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Ordinary Lives

Platoon 1005 and the Vietnam War.
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Titel: Ordinary Lives
Autor/en: W. D. Ehrhart

ISBN: 1566396743
EAN: 9781566396745
Platoon 1005 and the Vietnam War.
Sprache: Englisch.
Temple University Press,U.S.

8. April 1999 - gebunden - 334 Seiten

In the summer of 1966, in the middle of the Vietnam War, eighty young volunteers arrived at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot on Parris Island, South Carolina, from all over the eastern United States. For the next eight weeks, as Platoon 1005, they endured one of the most intense basic training programs ever devised. Parris Island was not a place for idle conversation or social gatherings, and these men remained from start to finish almost complete strangers. W. D. Ehrhart did get to know one Marine, his bunkmate John Harris, who quietly shared his sweetheart's letters. He was a friend who, Ehrhart learned almost thirty years later, died in Vietnam in 1967.In 1993, Ehrhart began what became a five-year search for the men of his platoon. Who were these men alongside whom he trained? Why had they joined the Marines at a time when being sent to war was almost a certainty? What do they think of the war and of the country that sent them to fight it? What does the Corps mean to them? What Ehrhart learned offers an extraordinary window into the complexities of the Vietnam Generation and the United States of America then and now.Drawing from military records and family accounts as well as interviews -- some of which Ehrhart held in such active secondary roles as dairy farmhand, fishing companion, and impromptu guest at a family wedding -- this book records the more than thirty-year journey that each man took after boot-camp graduation on August 12, 1966. Photos of the men, both then and now, accompany the profiles. Their stories are diverse, but as Ehrhart says, "It was, in short, history, and each of these men was and is a part of that history.... There are, no doubt, scoundrels and liarsand losers among them, but as a group they have mostly impressed me with their decency and their loyalty and their hard work and their perseverance in the face of hardships and hurdles, the everyday obstacles that make ordinary lives extraordinary".

The Search for Platoon 1005 The Members of Platoon 1005 After-Action Report Note on Basic Training, Staging, and Travel Enlisted Rank Structure of the Marine Corps Major Marine Corps Bases Glossary
"Post-soldier reporter Bill Ehrhart in this searingly honest book will win your heart and mind as he chronicles without histrionics the lives of a group of ordinary Americans who did not think they were doing anything extraordinary when they risked, and often lost, their lives just because their country asked them to. After the war the survivors silently went back to work, often at low-paying, non-establishment jobs for an establishment that never even said thanks. Ehrhart, by giving 'just the facts,' says thanks admirably." --George C. Wilson, author of Mud Soldiers and Supercarrier and former military correspondent for The Washington Post "These profiles of the men of Platoon 1005 and the many paths their lives have taken since Parris Island and Vietnam are testimony to the resilience of individual personality and the quirky variety of human experiences. Bill Ehrhart, who was one of them, writes about his fellow Marines with eloquence, sympathy, and respect. Their stories make a moving and illuminating book." --Arnold R. Isaacs, author of Vietnam Shadows: The War, Its Ghosts, and Its Legacy "While the Vietnam War provides the background, it is only incidental to the story that Ehrhart wants to tell. While the search for Platoon 1005 is fascinating...the core of the book is the eighty sharply drawn vignettes of the men who made up the platoon. Ehrhart describes his subjects with delicacy and caring." --Dr. Jack Shulimson, retired United States Marine Corps historian "...engaging and appealing. ...Ordinary Lives introduces his readers to what happened to nearly all the eighty members of Ehrhart's recruit platoon during the war." --Journal of American Culture "Ehrhart has admirably restored individual selves and in the process created a moving verbal tapestry that reiterates some of the contradictions that permeated America during and after Vietnam." --American Studies
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