
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am 1. August 1998
As a former Infantry grunt myself, I respect John for his no BS attitude from stupid NCO's and Officers. John did it all- Airborne Infantry, Rangers and River Boats. He was defintely in the s*%t! I read many, many books about Vietnam and this was by far the most graphic, detailed and exciting book of them all. Just too bad that Sgt. K didn't get killed. While I was in Kuwait me and my whole platoon read this book and loved it!
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am 14. April 1999
John's experiernces in Vietnam caused me to experience flashbacks and emotional upheavel that will never be forgotten. Not only was I in the same areas at the same time, but probably in on a lot of the same operations! He told it like it was but only one that was there can truly understand the ideosyncrysies, frustration, in- competence of the people in charge, and the outrage we felt in that war
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am 18. Mai 2000
On August 2nd, 1969 - The Walther's family was informed that Frank was missing in action. This went on for six (6) grueling weeks. Your book was the only factual account of the events that led to Frank's death. I was known as "the Polack", grew-up with Frank, burried him and served with the 101st Airborne (Vietnam 67-68). John - thank you for writing this book.
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