Item description for NAM SENSE: Surviving Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division by Arthur Wiknik (Jr)...
Nam-Sense is the brilliantly written story of a combat squad leader in the 101st Airborne Division. Arthur Wiknik was a 19-year-old kid from New England when he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1968. After completing various NCO training programs, he was promoted to sergeant "without ever setting foot in a combat zone" and sent to Vietnam in early 1969. Shortly after his arrival on the far side of the world, Wiknik was assigned to Camp Evans, a mixed-unit base camp near the northern village of Phong Dien, only thirty miles from Laos and North Vietnam. On his first jungle patrol, his squad killed a female Viet Cong who turned out to have been the local prostitute. It was the first dead person he had ever seen.
Wiknik's account of life and death in Vietnam includes everything from heavy combat to faking insanity to get some R and R. He was the first man in his unit to reach the top of Hamburger Hill during one of the last offensives launched by U.S. forces, and later discovered a weapons cache that prevented an attack on his advance fire support base. Between the sporadic episodes of combat he mingled with the locals, tricked unwitting U.S. suppliers into providing his platoon with a year of hard to get food, defied a superior and was punished with a dangerous mission, and struggled with himself and his fellow soldiers as the anti-war movement began to affect his ability to wage victorious war.
Nam-Sense offers a perfect blend of candor, sarcasm, and humor - and it spares nothing and no one in its attempt to accurately convey what really transpired for the combat soldier during this unpopular war. Nam-Sense is not about heroism or glory, mental breakdowns, haunting flashbacks, or wallowing in self-pity. The GIs Wiknik lived and fought with during his yearlong tour did not rape, murder, or burn villages, were not strung out on drugs, and did not enjoy killing. They were there to do their duty as they were trained, support their comrades - and get home alive. "The soldiers I knew," explains the author, "demonstrated courage, principle, kindness, and friendship, all the elements found in other wars Americans have proudly fought in."
Wiknik has produced a gripping and complete record of life and death in Vietnam, and he has done so with a style and flair few others will ever achieve.
Promise Angels is dedicated to bringing you great books at great prices. Whether you read for entertainment, to learn, or for literacy - you will find what you want at promiseangels.com!
Reviews - What do customers think about NAM SENSE: Surviving Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division?
Arthur May 14, 2007
Arthur tells it like it was, Just try to survive, one day at a timr.
pretty good Oct 20, 2006
I enjoyed the book for the most part, although I did not agree with the author's attitude toward his service time, he seemed to be an officer that truly cared for his men and knew what was going on.
Once a warrior, always a warrior Sep 7, 2006
Not every book engages me. Not every book makes me give up sleep in order to continue reading. Not all books begin at the beginning and end at the end, but this one does.
This author tells his story, giving life to his memories, making you feel as though the events he chronicles happened weeks not decades ago. He may have left things out for the sake of time, space or his own personal reason. But if there are holes in this history, I was unable to find them. The story is tight without being uptight. He doesn't pull any punches and is not shy in the least about speaking the truth as he sees it. This sometimes means a tough criticism of those who were his superior, our government and the American people. But who better to judge than someone who lived the story? He speaks from practical experience and some an incredible experience some of them were. They might even be hard to believe except for the fact that many that he relates are well documented by many other sources.
His entire book is very well laid out and gives you what I believe is a very clear picture of how a regular young man did some quite extraordinary things. Much of what he did, he feels was just what he should have been doing, trying to use his head to keep himself and others alive and whole, keeping his integrity and self respect intact, but if that was an easy task, then there can be no explanation why so many men were unable to do the same. The more logical explanation is that he may have been a down to earth young man, wanting not a lot more than to stay alive, but he was no regular guy. He was born to be a leader. Not the sort of leader than sits back and doesn't get involved. Not the sort that never knows what is going on but thinks he knows how to get the work done. Nope, he knew how to get the work done, because he was one of the workers. How better to lead than by example?
It can't be easy to decide to write about your life, especially a part that many who share similar memories would rather forget. But then to write down those remembrances, detail by detail, favorable or not, to finally throw caution to the wind, is impressive indeed. Much credit should be given to a man who could easily brush over the unglorified, untidy and unimaginable but doesn't.
If you are looking for a book completely free of chest pounding, he-man GI Joe and check me-out I am a hero talk, then you have found the right book. If you were hoping for a story that will just tell you how a man might end up in a place a gazillion miles from his home, fighting a war whose motives changed like the directions of the wind, this is the one. He will answer your questions and offer you more. In his own quiet, conversational, plain-speak way, without shouting it from the highest peak and without a single whisper of HE-man talk, Mr. Wiknik proves he was and is a warrior, an American hero and a living part of our history. If you ever had questions about the war, if you ever doubted the intentions of the powers that were, without a doubt when you close the covers of the book you will have no concerns about the motives, integrity or will of the man who went there.
A Truthful View of a Grunt's Life Sep 2, 2006
Wiknik's NAM SENSE is one of the best memoirs by a grunt, and I've read most of them. I was in Wiknik's battalion but did not know him. His sense of the absurdities in the Army as well as the real strains on a grunt in the field are more candid that most memoirs. I can vouch for the authenticity of the story on page 63 about the soldier hanging from the chopper by a rappelling rope ... it was my unit that was being inserted, and I can never forget the horror of that event. I would rate Wiknik's book among the best VN memoirs along with those of Brennan, Burns, Foley and O'Brien.
A Real Infantryman's Combat Tour Nov 25, 2005
NAM SENSE ranks as one of the best books I've read about Vietnam from an combat infantryman's prespective. It is well laid out and Wiknik has put his thoughts and emotions in every sentence. This is a riflemans combat tour in a book and he's not shy about sharing his feelings with his to often incompetent leaders. As a "Shake N' Bake" warrior, I too know what he had to deal with from all avenues and can testify he did an excellent job.