Landing Vehicle Tracked Personnel 5

A brand new book about the Vietnam era LVTP5 (Landing Vehicle Tracked Personnel 5) hits the ground:

The first and only illustrated book about the LVTP5 (Landing Vehicle Tracked Personnel 5) and its variants. Over 60 photographs never published before about the construction and building of the LVTP5, by the St. Louis Car Company Records. Rare B&W photographs from the LVTP5 in combat during the Vietnam War. Also some breathtaking, revised color photographs. All from private collections, provided by Vietnam amtrackers. Brief written history about the LVTP5 and its variants and detailed captions for every photograph. Over 40 funny, crazy, horrible and grim testimonials by amtrackers and a foreword by retired USMC Captain David Sconyers. read more

Taps For 1stSgt Dick Petterson

Taps were held on Saturday, Dec. 19th for 1stSgt Dick Petterson, USMC Retired. Attached picture: (L-R) Maj Rich Risner, SSgt P.T. Cong, 1stSgt Dick Petterson and me. We served together in Chu Lai in 1968 where he earned a Bronze Star with Combat "V" and a Purple Heart. You can read about him in my book, "Civic Action". His career spanned over 20 years beginning in 1955 as a machine gunner then retiring as a 1stSgt in 1978. He joins our former boss, Maj Rich Risner who passed in 2005 – "then there was one." Semper Fidelis Rich and Dick. read more

One Million Steps

If you are wondering, as I was, what's it like fighting in Afghanistan then I recommend reading "One Million Steps" by Bing West. I was brought to tears at the senseless loss of life and then so angry I wanted to re-enlist, grab my 9 and waste every Rag Head Taliban I could locate. I was equally angered at the total lack of leadership and direction by the entire chain of command. I'm not voting for anyone running for President who hasn't read this book for perspective on the Middle East. read more

Out Of The Depths

Like so many stories surrounding World War II where fact is stranger than fiction, "Out of the Depths" is a terrifying firsthand account of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Navy cover-up that led to the bizarre court-martial and eventual exoneration of its Captain. Marine survivor Edgar Harrell vividly describes the horrors of being plagued by sharks, hypothermia, severe dehydration and salt-water hallucinations, and the crew's heart wrenching struggle to survive the greatest catastrophe at sea in the history of the U.S. Navy – a truly riveting story of survival, political intrigue and faith in the providence of God. read more


In his 2012 book, Underdogs: The Making of the Modern Marine Corps, which in my opinion is very well-written, Aaron B. McConnell talks about Marines:

"Perhaps more than any other group in America, the Marines have always been culture warriors, open and unapologetic about advertising their identity, preserving and sustaining it, and policing the boundaries that separate them from the uninitiated. They seem almost addicted to their paraphernalia: wherever a Marine appears, Marine hats, sweatshirts and jackets are never far behind. Marine Corps flags fly outside their homes; the eagle, globe and anchor emblem adorns cars, boats, backpacks and biceps. Few military organizations think of their culture as a form of power; the Marines do so explicitly, protect it zealously and deploy it offensively. It is almost a type of weapon or armor – an armored personhood carrier that protects them in both war and peace. While other services may sport similar trappings of identity and community, many Marines do so obsessively. Aaron Sorkin's 1992 film, A Few Good Men, summed it up well: to a certain degree, Marines are fanatical about being Marines." read more