Coyote Jack: Drawing Meaning from Life and Vietnam--A Memoir
Author: Jack Lyndon Thomas
Publisher: lyndonjacks publications (2006)
Binding: Hardcover, 314 pages
Coyote Jack overlays a fascinating exposition of life and death in the most enigmatic of American conflicts with an individual's struggle to free himself from the enemy that stands ready to thwart a full and authentic life. Through Jack, we live in sandbag bunkers, bathe out of wells, and dodge booby traps, as he learns the privations and landmines of his personal life are as complex as the clashing cultures and divisive politics that created, and ended the war in Vietnam.
Thomas was an Infantry Lieutenant who lived and fought with South Vietnamese Regional and Popular Forces.
In Vietnam, he listens, observes and gets to know his men before going on combat missions. Through his ability to listen to those more experienced in combat than himself and an ability to quickly analysis a situation, he doesn't; lead his men into traps like officers do and get their men killed. He takes the path less traveled.-- but through his efforts they escape many ambushes. The troops want him as a leader because his units have the least causalities. One day while on point (leading the troops) he is asked by one of his men to move to the middle of the line because his men doesn't want to die. Usually the "Point Man" is the first to take a round in a combat situation. He receives two Bronze Star medals for his leadership in combat. He refused the Purple Heart medal because he was embarrassed that a shell fragment hit him in his groin.
I highly recommend this book to all those who want to know what war in Vietnam was really like. I served as a combat officer in Vietnam and I enjoyed this book immensely.
Reviewed by: Charles E. Gibbs (2008)