The Soldier’s Story: Vietnam In Their Own Words

Book Review

The Soldiers Story: Vietnam In Their Own Words

Al-Malik McCullough, Staff Writer

 “The Soldier’s Story: Vietnam In Their Own Words”  by Ron Steinman, is an extensive war piece for anyone interested in American history, Vietnam, or the actual soldier experience. The book is a collection of stories and experiences written by hundreds of Vietnam war vets, assembled by Ron Steinman. The stories are about the same topic: The sensation to go through the major battles of the Vietnam war as a soldier in U.S Cavalry, U.S army, and U.S Marine corps.

The stories go into great, horrific detail of the actuality of war. Veterans recount stories of almost dying, losing men, being shot at, seeing a best friend killed, and having to kill for the first time. The stories each range from two to five pages each, and approximately 76 veterans took part in the telling of the war tales. The battles being described include: the battle of Ia Drang Valley, the siege of Khe Sanh, the Tet offensive, the Secret War, the Air War, and the fall of Saigon. In my opinion, the fall of Saigon is the most fascinating story in the book. This section of the book is the one with the highest stakes and highest casualties. It’s the last battle American soldiers took part in before America was withdrawn. In this battle, we read the desperate attempts by the American soldiers to rescue their men and evacuate South Vietnamese citizens as the NVA overrun Saigon.

The book is an incredible first person tale of the Vietnam War of which I have never seen before. Every single detail is listed, you feel like you’re actually in their shoes, fighting for your life and the lives of your men. In the back of the book, there is even an update on what the soldiers who told their stories are doing with their lives to this day.  The sad reality is, most of the soldiers in this book have passed now. But though they have passed, their legacies as heroes and defenders of South Vietnamese citizens will live on in writing. This is a very powerful book that brings to life the triumphs and tragedies experienced by American soldiers in Vietnam. This excellent compilation belongs on every history connoisseur’s bookshelf.