Steve Park served in the US Army during the height of the Vietnam War. As an Infantry Platoon Leader (Lieutenant), turning back the enemy, while ensuring the safety of his men, was his highest priority. The writing of BOOTS was both therapeutic and a means to provide an accurate account of what it was like to serve in a combat role. Steve is an accomplished artist and lives with Sherry, his wife of 46 years, in Lake Wylie, South Carolina. They share their home with three rescue dogs. BOOTS is his first book.
Boots: An Unvarnished Memoir of Vietnam
On July 19th, 1966, I received my invitation from Uncle Sam. In January, 1967, at the age of twenty, I left my home in Tennessee, and was on my way to Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia. I knew I was destined to join the party in Vietnam. I had been married for five days before I jumped on the bus and became US government property. I was about to embark on a walking tour through the jungles and muck of southern Asia. This book is about those jungles, that muck and the realities of what had been pitched as a brave and glamorous life of a soldier in combat. There is nothing glamorous in humping the brush, a backpack containing your whole life on your back, an M-16 to keep you warm at night. Red ants, trip wires, flooded rice paddies, leeches and being soaked for a year in either sweat or monsoons aren’t what they show on the movies, and the John Waynes were to be avoided; those guys were part of the ten-percent factor. Among the casualties of war are the truth and common sense. A glamorous life? No, not at all. It was a grunt's life... and this grunt had only one goal in mind – to do his tour and get home to his bride. There were times where it seemed even that was an unachievable goal.
This is the story of November Platoon, Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry, 1st Division – The Big Red One – in Vietnam. This is my story.
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