8 10 Gets repetitive Author goes to vietnam and gets high alot Very little action but the story kept me entertained throughout.
In This Intimate Memoir, Perry A Ulander Chronicles With Powerful Clarity The Bewildering Predicament He Confronted And The Fellowship And Guidance That Transformed Him During The Year He Served As An American GI In The Jungles Of Vietnam Conveying With Unadorned Precision The Harrowing Experiences That Shatter His Core Beliefs, Ulander Also Captures The Camaraderie And Humor Of His Platoon, The Hostility Between Lifers And Draftees, The Physical Hardships Of Reconnaissance Missions, And The Unrelenting Apprehension Underlying Everyday Life Ultimately, He Describes The Surrendering Of Social Norms And Accepted Identities That Allows Him To Glimpse A Previously Unimagined Realm Of Heightened Awareness Written After A Lifetime Of Reflection On The Nature Of War And The Effect Of Violence And Domination On The Minds And Spirits Of Those Forced To Practice It, Walking Point Offers A Powerful Narrative For Readers With An Interest In The Effects Of War And Violence, American Involvement In Vietnam, PTSD, And How Trauma Can Be A Catalyst For Spiritual Transformation Giving Voice To Profound Insights Gained Through Extreme Adversity, Ulander Movingly Captures The Depth Of Trust And Commitment Among A Group Of Unwitting Warriors Who Struggle To Stay Alive And Sane In Unchartered Territory Contents CHAPTER Into The Unknown CHAPTER The Magic Poncho Liner CHAPTER Initiation CHAPTER Head On CHAPTER The Valley Of The Shadow CHAPTER Into The Light CHAPTER Short Time CHAPTER No Time CHAPTER Home From The Trade Paperback Edition I loved the book it made me think about issues that I had only read about.
A real eye opener.
This book brings back a lot of memories Reading this, I felt the emotions of the moment, the reactions, the actions, the relationships of the time and place.
Do not read this if you do not really want to awaken any PTSD tendencies And avoid the book if you were there.
It is realistic enough to place you there And it was written by someone there who wrote it while there I would very highly place this book on your reading list if you are looking for what the grunt went through and felt, and his reaction to everything around him, up to and including his return to the world.
I m fascinated by memoirs, and Walking Point, a personal, unique account of the author s year spent as an GI in Vietnam, was no exception His tour of duty there, which lasted from December 1969 December 1970, came at a time of worsening morale among the enlisted men Ulander vividly describes his own mental state and his understanding of the men in his platoon as they evolve during the course of the year He shows how they were affected by ill conceived and poorly executed military strategies, unthinking treatment by incompetent officers, and He explores the topics of substance abuse and fragging, both of which were rampant by that time.
Ulander seems to have written this account a good forty or forty five years after his return from Vietnam, but he does a good job of writing in the voice of a young man not far removed from the events described He includes a great deal of dialogue and much detail, which does beg the question and I ve seen other reviewers mention this of how much is true and how much he had to make up Perhaps he has a fantastic memory, took tons of notes I don t know And who knows Memory is a shifty thing Maybe some memories actually become clearer with time Ultimately I don t think 100% accuracy is the standard by which I would judge the author s endeavor From my point of view, he has done a fine job of telling his story and his truth It definitely added to my understanding of what soldiers like himself went through during the war, and I both admire and appreciate the work that went into writing it.
My only beef with it as a book was that it could have been better edited At times it was repetitive and some passages did go on longer than I think was effective That being said, I would recommend it for anyone interested in gaining insight about the war and those who fought in it.
I avoided stories about VN for fifty years as if not looking would make it go away That doesn t work For combat vets, you will know if you are ready to look back For those who want to know what warfare was like, this is a good way to learn I listened to it as an audiobook so I listened to it twice and will be listening to it again.
Those of us who lived through the Vietnam War era were changed by the experience even if we were never part of the actual fighting in that war ravished country This was the war that largely changed the way Americans look at their government and how much, or how little, they trust it to tell them the truth The Vietnam War, in fact, divided the country so deeply that fifty years later the two sides still have not completely reconciled their differences Perry Ulander managed to come out Vietnam in one piece, and in Walking Point From the Ashes of the Vietnam War, he tells us how he did it The memoir begins with the stunned nineteen year old Ulander reading a letter from his Uncle Sam directing him to report to Chicago for his pre induction physical It ends than a year later when a very different Perry Ulander, having just completed a one year tour of duty in Vietnam, is equally stunned to so suddenly find himself back on U.
S soil Perhaps Ulander was na ve than the average male college student of his day, but he seems to have been dangerously uninformed about this small war and how it could easily reach out and suck him right into the middle of it So, figuring that it should have been nearly over any day, he decides to drop out of college with two years of structural engineering study under his belt so that he can get some on the job experience The ever vigilant U.
S government, of course, has other plans for men like young Ulander Ulander as it turns out, is smart enough to see through much of the gung ho intimidation and brainwashing thrown at him during basic training, and almost as soon as he sets foot in Vietnam he figures out something else the war he was trained to fight bears little resemblance to the one he is now looking at with his own eyes The men around him, some of them already with than one tour of duty behind them, consider the army s lifers to be of a threat to their well being than the North Vietnamese soldiers they are there to fight Experienced soldiers immediately begin to mentor the replacement soldiers joining their ranks, a practice that serves both the experienced and the newbies well Almost everyone he sees is out of uniform in one way or another they wear peace symbols, non regulation sunglasses, scarves and anti military decorations on their uniforms and helmets For emotional support and stress release they look to each other and to the easily and cheaply obtained marijuana that is always nearby Soldiers who do not smoke marijuana are the exception in his unit rather than the rule.
Walking Point is filled with memorable stories and real life characters known only by nicknames from a war that America would prefer to forget because of how those who survived it were ignored and mistreated when they came home Thankfully, old soldiers like Perry Ulander are around to keep that from happening It is way past time that America s Vietnam veterans are paid the respect that they deserve for fighting the ill conceived war they were handed by their elders Walking Point should be taught in every high school in America Review Copy provided by Publisher
Wow, this book is so bad Why isn t there a zero rating available So many things wrong here, where to begin Firstly, this book seems disingenuous throughout It was published in 2016, but it s based on the author s experinces in 1970 Really You remember all those details 40 years later It s much likely that most all of it is embellished He claims that in October of 70, he had not even realized that he was within 90 days of end of tour And yet he expects us to believe he recalls all of these detailed accounts in his book He also chose to name his account Walking Point , although he never ever did that How does that mesh with his view that others are dishonest and self serving Secondly, Ulander s primary accomplishment according to his account while Serving in Vietnam was smoking a LOT of marijuana Which is not only against regulations, and obviously placed his fellow soldiers he claims to have loved at risk, but also goes to my point about his clarity of memory of events At one point in the book he claims he told a chaplain that you couldn t do his job without weed, but then at the same time he states that the Vietnamese strain was so potent he could barely speak while using it I wonder how much he smoked upon returning to the U.
S Thirdly, throughout the book, from the beginning of his tour until the end, he expresses nothing but the deepest disrespect and contempt for every single person in his chain of command, while simultaneously heaping praise upon the NVA courageous, cunning and the female proprietors of a pot den courageous, knowledgeable His respect and admiration of those plotting deadly force against the American officers he served under is another great indication of his character.
If all of those things aren t bad enough, this is just a terrible book The editing is simply awful, and there are literally at least a hundred passages where he goes into an inane internal discussion wherein he describes things that only he could possibly understand And it s completely BS It seems likely he was under the influence of Mary Jane when he wrote substantial potions of this book Here s one example, but as stated, there are many, many Sensory input was brought into crystal clear, present centered focus, and with this shift of perception, my ability to access an intuitive level feel of the environment was greatly enhanced Now I knew beyond a doubt that the NVA watching us were feeling both anger and fear I read a lot about U.
S history in the 1960s and the Vietnam War, and this is easily the worst thing I ve ever read It adds nothing to the American experience and discourse relating to that period I definitely disagree with the premise of the Vietnam war, and highly respect the service and experience of the true fighters, but I do not like or respect Mr Ulander at all based on this book I wonder if anyone who knows him does In the notes it says he enrolled at the University of Illinois following discharge, but left shortly thereafter due to irreconcilable differences Ha, no doubt.
I would avoid this book, and recommend if you are interested in the topic, read instead Vietnam A View from the Front Lines by Andrew Wiest, and The Things They Carried by Tim O Brien In both of those you ll find dissent as well, but not general a holeishness like in this garbage.
Interesting Though I was in the field in Vietnam, I wasn t with conventional US forces but rather a special team So the book took on a special meaning to me.
Ulander never walked point so you read the book waiting for him to relate some story about being on point while on patrol he never related it, if he ever was But in the end he did take the point regarding an issue as related to his platoon but I ll leave that to you to find and to agree with or not.
The use of drugs was not unknown to US forces, especially in later years Because I had an assignment in an unconventional unit we never saw it among our small team but did in regular US military units What Ulander relates as to MJ and its use may be correct as MJ was very much available.
To me, Ulander s method of coping with the patrols was something I did relate to and understand The heavy packs, the mud, slop, elephant grass, constantly wet, etc Zoning out yet fully aware of all that was around you while on patrol, followed by the 1000 yard stare a stare that took years for some of us to bury or hide I called it being in the ozoneAll in all Ulander wrote a good story which is probably best understood by those of us who had Vietnam combat experience Perhaps it may help one of our loved ones understand how that 1000 stare came about and perhaps exists yet today.