"Sharing can be a way of healing. Grief and loss can isolate,
anger even alienate. Shared with others, emotions unite
as we see we aren't alone. We realize others weep with us."
~Susan Wittig Albert

Through our writing, we walk out of the darkness into the light
together, one small step at a time, recording history, educating
America, and we are healing.
~CJ/Todd Dierdorff



Friday, February 6, 2015

Book: "Content With My Wages"

A Sergeant's Story 

Book I-Vietnam

by Gregory H. Murry


Publisher:  No End To Publishing Company
382 Pages
Format:  Paperback and Kindle
Release Date:  January 6, 2015


About the Book:


This is a history, memoir, and a critique of certain combat actions of the 1st Infantry Division during the years 1966 and 1967 in Vietnam.

Growing up in California with an intense interest in military history and surfing, the author joined the National Guard in 1963. In 1965, he joined the Regular Army and was assigned to the 4th Armored Division in West Germany. In 1966, he requested a transfer from the 2nd Battalion, 54th Infantry to the 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam. 

Arriving shortly after the disastrous battle of August 25th, 1966, at Bong Trang, he joined a rifle company that was being rebuilt by a Special Forces captain who had replaced the former company commander, KIA in that battle. 

He describes the battle in detail by blending official history with the recollections of two of his comrades who were there. He then returns to the battle and dissects it, using personal accounts and official interviews of many of the participants, to include MG William DePuy. 

Assigned as a machine gunner, the author began to learn the ways of a combat infantryman in a jungle war. Three months later he was given more responsibilities and began serving in leadership positions as an acting sergeant, until he was promoted to sergeant.

He recounts a number of road clearing operations, ambush patrols, and search and destroy missions, which took place shortly before his battalion’s participation in the largest operations of the Vietnam War: Operations Attleboro, Cedar Falls, and Junction City. 

During Junction City, he participated in the battles of Prek Klok I and Ap Gu, one of the most lopsided victories of the war. Between operations, are descriptions of medical evacuations, hospitals, base camp amusements, rest and recuperation (R+R), and more. 

In June of 1967, the 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry and the 2d Battalion, 28th Infantry fought the 271st VC Regiment in the battles of Xom Bo I-II during Operation Billings. During Xom Bo II, on June 17th, the author’s platoon was at the center of the main enemy assault. 

Out of forty-three men, he was one of eight who walked away. Once again, blending his own narrative with those of his company commander, an RTO, and one of his machine gunners, he presents a grim picture of close quarters infantry combat against a determined enemy. 

He describes the battle of Onh Thanh in October, 1967, which took place shortly after he left. There, the 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry was almost completely destroyed by the 271st. Using published accounts, documentaries, and official histories, he shows how soldiers react to leadership that attempts to paint a rosy picture of a disaster. 

Returning to the chaos of American society in 1968, where he was assigned for a short time to the 1st Battalion, 3d Infantry (The Old Guard) in Washington, D.C., he finished his enlistment at in California at Fort MacArthur, near Los Angeles. 

Finally, he relates his own struggles with the memories of the war after he returned home and tells how he found peace by overcoming PTSD. 

A professional soldier, the author used official after-action reports, histories, studies, and recently released information, to paint a more accurate picture of the successes and failures of the leadership, tactics, techniques, and procedures of the U.S. Army and Generals William Westmoreland, William DePuy, and John Hay. 

He also describes the lessons learned at the squad, platoon, and company levels. These are timeless and should be of great interest to anyone considering serving, or a making career, in the armed forces. At the same time, he warns us of the pitfalls that will be encountered when studying military history.



Review:

"A revealing account of the Vietnam war as seen through the eyes of a young infantryman. 
This is the real-life version of “Platoon” with all of the na├»ve expectations, confusion, fear, camaraderie, and the courage many young American solders experienced in the fog of war. 
The Author writes, not just to tell his story, but to pass on “lessons learned”, in hopes that future generations of soldiers will benefit from his experience. 
I enjoyed it immensely and look forward to the next two books on the Drug War and Afghanistan." -- Tabbed783 (January 9, 2015)

About the Author:


Greg and Wife, Faith
Greg Murry retired from the Texas Army National Guard in 2005, after returning from Afghanistan, where he served as an Intelligence Advisor to the Afghanistan National Army.

After his discharge from the Regular Army in 1969, he returned to the surfing beaches of Southern California, before drifting down to Mexico, Central and South America for several years. 

Back in the states, he moved to Texas, where he worked on a drilling rig and on a road construction crew. In 1985 he became a police officer in Austin, and four years later, he re-enlisted in the National Guard. There, he co-founded an ad hoc special operations unit that supported law enforcement agencies, by conducting low-visibility surveillance operations in the War on Drugs. 

He also served as the operations sergeant in a Long Range Surveillance unit, as an intelligence analyst with G2, and as a BNCOC and ANCOC instructor/small group leader. He has written memoirs of his service in Vietnam, the Drug War, and Afghanistan. 

Greg Murry is married with children and grandchildren.  He lives in Austin, TX, where he continues to read and write about military history and the situation in Afghanistan.




“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale


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