The best books by Vietnam veterans

Larry L. Deibert Author Of Combat Boots dainty feet Finding Love In Vietnam
By Larry L. Deibert

Who am I?

My expertise with the topic is that I served for over 22 months in the army, where I learned many things people do not learn in normal life. I belong to several Vietnam veteran organizations, and I am the first president of the Lehigh Northampton Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

I wrote...

Combat Boots dainty feet Finding Love In Vietnam

By Larry L. Deibert,

Book cover of Combat Boots dainty feet Finding Love In Vietnam

What is my book about?

Greg Taylor, a 21-year-old, 255-pound man, is drafted into the army. During Basic Combat Training, he suffers humiliation because of his size, but he perseveres, learning all he can to stay alive, and losing forty-five pounds. He is sent to Fort Gordon, Georgia, for Military Police training, losing another thirty-four pounds, now weighing 179.

At Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, he is emotionally wounded after his girlfriend broke off their relationship. Soon he meets and loses another woman. His dark side begins to take over, and he is afraid. Six months later, in Vietnam, he is nearly killed twice and is reacquainted with a nurse. They fall in love, even though he is enlisted and she is an officer. They get engaged and leave Vietnam together.

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The books I picked & why

MP - A Novel of Vietnam

By John R. Schembra,

Book cover of MP - A Novel of Vietnam

Why did I love this book?

I recommend this book because my author friend, John Schembra, and I served together in Vietnam. He drew on his experiences to write a wonderful novel about the Military Police in Long Binh/Bien Hoa during the Tet Offensive in 1968, The reader is taken back to that war with believable characters, historical settings, and a great plot. Reading his book helped me write my story, set during the actual time we were there. He helped teach me how to write.

By John R. Schembra,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked MP - A Novel of Vietnam as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As Vincent Torelli stepped off the plane at Bien Hoa Air Base, South Vietnam, in June 1967, he was almost overwhelmed by the stench in the hot, humid air. Drafted into the armed forces five months earlier, he still can't comprehend how he ended up in this place, now a Military Policeman assigned to the 557th MP Co. at Long Binh Post just outside Bien Hoa City.

His year-long tour of duty in Vietnam changes him from a somewhat naïve young man to a battle-hardened veteran. Through unlucky chance, Vince becomes involved in the ferocious '68 Tet offensive, barely surviving…

Book cover of Letters From Long Binh: Memoirs Of A Military Policeman In Vietnam

Why did I love this book?

Randy was a military policeman with the 615th MP Company in Vietnam in 1967, The 615th patrolled the entire Long Binh complex, which was approximately 50 miles around, with over 30,000 men stationed on the post. His letters offered the reader an honest appraisal of the life of a Military Policeman 10,000 miles from home.

By Randy Mixter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Letters From Long Binh as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

I boarded the plane to Vietnam at exactly midnight on January 1st, 1967. I was a 19 year old soldier with pen and paper in hand.
I began to write.
“Letters from Long Binh gives the reader an honest appraisal of the everyday life of an MP in Vietnam. Sometimes poignant,sometimes humorous, but always gripping, the book is written with a deep sense of respect for his fellow brothers-in-arms in a war-torn country.”

Lou Fantauzzi - Vietnam 1966-67

Yesterday's Soldier

By Tom Keating,

Book cover of Yesterday's Soldier

Why did I love this book?

As Tom took Basic Combat Training, learning to become an infantryman and kill, his religious beliefs would not allow him to kill. He applied for conscientious objector status, but he wound up in Vietnam where he worked as a clerk at the sprawling Long Binh Post. He is treated as a coward and faces criminal charges, but he keeps his faith. As a Christian, this book helped me come to grips with my military time, not wanting to kill, and fortunately, I never had to.

By Tom Keating,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Yesterday's Soldier as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Yesterday’s Soldier” is a different Vietnam War memoir. Packed into this tidy book is the story of a young man's coming of age in troubled times. The book is about of his transformation from infantryman to conscientious objector and his experiences in Vietnam. War, religion, and morality are always in the background of his story and they move to the surface in every chapter.
The author, after years of studying for the priesthood in a religious seminary, leaves and is quickly exposed to the Selective Service. His belief in God and his country inspired him to enlist in the US…

Book cover of The Things They Carried

Why did I love this book?

This is an interesting book about the Vietnam War. When we think about the things a soldier carries, we think about his weapons, his pack, food, ammunition, extra clothing, a poncho, and other sundries, but we, the veteran, also carry the stories of what we did along with stories shared to us by other veterans. That was one reason I  needed to write my novel-to get those stories out of my head, even though they will always be there.

By Tim O'Brien,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked The Things They Carried as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The million-copy bestseller, which is a ground-breaking meditation on war, memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling.

'The Things They Carried' is, on its surface, a sequence of award-winning stories about the madness of the Vietnam War; at the same time it has the cumulative power and unity of a novel, with recurring characters and interwoven strands of plot and theme.

But while Vietnam is central to 'The Things They Carried', it is not simply a book about war. It is also a book about the human heart - about the terrible weight of those things we carry through…

Book cover of Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War

Why did I love this book?

I heard about this book, and that it took the author, Karl Marlantes, forty years to write it. He describes more of the discomforts of being in a war zone-leeches, jungle and the animals in it, lack of food, not being able to bathe for long periods. When Karl arrived at the Clinton Bookshop in Clinton, New Jersey, a large contingent of veterans was on hand to meet him, including a Marine brother he had not seen in forty years. 

By Karl Marlantes,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Matterhorn as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fire Support Base Matterhorn: a fortress carved out of the grey-green mountain jungle. Cold monsoon clouds wreath its mile-high summit, concealing a battery of 105-mm howitzers surrounded by deep bunkers, carefully constructed fields of fire and the 180 marines of Bravo Company. Just three kilometres from Laos and two from North Vietnam, there is no more isolated outpost of America's increasingly desperate war in Vietnam.

Second Lieutenant Waino Mellas, 21 years old and just a few days into his 13-month tour, has barely arrived at Matterhorn before Bravo Company is ordered to abandon their mountain and sent deep in-country in…

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