Eye of the Tiger

Memoir of a United States Marine, Third Force Recon Company, Vietnam


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SKU: 9780786416561 Categories: , Tags: , ,

About the Book

“We live together under the thick canopy, each searching for the other; the same leeches and mosquitoes that feed on our blood feed on his blood.” John Edmund Delezen felt a kinship with the people he was instructed to kill in Vietnam; they were all at the mercy of the land. His memoir begins when he enlisted in the Marine Corps and was sent to Vietnam in March of 1967. He volunteered for the Third Force Recon Company, whose job it was to locate and infiltrate enemy lines undetected and map their locations and learn details of their status. The duty was often painful both physically and mentally. He was stricken with malaria in November of 1967, wounded by a grenade in February of 1968 and hit by a bullet later that summer. He remained in Vietnam until December, 1968.

Delezen writes of Vietnam as a man humbled by a mysterious country and horrified by acts of brutality. The land was his enemy as much as the Vietnamese soldiers. He vividly describes the three-canopy jungle with birds and monkeys overhead that could be heard but not seen, venomous snakes hiding in trees and relentless bugs that fed on men. He recalls stumbling onto a pit of rotting Vietnamese bodies left behind by American forces, and days when fierce hunger made a bag of plasma seem like an enticing meal. He writes of his fallen comrades and the images of war that still pervade his dreams. This book contains many photographs of American Marines and Vietnam as well as three maps.

About the Author(s)

John Edmund Delezen lives in Florida. He is a retired fisherman and poet.

Bibliographic Details

John Edmund Delezen

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 200
Bibliographic Info: 16 photos, 2 maps, glossary, index
Copyright Date: 2003
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1656-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8333-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Merci Beaucoup (Acknowledgments)      vii
Military History of John Edmund Delezen      xi

1—Ho Mang Chua      1
2—Nui Con Thien      6
3—The Dark      15
4—Hunger      27
5—The Gift      50
6—Da Nang      54
7—Ca Lu      63
8—Con Ho      78
9—The River      85
10—The Rain      90
11—The Chi Com      111
12—Notre Dame de La Vang      121
13—In the Shadow of Co Roc      126
14—The Trail      140
15—The Border; into Laos      154
16—Home      172

Conclusion      177
In Memoriam      179
Glossary      181
Index      183

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Powerful and impressionable…welcome and appreciated contribution.”—Midwest Book Review
  • “An extraordinary book. It not only provides a true, accurate depiction of what Force Recon Marines faced and endured in Northern I Corps, it teaches the reader about the culture and rich history of that area. Delezen is a gifted writer whose prose is poetic and haunting. This is literature at its finest.”—Ernest Spencer, author of Welcome to Vietnam Macho Man
  • “An amazing tour de force…Delezen has given us a graceful, lyrical, and remarkable memoir of the war in Vietnam…will take its place among the very best books on that war.”—Charles E. Patterson, author of The Petrified Heart
  • “Vivid…a 5 star rating.”—Rick Bart Bartholomew, author of Dig In and founder of Nam Magazine