The Body Burning Detail

Memoir of a Marine Artilleryman in Vietnam

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About the Book

A poignant memoir that recounts the author’s hair-raising—and occasionally hilarious—experiences as a young, not especially gung-ho Marine artilleryman in Vietnam. Gritty and disturbing, Bill Jones’ unvarnished narrative probes the lasting physical and emotional wounds of war and offers a combat veteran’s wry insight into the influence and relevance of America’s long and indecisive misadventure.

About the Author(s)

Bill Jones is a retired Special Agent with the CSX Railroad Police and former newspaper columnist with the Wyoming State Journal. A regular contributor to Range magazine, his poetry and articles have been published in a variety of anthologies, books and periodicals. He lives in Middlesboro, Kentucky.

Bibliographic Details

Bill Jones
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 202
Bibliographic Info: 11 photos, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7517-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3424-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Foreword by Vess Quinlan 1
Poem: The Body Burning Detail 3
Preface 5
1. Pack Your Trash 7
2. We Don’t Want Any Candy Asses 9
3. I Can’t Hear You! 13
Poem: Lights Out 19
4. Breathe. Relax. Aim. Sight. Squeeze. 21
5. Fortunate Son 24
6. You Guys Have No Idea 28
7. Shredded Wheat 32
8. A Live Dog … A Dead Lion 39
9. A World of Shit 42
10. Chicken Plates 45
11. Magnificent Bastards 49
12. A Mexican Angel 52
Poem: Fixation 55
13. You Will Probably Get Killed Anyway 57
14. Good Morning, Vietnam! 60
15. I Will Be in the Area All Day 63
16. A Sexist Pig 66
17. Short-Arm Inspection 68
18. A Magic Show 71
19. Ann-Margret’s Panties 74
20. Two-Legged Rats 77
21. Smoking Is Hazardous to Your Health 80
Poem: Chief 83
22. Bob’s Wife 85
23. More Like an Earthworm 88
24. Friendly Fire 92
25. Regrets 96
26. Bad News 99
27. In Country R&R 101
28. LZ Sitting Duck 104
29. Playboy Foldout 107
30. A Gook Killing Machine 109
31. Grand Theft Auto 112
32. Fix Bayonets 115
Poem: Near Laos 119
33. Show Him the Scalp 121
34. Chief 125
35. REMF’s 128
36. Miss Congeniality 131
37. Dogpatch 134
Poem: Heathen Killer 137
38. A Frogman in Miami 139
39. A Lot of Fat Sailors 142
40. Things Are Different Out There 144
41. Search and Avoid 147
42. Go Along to Get Along 151
43. Fire Ants on a Dead Bird 156
44. Full Circle 160
45. Tiger Piss 162
Poem: Five Days Home 167
46. A Little Too Cute 169
47. Blood Money 172
48. Police Only 176
Epilogue 181
Index 185

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Bill Jones’ memoir of the Vietnam War, The Body Burning Detail, conveys the naiveté, the fear, the rage, the black humor of a young Marine’s tour of duty in Vietnam. This is a real marine story. No glory, and a healthy dose of guts. One hell of a read.”—Ken Rodgers, USMC, author, filmmaker, and survivor of the Siege of Khe Sanh

• “True to himself—and to all of us who lived through the Vietnam War—Bill Jones balances terror and futility with the keen and introspective eye of a combat Marine. This is no fairy tale—it’s real, honest and profane, as all wars are, an enlightening read for anyone who cares about humanity.”—John Dofflemeyer, Dry Crik Review

• “This book will be embraced and savored. It is one hell of a ride.”—C.J. (Caroline Joy) Hadley, publisher/editor of RANGE magazine

• “Not sure the world is ready for yet one more movie about Vietnam but this book would make an excellent subject. I could not put it down.”—Bill Sniffin, author and publisher, Lander, Wyoming