I was in the Army during the Vietnam war but stationed in Germany where I spent a good deal of discretionary time eating schnitzels and drinking beer and wine. Having been trained (I thought), and mentally prepared to go to vietnam, then having an easy tour in Europe left me with the feeling that I was something of a "slacker". I found Mr. Hayes's presentation of his personal experience as an infantryman very informative in its level of detail and for me, something of an elixir for my own memories of this episode in the American experience. Notwithstanding what I got out of the book, I would recommend it highly for the broadest audience having even a casual interest in this page of history. The level of detail in the author's recounting of his battlefield experiences gives the reader clues as to what it took to not only survive but to deal with the ever present death, carnage, and travails of fellow soldiers and the Vietnamese populace. I believe the book's presentation to be an outstanding balance of information, observations, and emotional impacts that I've not found in other readings. Mr. Hayes reveals himself as an individual having a measure of wisdom well beyond his tender age during the year in which he was tossed into this horrible crucible which defined his character and that of so many of his fellow heroes. Have no doubt that this group of soldiers, somewhat maligned in the past by misguided critics, was made up of individuals such as Hayes and his comrades--each with his own story--and represents patriotism on an order to match that of any past conflict. Mr. Hayes is a worthy spokesman for his fellow Vietnam war participants and veterans. His reporting skills are tempered with an uncommon sensitivity toward the anguish of all those touched by the war and the insight and ability to capture it for the reader. I think the book is unique in its perspective and has much to recommend it whether it is your first venture into Vietnam chronicles or your thirst to know what it was really like over there has not yet been slaked. In conclusion, my thanks to Mr. Hayes for providing this record and to him and his silent partners for answering the call and acquitting themselves on a par with all those having gone off to war in the past. An outstanding book.