Author: Todd Lander
ISBN 978-1-951985-40-0 (softcover);
2020 Best Book Awards Finalist - AmericanBookFest.com.
Historical Biography Finalist – 15th Annual Indie Excellence Book Awards.
Young and naïve, happily in love with the girl of his dreams, Todd is drafted into the U.S. Army just days before his twentieth birthday, December of 1967. Though being in the military had been the last thing on his mind, he was determined to make the best of the situation.
Within weeks of his arrival in Vietnam, the reality of the horrors of war hit him like a hard punch in the gut, as he witnesses a violent death for the first time. War is ugly, cruel, heart-wrenching. No amount of training can prepare a soldier for what Todd had witnessed. And it wouldn’t be the last time.
As a 101st Airborne grunt, Todd spends a tumultuous year adapting to the elements of the jungles and rice paddies, going on helicopter assaults, daily patrols, and nighttime ambushes. The objective was to find the enemy and engage them in combat.
Todd’s year becomes one of daily survival against the ever-present enemy, friendly fire and freak accidents.
In reading Todd’s story, you’ll get acquainted with many of his closest comrades through dialogue, some of which is peppered with raw humor, typical of young soldiers of the era. Bonds and fast friendships are made and lost within the year.
During the bleakest of times, the one constant is his undying faith in God and his desire to go home to his new bride, whom he married just weeks before his deployment.
Declassified after-action reports, which documented some of the battles his company participated in are included here, along with redacted letters that Todd had written home to his wife, depicting the day to day struggles of a lonely soldier.
Some things had changed during his year in ‘Nam. Society changed. He had changed.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Todd Lander grew up in the small town of Red Bluff, California. After his two-year term in the U.S. Army, he joined the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department where he served thirty years before retiring. He resides with his wife Sandy in a gated community near the Tehachapi Mountains in California, where he has served on the HOA board of directors for over ten years. In his retirement, he enjoys golf and leading a line dancing class, as well as spending time with their three grandchildren. He is also active in local veteran's groups, as well as several online veteran and law enforcement sites.
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