Brothers in the Mekong Delta

A Memoir of PBR Section 513 in the Vietnam War


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SKU: 9781476681535 Categories: , Tags: ,

About the Book

Following the Tet Offensive, a shift in U.S. naval strategy in 1967–1968 saw young men fresh out of high school policing the canals and tributaries of South Vietnam aboard PBRs (patrol boat, riverine)—unarmored yet heavily armed and highly maneuverable vessels designed to operate in shallow, weedy waterways. This memoir recounts the experiences of the author and his shipmates as they cruised the Viet Cong-occupied backwaters of the Mekong Delta, and their emotional metamorphosis as wartime events shaped the men they would be for the remainder of their lives.

About the Author(s)

Following two tours in Viet Nam in 1967 and 68, and a lengthy break in military service, Godfrey Garner rejoined and eventually retired from 20th Special Forces group in 2006. During his second period of military service with 2/20 SFG, he completed two military tours in Afghanistan. He has published more than fifty professional articles in Homeland Security Today, Journal of American Diplomacy and Foreign Policy Journal on issues relating to counterterrorism, mostly centering on Afghanistan. He is a permanent faculty professor at Mississippi College, as well as adjunct at Tulane University and Belhaven University.

Bibliographic Details

Godfrey Garner

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 192
Bibliographic Info: 16 photos, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8153-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3944-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Preface: A Few Short Notes from Yesterday 1
Prologue 3
1. First Breath 7
2. Bonding: Rite of Passage 17
3. Virginity Patrol: Move Out and Draw Fire 21
4. The Wide End of the Funnel 26
5. Kindergarten 30
6. He Was Just Like Me 37
7. Ghost Patrol 45
8. A New Normal 51
9. Learning to Be Violent 56
10. “We have to know we’re right” 61
11. Just Cops on the Beat 66
12. All’s Well If You Can See Past the Trees 75
13. Simple Little Spaces for Reflection 79
14. Things We Should Have Said 83
15. A Slightly Skewed Sort of Balance 86
16. An Everlasting Thanksgiving Memory 91
17. Tet: End of the Simple Push-Pull 94
18. Drums and Bugles 98
19. Post Tet: A New Ballgame 103
20. Anatomy of a Firefight 109
21. SEAL PBR Operations: Just Do It 114
22. Occasionally Out of the Bush 119
23. The Medicine Was Definitely Worse 125
24. A Most Well-known Monkey 129
25. The “Right” and the “Good” 132
26. A Strange Maturity 142
27. Clarity of Vision Reserved for One 148
28. Always Begin with “You Ain’t Gonna Believe This Shit” 155
29. Counterinsurgency: Two Beaux Wooing the Same Girl 162
30. So, What Do We Do Now? 172
Index 183

Book Reviews & Awards

“As much as it is a war memoir, Brothers in the Mekong Delta also resembles a textbook on finding direction for the future. The book should be mandatory reading for high school students.”—The VVA Veteran