A Green Beret’s gripping memoir of American Special Forces in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.
In 1970, on his second tour to Vietnam, Nick Brokhausen served in Recon Team Habu, CCN. Officially, it was known as the Studies and Observations group. In fact, this Special Forces squad, which Brokhausen calls “an unwashed, profane, ribald, joyously alive fraternity,” undertook some of the most dangerous and suicidal reconnaissance missions ever in the enemy-controlled territory of Cambodia and Laos. But they didn’t infiltrate the jungles alone. They fought alongside the Montagnards—oppressed minorities from the mountain highlands, trained by the US military in guerilla tactics, armed, accustomed to the wild, and fully engaged in a war against the North Vietnamese. Together this small unit formed the backbone of ground reconnaissance in the Republic of Vietnam, racking up medals for valor—but at a terrible cost.
“In colorful, military-jargon-laced prose leavened by gallows humor, Brokhausen pulls few punches describing what it was like to navigate remote jungle terrain under the constant threat of enemy fire. A smartly written, insider’s view of one rarely seen Vietnam War battleground.” —Booklist
“[An] exceptionally raw look at the Vietnam War just at the apex of its unpopularity. . . . This battle-scarred memoir is an excellent tribute to the generation that fought, laughed, and died in Southeast Asia.” —New York Journal of Books
First published in 2005, this offbeat memoir deals with Brokhausen's action-heavy second tour of duty in the Vietnam War as a Green Beret, working with indigenous Montagnard fighters on secret, dangerous reconnaissance missions into enemy-controlled territory in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam in 1970. In overheated, salty language, Brokhausen offers lots of details about many of the recon missions, complete with reconstructed dialogue. He also rails against perceived enemies, both foreign and domestic; in the latter category are rear-echelon American soldiers, MPs, and just about any other troops who were not battle-hardened Special Forces men. (He even goes after Donut Dollies American volunteer Red Cross workers calling them "stuck-up little snots.") It's hard to tell how much of Brokhausen's profanity-laden screeds is bluster and how much sincere, and his depictions of drunken brawls and other violent behavior have a patina of embellishment. On the other hand, he tells readers that the book "a tribute to my peers" is his attempt to provide a "window to the past" by looking at the men of the Special Forces in Vietnam, an "unwashed, profane, ribald, joyously alive fraternity." More sensationalized than truly gripping, these war stories, in the main, don't ring true.
Excellent book about the SOG, which needs more books written about these men,
Enjoyed the book and the flow. A good read .