Quang Tri Cadence

Memoir of a Rifle Platoon Leader in the Mountains of Vietnam

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About the Book

Having flunked out of college in the fall of 1965, the author enlisted in the U.S. Army. After basic training he was assigned to Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia, an institution dedicated to the manufacture of the commodity the wartime army most quickly expends—rifle platoon leaders.
In June of 1968, he found himself leading a rifle platoon in D Company 2/5th, First Cavalry Division. Quang Tri Cadence draws upon the original maps used in Vietnam and upon the battalion radio logs which were recently declassified at the time of writing. Life in a rifle platoon is presented at the boot level with all its grit, bewilderment, fatigue and fear. This book is not about what the pentagon is pleased to call “violence processing”; this book is about ordinary events in strange places; it is about being “in the field” and coming home. The author’s experiences at Kent State University during the shootings in May of 1970 are also recounted.

About the Author(s)

Jon Oplinger is professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Maine at Farmington. He lives in western Maine.

Bibliographic Details

Jon Oplinger
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 220
Bibliographic Info: index
Copyright Date: 2014 [1993]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7753-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2684-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. 1

Chapter 2. 23

Chapter 3. 39

Chapter 4. 57

Chapter 5. 83

Chapter 6. 107

Chapter 7. 127

Chapter 8. 141

Chapter 9. 161

Chapter 10. 185

Chapter 11. 199


Epilogue 207

Military History 209

Index 211

Book Reviews & Awards

“straightforward”—Booklist; “Oplinger tells his story in a matter-of-fact prose style. He has a dry sense of humor and an admirable way of playing down the traumatic events that he experienced in Vietnam…. His memoir adds a likable and honest voice to the body of first-person narratives about the war”—The VVA Veteran; “Oplinger skillfully brings to life the vivid sights, sounds and feelings of his Vietnam war experience with crisp reality, humor, drama and action. This memoir is a candidly colorful, poignant and insightful tale of camaraderie and brotherhood in the worst of circumstances”—Maine Publishers Alliance.