LEAVING A MARK ON HISTORY
By Matt Davison
Title: Semper Cool: One Marine's Fond Memories of Vietnam
Author: Barry Fixler
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Reviewer: Bob Doerr
ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0982518404
Semper Cool is the wrenching, sometimes hilarious and always thought-provoking true story of a well-off Long Island teenager who enlists in the U.S. Marine Corps seeking adventure and his father's approval and finds both, plus more danger than he ever could have imagined. Barry Fixler gets molded into a Marine at Parris Island and sent to Vietnam, where he is assigned to a company that would soon etch its place in Marine Corps lore. Fixler's Echo Company defends a hill at Khe Sanh against overwhelming enemy numbers in a 77-day battle that is considered one of the greatest military victories in the history of modern warfare. With its vivid imagery, Semper Cool thrusts readers into a grunt's eye view of the blood, guts, tears and laughter of war, as told by a Marine who returned home a man and a patriot. Be prepared to laugh and cry and ultimately thank God for the men and women willing to risk their lives for the freedoms that so many Americans enjoy.
Title: Obediently Yours, Orson Welles
Author: Ulmon Bray
Genre: Military, Marines
Reviewer: Bob Ruerhdanz
ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1608444570
This is the story of a young Marine's struggle through unwanted separation from friends and family caused by the consequences of the Great Depression and by the demands of World War II. During the twenty-two months he served in the Corps, the Marine wrote more than sixty letters to a young woman who save fifty-seven of them. The substance of those letters and the recollections that emerged from a number of conversations the author had with the young girl more than sixty years later formed a theme upon which to build an account of the young man's military and non-military experiences, both factual, as well as fictional. The letters revealed not only his military encounters and life behind the lines but also focused on homefront fears and concerns. His military records established a schedule of movement and location of training and combat during his tour of duty.