Saturday, December 31, 2016

Loon: A Marine Story

Loon: A Marine Story by Jack McLean, 256 pages.

McLean was unable to decide how to go about getting into a college that interested him after a difficult (academically) couple of years at the prestigious Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. His classmates, including George W. Bush, were going on to Ivy League colleges and universities, or other top-tier schools, but McLean had left himself with no clear path. As his lack of a plan began to bother his mother, she sarcastically suggested he just join the military in order to avoid the draft. He ended up joining the Marines, unaware that in 1966 and 1967 Marines were going to Vietnam in large numbers. McLean ended up in norther part of South Vietnam, by the Laotian border. He recounts the heavy fighting in his area shortly after he arrived, including one instance when his Captain called in an airstrike on their own position when they had been overrun. McLean stayed in Vietnam until the summer of 1968 and in that fall became the first Vietnam vet to enter Harvard.
An interesting book. I was happy to read it and save it from the nonfiction weed.

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