Stand To: A Journey to Manhood
by: E. Franklin Evans
A Book Review by Don Poss
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August 1966 - From the first page of chapter one, Vietnam's impact on American families, one death at a time, is evident: "Noooooooooo. They've Killlllled himmmm!" is a wake up call the nightly Five O'clock Follies war news is all too real.
Raised in the shadows of the World War II generation and weaned on film heroes like John Wayne, Errol Flynn, and Randolph Scott, young war-age men like Evans believed America could never lose a war, being killed in action was out of the question, and those who died did so in glory and in one piece. And yet here it was: Evans' boyhood friend, Glenn, was dead in Vietnam.
A short two years later, Evans had crossed the lines from high school, college student, military enlistment and graduate from Infantry Officer Candidate School. As his aircraft descended into Vietnam, he remembered everything that had brought him to his awaiting destiny.
Thrown as fodder in to the Vietnam jungles, young Army Lieutenant Evans quickly earned his platoon's respect and trust, and the confidence of his superiors. He would need both as they fought along the borders. With bone-weary words blurring into pictures, Evans' recalls to life the memories and wandering shadows of the Vietnam War we all remember: life, death, and dreams revisited. Thundering convoys, air strikes, green tracers--red tracers--and both meant sudden death.
Vietnam borders, phantom Laos-Cambodia choppers, and charred bodies in the wire, all combined to an unnatural fear as you stalked the trail. A wariness crept in to your DNA. Bamboo viper snakes beckoned for a quick two-step ... a short dance with death; elephants packing supplies on the Ho Chi Minh Trail; jungle covered extinct volcanoes; LPs...One Click, Yes...Two No; Choi Hoi good-bad guys; razor sharp elephant grass; LZs, OPs, Montagnards, White Mice, Intell VC Prisoners. Fogged memories piled up and depressed the spirit to bedrock...a MOH medic... NVA bunkers, dust off sky buckets, and never underestimated staff wienies and lifers. And you recognized anew the old truth: Anywhere in a combat zone it was dangerous, and fatal, to let your guard down!
Stand To is more than a war story of misery, pain, and emotions checked at the border. It is a story of survival from enemies and friendlies alike, where both are deadly on this explosive journey to manhood. Just as important, there are glimmers of the humor that keeps combat soldiers sane, including a knife fight with a turkey, and VC chickens, that demonstrate the vitality and nature of American warriors.
Stand To...where forgotten truths are stirred from the dust and a part of your soul remains buried forever. You've lived the memories through the decades ... if not, then you weren't there. Stand To ... A Must Read!
http://www.war-stories.com War-Stories, and
http://www.vspa.com Vietnam Security Police Assn., Inc (USAF)
Check out Stand To's VIDEO PREVIEW