Book Review: We Were Soldiers Once and Young

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We Were Soldiers Once... and Young
Ia Drang- the battle that changed the War in Vietnam

By: Lt. Gen Harold G. Moore (Ret.) and Joseph L. Galloway
The Random House Publishing Group, 1992

Steve Heiser
U.S. History since 1865/4:45W
Dr. Luccioni
October 24, 2012

I chose this book for my first book review for a few reasons. First, to bring to light and to honor the memory of Command Sergeant Major Basil L. Plumley, who recently passed away on October 10, 2012. He is a true inspiration to be followed; a career U.S. Army Infantry Soldier, a Sergeant Major, and key leader during the Battle of Ia Drang. He fought in every major Airborne Operation of World War II, including Operation Husky, D-Day, and Operation Market Garden. He continued to serve throughout the Korean War and finished his military career at the end of the Vietnam War. His career spanned from 1942-1974. Second, I am almost entirely interested only in military history, because I am currently serving in the U.S. Army Infantry. Also, I come from a military family, meaning when I was growing up all the stories I ever heard were about family members and their war stories, which made me want to learn more about anything military related. And third, because of the movie We Were Soldiers, starring Mel Gibson. After watching the movie, I searched for this book, written by the commanding officer, Lieutenant General Harold G. Moore (Ret.), a Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) at the time of the battle, and the only combat reporter, Joseph L. Galloway, on the ground during the battle, to see how well Hollywood had depicted the actual events.

We Were Soldiers Once... and Young is a compelling recount of the battle of Ia Drang, which took place between November 14-18, 1965, and was the first major conflict in the Vietnam War between the North Vietnamese Army Regulars (NVA)/Viet Cong and the newly formed United States Army Air Cavalry Units. The Air Cavalry was still an experimental type of warfare, but...
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