The Boys of '67

The Boys of '67

Charlie Company's War in Vietnam

Book - 2012
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When the 160 men of Charlie Company (4th Battalion/47th Infantry/9th ID) were drafted by the US Army in May 1966, they were part of the wave of conscription that would swell the American military to 80,000 combat troops in theater by the height of the war in 1968. In the spring of 1966, the war was still popular and the draftees of Charlie Company saw their service as a rite of passage. But by December 1967, when the company rotated home, only 30 men were not casualties-and they were among the first vets of the war to be spit on and harassed by war protestors as they arrived back the U.S.

In his new book, The Boys of '67, Andy Wiest, the award-winning author of Vietnam's Forgotten Army and The Vietnam War 1956-1975, examines the experiences of a company from the only division in the Vietnam era to train and deploy together in similar fashion to WWII's famous 101st Airborne Division.

Wiest interviewed more than 50 officers and enlisted men who served with Charlie Company, including the surviving platoon leaders and both of the company's commanders. (One of the platoon leaders, Lt Jack Benedick, lost both of his legs, but went on to become a champion skier.) In addition, he interviewed 15 family members of Charlie Company veterans, including wives, children, parents, and siblings. Wiest also had access to personal papers, collections of letters, a diary, an abundance of newspaper clippings, training notebooks, field manuals, condolence letters, and photographs from before, during, and after the conflict.

As Wiest shows, the fighting that Charlie Company saw in 1967 was nearly as bloody as many of the better publicized battles, including the infamous 'Ia Drang' and 'Hamburger Hill.' As a result, many of the surviving members of Charlie Company came home with what the military now recognizes as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder-a diagnosis that was not recognized until the late 1970s and was not widely treated until the 1980s. Only recently, after more than 40 years, have many members of Charlie Company achieved any real and sustained relief from their suffering.

Publisher: Oxford, UK ; Long Island City, NY : Osprey Pub., 2012.
ISBN: 9781780962023
1780962029
Branch Call Number: 959.7043 WIE
Characteristics: 376 p., [24] p. of plates : ill. (some col.), maps ; 24 cm.
Alternative Title: Boys of Sixty-seven
Boys of 1967

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abm4011
Aug 28, 2017

I have not read this book yet, but do have it on hold and look forward to delving into it. I was drafted during that same period, but was lucky enough to spend my service in Germany. I did observe many service members who rotated out of Nam and came to Germany to complete their service. Most had emotional scars which caused many problems in the ranks on a day to day basis. The war in Nam was a turning point emotionally for our entire country. I believe this book would be good for anyone to read and learn from.

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GilbertMartin
Aug 26, 2017

This book helped me gain a much better understanding of the day-to-day frustrations and terrors faced by regular "on the ground" soldiers in Vietnam. But most of all, I think it illustrates the deep and lasting emotional effects of war, and why the those who did not serve cannot achieve the fundamental bond that combat veterans share. A good and worthwhile read, especially for boomers like myself who grew up watching tragically unrealistic depictions of war in the media.

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BrendanRogers
Jan 25, 2015

In this age of a all volunteer military, significant media attention is given to special operations warfighting. This book tells the story of a group of people that were drafted together to fight in Vietnam together. It tells the stories of everyday people called to perform extraordinary sacrifice. The book additionally follows service members after the war, uncovering additional impacts of combat.

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flightops70
Jan 29, 2013

Lots of names and home towns. I'm not sure about some of the things that are mentioned like living off base during basic. That sounds off to my experience. Also the spitting protestors I didn't buy. GI's landed at Military airports and there were no protesters around carrying signs and spitting on us returning vets. Some parts smell fishy to me but that is just my opinion

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SEBoiko
Jun 10, 2013

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill; that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

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