Author: Ivan N. Pierce
Title: AN INFANTRY LIEUTENANT’S VIETNAM
Publisher: CAPSARGE Publishing
Reviewer: W. H. McDonald, Jr. – AAA Founder
A Moving Account of The Vietnam War by an Infantry Officer
If you are looking for a personal tale of what the Vietnam War was like for those young officers who lead ground troops into combat—then this is a definitive tale of that experience. Author Ivan Piece shares memories of his “tour of duty” as a part of the 4th Infantry Division in his personal memoir “An Infantry Lieutenant’s Vietnam.”
It is more than just a recap of his time spent in Nam but becomes an insightful look within the man who endured that experience. He writes his story from his heart and you can feel and sense what it must have been like for him. The book deals with all the elements you would expect in a journey of war—death, killing, fear and courage. It is also in its own way, a coming-of-age-story for the author.
The narrative writing style of Pierce flows very much like he is sitting down with old friends having a beer while recalling that time in his life. It is simple and unadorned with embellishments. One gets the feeling that he is understating some of what he went through on the emotional level. He very causally mentions calling in artillery fire that caused death and causalities to some South Vietnamese soldiers. The astute and intuitive reader may pick up on this as a PTSD reaction. One assumes that his emotions run much deeper into his soul then he lets on. It feels like he still has not yet crossed over that emotional and spiritual barrier yet.
The author makes no claim to be a hero or a saint in his book. He just lays it all out there for others to judge. He comes close to sharing his emotions but seems reserved and reluctant to fully allow his soul to be completely stripped naked. We end up looking at his tour and left wanting to know more about the man who experienced it all. The very nature of combat and war leaves the veteran spiritually and emotionally bleeding long after the physical and visible wounds have healed.
I recommend this book as a source for those wishing to understand more about Vietnam veterans or even for what our Soldiers in today’s battlefields are dealing with.
Reviewer: Joe Fabel – AAA Vice President
Ivan Pierce experienced in-country fighting during his tour of Vietnam. He was in the midst of intense firefights against an enemy usually hidden by jungle vines and canopy.
The feeling was that the Cong were invisible but firing without letup. Men were wounded and killed within a few yards of his position.
Helicopter operations, river patrols as well as recon assignments were the order of the day. Fatigue was always a constant companion.
Upon returning to base after several days in combat, the luxury of a shower and clean uniform were most welcomed. Sleep without being shot at was thrilling.
As an officer his duties involved organizing as well as leading soldiers into conflict, situations at times not fully understood but always demanding of him and his men.
Within the confusion of battle our forces continuously put their lives on the line, assuming the role of protecting the other members of their squad or platoon.
There was always the pressure to perform well since the others depended upon you.
Orders were followed; however, the overwhelming commitment was for your buddies and the support you felt you owed them.
Pierce presents a soldier’s view of varied and dangerous combat.