Every boy who dreams of being a Sailor or a Marine should read this book. The story is fiction, but is dedicated in part to Lance Corporal Dana C. Darnell, USMC, who was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross in Vietnam in 1967 for heroic action at Khe Sanh.
The author, Francis J. Partel, Jr., weaves a tale of intrigue following the arrest of Lance Corporal Cachora who had won the Navy Cross at Khe Sanh for heroic action during those intense battles now known as The Hill Fights. The young, quiet marine who was recovering from wounds, was on R&R in Hong Kong with his buddies when he suddenly went berserk at the sound of exploding firecrackers thrown behind his group by a passerby. Sadly, Cachora swung at whoever was near and broke the jaw of a superior officer.
Anytime a military man hits a superior officer it is serious business, and there seemed to be only trouble for the Defense Team. The story of how the Defense Team was chosen endears you to those Navy men. Then, how they came about finding the truth and presenting it through their courtroom endeavors so to convince the jurors makes an incredible story.
The courtroom scenes take place aboard a ship off the coast of Vietnam and all the while the business of war goes on. This story brings to light the pain and suffering of young men who find themselves in a place they didn’t choose to be in, and by civilized birthright are, as the author states, "conscientious objectors of killing."
And so I repeat, every boy who dreams of being a Sailor or a Marine should read this book. Every military man who has suffered post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as every doctor treating those who are diagnosed with PTSD should read this book.
Reviewed by: Fran McGraw (2012)
It is 1968. The US naval war in Vietnam is at peak level of intensity. USS Ticonderoga, Attack Carrier 14, is in the Gulf of Tonkin for her fifth combat cruise of the war prosecuting Operation Rolling Thunder. The historical naval novel has moved forward from the Napoleonic Wars of C. S. Forester and Patrick O'Brian to the modern Navy
The ships and weapons may have changed, but time-tested traits of courage and leaderhip remain very much in demand. Ltjg. Cannon has just returned to his stateroom when Gunnery Sergeant Mates phones him to take on the defense of a marine's marine who won the Navy Cross in the brutal Hill Fights of Khe Sanh in 1967. LCPL Cachora is charged with assault and battery while on liberty in Hong Kong. Ltjg. Cannon along with Ens. Chase take on an uphill struggle to defend their client. With the odds stacked against them, they creatively mount a spirited defense. This is the thrilling drama of Cahora's court-martial.