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They were given backpacks of dark green cotton and chest pouches with three larges pockets in front to hold the thirty-round banana-clip magazines they would eventually carry. As soon as they were dressed, they were also given a taste of what the next years would bring, when they were marched by night fifty kilometers to the larger town of Nam Dinh. The American was Homer Steedly, Jr. There is more detail about his experiences since he was still alive at the end of the war. They searched the jungle for signs of the NVA.

Too often they acted as bait; the enemy was located when it hit them. Clouds of mosquitoes buzzed around their heads and settled into their ears and on whatever skin was exposed. Their sweat poured over and around the bumps of insect bites that covered their skin and made them itch more fiercely; scratching them lead easily to suppurating infections. Heat rash prickled their shoulders and chests and crotches like someone was driving hot needles further into their flesh with each step or rub of their packs.

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The triple-canopy layers of the trees enveloped them in a steamy, green-stained gloom. The sweat and dirt felt like a filthy crust freezing on their skin as the temperature plummeted with the darkness. They got used to water, dipped out of jungle streams, that tasted like bleach from their purification tablets. If you want graphic, try this on for size: The door gunner fell to his knees and began projectile vomiting. Who wants to sign up for the next war?


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  • Homer had returned to his native soil, but he was in a shifted universe in which everything had a different meaning to him than to the people around him. He had seen and done things that he knew the people around him did not want to know about, and because of that he knew he could never rejoin them. There are , lost souls in Viet Nam from the war and, like the American MIAs, there are Vietnamese who work to restore those souls to their families.

    You will read in a very personal way about that effort in this book. This is a stunning book for me. I give it four stars though there are certainly some five star sections. Published in about a time forty years earlier, it makes me wonder how long we will keep writing horror stories about boys, American and Vietnamese, who went to the war in Viet Nam and how long I will keep reading them. All the people who served in that war will die eventually but many of their words will remain. There is another war to take its place. Nov 02, Julian Tan rated it liked it. An engaging read, the author describes the fateful meeting of two men on opposite sides of the war on a secluded jungle path.

    One died, and the other lived with the heavy burden and guilt for 30 years, before embarking on a journey of reconciliation with the family and relatives. It's not often that one walks in the shoes of one's enemy, and the author does exactly that - meticulously describing the background and past of the two men, their upbringings and ideals and what motivated them to make t An engaging read, the author describes the fateful meeting of two men on opposite sides of the war on a secluded jungle path.

    It's not often that one walks in the shoes of one's enemy, and the author does exactly that - meticulously describing the background and past of the two men, their upbringings and ideals and what motivated them to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country. It is an eye-opening insight into the Vietnamese psyche and culture as well, their superstitions and how they deal the horrors of war and their concept of loyalty and fate. After seeing life from the other person's perspective, a great sense of futility is also embodied, raising many questions on how one justifies wars and whether the human toll is all worth it.

    On a literary note, I felt that the book could do with some tighter editing in terms of pacing and perhapssome trimming of unessential narratives - but ultimately does not detract in any way from this powerful and evocative story. Mar 29, Blake rated it it was ok Shelves: I found the first half of this book completely engaging as we follow Homer through his tense battles in Viet Nam and the unfortuante death of the young North Vietnamese medic Dam.

    However, the pace of the book slows down when Homer's tour of Viet Nam finshes. The book then turns from a week-by-week battle diary into a soft, philosophical and 'emotional' review.

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    It becomes quite heavy and drawn out until the inevitable meeting of Homer and Dam's family many years into the future. While uplifting I found the first half of this book completely engaging as we follow Homer through his tense battles in Viet Nam and the unfortuante death of the young North Vietnamese medic Dam. While uplifting this book could have been shortened. A good but often lengthy look at the different faces of war, and those with a good heart. Follows the story of a US soldier who killed a Vietnamese man in the war, stole the guy's diary and then 30 years later returns to Vietnam to give the diary back to the man's family.

    This book is almost kind of like 'I can't belive that really happened' kind of twist here and there, and is a fascinating look at Vietnamese culture, history and post-traumatic stress for the US soldiers over the decades. Mar 14, Armatstorage rated it liked it. I only skimmed it tho, and didn't read many of the words. Samantha rated it really liked it May 26, Sluddeck rated it liked it Nov 29, Amy Loudin rated it really liked it Jul 17, Ted rated it liked it Apr 28, Jay Braden rated it it was amazing Mar 04, Margaret rated it it was amazing Dec 12, Jim rated it really liked it Jan 02, Ken rated it really liked it Sep 17, Jim rated it it was amazing Dec 31, The event was very well planned!

    Had a lot of fun!!! Management was not proper and did not started on time. Experience of nightlife along the Mumbai waterfront is a gift of this event. The organizers are amazing people! The entire event went smoothly. I made new friends. Got to know a lot of people in one night. When you journey together you build strong ties. Will definitely seek to explore this event again. Excellent event management, I actually had pretty good fun It was amazing experience watching birds with Sarvesh Abhyankar. He is having very good experience and knowledge of birds. He had shared his knowledge with us, made the arrangements to view the birds with his binacular.

    I would like to attend more such events in the future. Thanks to Sarvesh and his team. The cycles provided were fear or non gear as per your preference.. I've loved every outing with them. Be it midnight cycling, camping, trekking, anything! The people are very friendly and their experiences are so unique. It's also very well organised.

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    You always leave with happy memories: Amazing - by Saswat for Wandering Souls. Enjoyed every moment of the stargazing adventure with the wandering souls team Loved the stargazing trips with the crazy, fun yet professional team of Wandering Souls. Glad to see how well organised their treks are when all the things work as per the plan.

    Good food, music, fun games, tent pitching, BBQ, etc. I Would love to travel with them again!

    The cycling event was fun. Looking forward for the next cycling event - by Madhura Tilve for Wandering Souls. Three cheers to wandering souls. What an amazing trip to Bhutan!!!!. I loved the culture, the slow pace and Tigers Nest was the highlight, loved the hotels, the food and the tour was superb.

    Did so many awesome things which wouldn't have been possible without Team Wandering Souls. Very well planned and executed. Wandering Souls put together the right itinerary for us and we were very happy with the service. I would highly recommend Wandering Souls to all wanderers and looking forward for another trip very soon: Great experience - by Isha Choudhry for Camping in the Hills. Midnight cycling is fun.. But overall worth one shot. My trekking experience with WS was good. Awesome team and experiences - by Saurabh for Wandering Souls.

    The Wandering Soul team needs to work on its organising skills. We reached the camp site at 8pm. No arrangements of the eve celebrations until another 1. Food not served on time. No fun activity, no boating, no surprise element.

    Operation Wandering Soul (Vietnam War) - Wikipedia

    It was just the music, the bonfire, and the food. My husband and I did not feel we had gone for a camping event with a professional group. The next morning, departure delayed by 2 hours, for no apparent reason. Wat an experience it was!! WS team Awsm coordination, full of energy n life. Doin grt job guys. Surely, lookin forward for an other trip very soon Easy Treks around Mumbai 7 March Want to experience the Outdoors with a little bit of adventure mixed in but still keeping it relaxed? Take a pick from one of the easy Treks around Mumbai.

    Holi in Mumbai 14 February Spring is in the air- blooms, breeze and the best of weather.