THIRTEEN MONTHS, FOURTEEN DAYS….illustrates the beauty and the horrors of Vietnam in the late ‘60s. Half a million U.S. troops were there. U.S. combat deaths averaged over 100 a week. Sgt. Mattatall’s perspective is that of a soldier on the ground, a draftee assigned to a combat engineer unit in the Central Highlands. Combat engineers do not seek out the enemy. Yet they are among the first in and the last out. Without them, fellow soldiers lack facilities for eating, sleeping or going to the bathroom. Engineers provide roads, bridges and protective barriers. They endure all of war’s dangers, discomforts and deprivations. Like most of his fellow soldiers, Mattatall is apolitical. Instead, his writing reveals the bravery, the youthful recklessness, the ingenuity, the goofiness and the special brotherhood of the American soldier. Robert Goodrich, retired St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter, Army veteran.
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