A Spear-Carrier in Viet Nam

Memoir of an American Civilian in Country, 1967 and 1970–1972


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About the Book

There was another war in Vietnam, one that mostly did not make the headlines: the campaign to “win the hearts and minds” of the Vietnamese people. Fought not with artillery and helicopters but with food, medicine and shelter for civilians devastated by the conflict, the effort was unprecedented in U.S. history, involving both military and civilian personnel working together in widely spread areas of the countryside. Part history and part memoir, this book chronicles an overlooked aspect of U.S. involvement in Vietnam, with a focus on the war victims and refugees who were most tragically affected by the carnage. The author recounts his two years “in-country” as an aid worker and tells how the humanitarian effort was conducted and why it failed.

About the Author(s)

Michael E. Tolle pursued several careers after leaving government service. He settled on teaching history at community colleges in the Philadelphia area. Now retired, he lives in San Francisco, California.

Bibliographic Details

Michael E. Tolle

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 201
Bibliographic Info: 16 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7597-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3438-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction: The Perspective of a ­Spear-Carrier 8
One—What I Did on My Summer Vacation 13
Two—Back in Class Again: September 1967–June 1970 44
Three—Fighting “The Other War” 72
Four—Bao Loc: July 1970–July 1971 83
Five—Saigon: July 1971–July 1972 128
Epilogue: “Their Vietnamese fight harder
than our Vietnamese” 179
Chapter Notes 187
Bibliography 189
Index 191

Book Reviews & Awards

“The strength of [this book] derives from Tolle’s ability to reconstruct his youthful observations.”—The VVA Veteran