This book follows the life and career of nine members of the Class of 1966 and the women who loved them grieved for them and joined them in their commitment to the service of their nation This book is essential reading for those who wish to gain at least a minimal understanding of the effect of the war in Vietnam on those who survived its impact upon the US Army as an institution and the ideological infrastructure behind the contemporary reform movement The class of 1966 graduated with 579 men At least 550 of them served in Vietnam Thirty were killed in action there and more than 100 others were wounded Of those who did not serve in the war five were Allied cadets who could not serve in Vietnam
Ten others died or were disabled before having an opportunity to serve there Of those from our class who could have served in Vietnam therefore 98 percent did so Also about nine million Americans served in the military during the Vietnam war s fewer than three million of them served in the war zone
Lastly back to that assembly in the spring of 1966 when we were asked to select the locations for our first tours in the Army 98 members of the class were accepted that night for initial assignments to Vietnam That was the maximum number that could be accepted that night The Superintendent of the Academy stated in his annual report covering this period the graduating class of 579 desired Vietnam duty in such numbers that a limiting quota of 98 had to be established by the Department of the Army to insure that the class would be distributed properly throughout the Army Even these particular 98 graduates could not be sent immediately into the war zone before they received some additional training and at least some seasoning in the real Army would have foolishly escalated the risk to them and tragically escalated the risk to the men they would be assigned to lead In addition West Point graduates and other regular Army officers were required to complete ranger training before arrival for duty in Vietnam
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