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A soldier's best friend : scout dogs and their handlers in the Vienam war

by Burnam, John C.

Format: Print Book 2003
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Mezzanine - Non-fiction DS558.B86 2003x
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Mezzanine - Non-fiction
Call Number  DS558.B86 2003x
In a Vietnam War memoir unlike any published before, John C. Burnam recalls his service in-country as a scout dog handler in the 25th Infantry Division's 44th Infantry Platoon (Scout Dog) with his canine comrades, Hans, Timber, and Clipper. Like 10,000 other young combat infantrymen, Burnam loved and cared for his dogs, literally carrying their food and water into battle, as they located injured GIs, searched out Vietcong weapons caches and deadly booby traps, and alertly thwarted enemy attacks and ambushes. More than 57,000 Americans lost their lives in Vietnam, and countless others were wounded, taken prisoner, or reported missing in action; thousands more would have fallen victim had it not been for the use of German shepherds for scouting, sentry, and patrolling and Labrador retrievers for tracking. Yet these intrepid animals' service has been largely forgotten. In fact, the nearly 4,000 American war dogs of Vietnam were classified as "equipment" at the war's end. Deemed expendable despite the impassioned pleas of their handlers, thousands were abandoned to unknown fates. Vietnam War Dogs is a stirring war story but one that honors the courage of real men and their real best friends. 8 pages of black-and-white photos enhances this superbly written testimonial to the strength and courage of America's soldiers and the heroics of their dog teams during the Vietnam War. "An authentic and compelling story by a two-tour combat infantry veteran. Read this magnificent book." --Lieutenant General Harold G. Moore (U.S.A., ret.) co-author of We Were Soldiers Once and Young: Ia Drang, The Battle that Changed the War in Vietnam
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "This Vietnam narrative by a war-dog handler who became a career soldier has two parts. The first is Burnam's account of being a grunt with the 1st Air Cavalry Division, and it graphically illustrates how even those who in time become good soldiers start off green as grass and as dangerous to their comrades as to the enemy. The bulk of the book--its more original and moving part--relates Burnam's experience with sentry and scout dogs, particularly with one scout dog named Checker. Checker and Burnam owed one another their lives many times, and, working as a team, they saved many American casualties. For that, Checker's reward was to be left in Vietnam and most probably eaten, something that rankles Burnam to this day and will rankle animal lovers who read this overdue tribute to an overlooked group of Vietnam War participants. --Roland Green"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Burnam is a man with a mission: to garner recognition for the 4,000 dogs and their 10,000 or so handlers who served in the Vietnam War. Burnam was one of the latter; his instructive book is a combination war memoir, a history of the use of American war dog teams in Vietnam and a plea for the construction of a National War Dog Memorial in Washington, D.C. A Colorado native, Burnam joined the army soon after graduating from high school, volunteered for jump school and went on to serve two tours in Vietnam. He was an infantryman with the First Cavalry Division and a scout dog handler with the 44th Scout Dog Platoon. Burnam saw plenty of action during both tours of duty. His first ended prematurely when he jumped out of a helicopter under fire and landed on a bamboo punji stake that impaled his right knee. He describes that and his other war experiences well, using minimal reconstructed dialogue. The most valuable part of the book is Burnam's description of his second tour, when he bravely led dangerous infantry patrols with his two scout dogs, Timber and Clipper. Of the countless American Vietnam War memoirs, none has provided such an in-depth look at the training and operations of the scout dogs and their handlers. Burnam, the current president of the Vietnam Dog Handlers Association, unabashedly lobbies for formal recognition of the Vietnam War dogs and their handlers, and by book's end, only the most canine phobic will give him an argument. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Burnam, John C.
Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- United States.
Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Personal narratives, American.
Dogs -- War use -- United States.
Publisher New York :Carroll & Graf Publishers :2003
Distributed by Publishers Group West,
Edition 1st Carroll & Graf trade pbk. ed.
Other Titles Dog tags of courage
Language English
Notes Reprint. Originally published: Dog tags of courage. Fort Bragg, CA : Lost Coast Press, 2000.
Includes index.
Description xxi, 362 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
ISBN 078671137X (14.00)
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