Army Combat Medics in the Vietnam War

Being there . . . this time in South Vietnam, side by side, with nine U.S. combat medics who
discuss their highly trained professional experiences battling the near deaths of American
soldiers, including OFTEN those of the enemy and civilians. Today, “the Vietnam War” ascribes
our political and military extension of the French Indochina Campaign that continued long after
the signing of the 1954 Geneva Peace Agreements which divided Vietnam along the 17 th Parallel
when the Chinese-backed Communist PAVN, People’s Army of Vietnam, occupied Saigon on 30 th
of April 1975. A continuation of the Vietminh’s effort to free Vietnam from foreign control
resulted in the worst battles of the Cold War. Today, there are 58,000 American names
inscribed on the immensely but sadly-emotionally moving war memorial in Washington, DC,
while over 2 million dead South Vietnamese lay buried, mostly forgotten, in the outer fields and
rice paddies.
A NEW McFARLAND & COMPANY’S WAR TEXT OFFERS NINE U.S. ARMY COMBAT MEDICS’
PERSONAL ACCOUNTS OF THEIR ARDUOUS FIGHTS TO SAVE LIVES DURING THE VIETNAM WAR.
THEIR STORIES DISCUSS WHY THE MEDICS JOINED THE ARMY DURING WARTIME AND WHY
THEY BECAME FIELD SPECIALISTS FOR THE WOUNDED. HEART-SEARING, EMOTIONAL-
WRENCHING RETROSPECTIONS AND REFLECTIONS OF CARING FOR THE HURT AND
RESURRECTING THE DYING NEAR-DEAD WHILE UNDER HEAVY FIRE CAN’T HELP BUT MOVE,
AFFECT, AND STIR. THE LONG-TERM EFFECTS THAT THE VIETNAM WAR HAS HAD ON THE
MEDICS AND THEIR FAMILIES ARE ALSO HARD TO PONDER.
Reviewed and highly recommended by Don DeNevi
“ARMY COMBAT MEDICS IN THE VIETNAM WAR – – Nine Personal Accounts”, by Harry Spiller.
McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, North Carolina; 2024, 175 pages, 5 7/8” x 8
7/8”, softcover, well-illustrated, $29.95. Visit, www.mcfarlandpub.com; Email,
customerser@mcfarlandpub.com.
Of course, all-good VIETNAM, IRAQ, and AFGHANISTAN war readers know reputed Harry
Spiller because the war correspondent, literally and deserving to be referred as such, has
deeply touched the hearts and minds of military buffs all over America and Britain via his 18
books and countless magazine articles. He has served for 10 years in the U.S. Marine Corps with
two tours in Vietnam. Furthermore, this man has also served as sheriff of Williamson County,
Illinois, and later retired as an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice from John A. Logan
College. Today, he lives in Marion, Illinois. Should you wish to know more of this fine guy, he
can be found in any dictionary, old or new, under “h” for “hero”. Meanwhile, check with
McFarland Publishers for the availability of the 10 other Spiller titles listed opposite the title
page on page ii.
Harry dedicated his mesmerizing, “Army Combat Medics in the Vietnam War – – Nine
Personal Accounts”, in his words, “To all Vietnam combat medics of the U.S. Army and their
families.”, which, of course, tells you how deep the author’s values of integrity, personal honor
and bravery, and love of America and her fighting men go. Equally impressive is Harry’s final

paragraph to his Introduction. “Of all the interviews I conducted, I’ve chosen the most
provocative experiences to include here – – nine personal accounts of Army combat medics who
dangerously risked their lives serving and caring for others in that malicious, arrant Vietnam
War. From Dak To in the Northern Highlands to I Corps in Phu Bai and Quang Nai Province,
these Army combat medics attended to sick and wounded soldiers and provided medical care
for thousands of Vietnamese villagers. Awards for and to them included the Bronze Star,
Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Bronze Star, Silver Star, Army Commendation Medal and
Purple Heart. Their stories are gripping and often gut-twisting. In the medics’ minds, Harry
learned when interviewing them, they never did enough. There was always one more person
they could have helped, or one more they could have saved.” Warning: yield to your sad,
somber, often broken heart.

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