Age 15 & up
“There’s only two kinds of people in Vietnam. People who are alert twenty-fours a day, and people who are dead.”
Richie Perry was seventeen and in trouble. There was no way he could afford college, and the streets were just too hard. He hadn’t really given the army too much thought. It was enough that it would give him something to do and three meals a day. He just wanted to cool out till he got himself together.
Basic training wasn’t so hard. But there were things they didn’t tell him in basic.
They didn’t tell him about Nam Rot, or napalm that sucked the air out of your lungs from a hundred yards away, or the body bags that lay in neat piles, ready for the next soldier to die.
They didn’t tell him how it felt to shoot at Vietnamese soldiers no older than you were, and just as afraid.