Based on real accounts, E Mess shows a different side of the Vietnam conflict. E Mess is the story of a group of young Marines begrudgingly assigned as cooks in Da Nang, Vietnam who drink, cook, and interact with one another as only Vietnam-era Marines could. The story follows the triumphs and missteps of these men and, in particular, the rise and fall of rookie Dave Woods during the tumultuous years of 1969 and 1970. Dave’s disdain for authority and rules finds him in and out of trouble, but his undaunted loyalty to his friends and his more-than-capable leadership is what makes E Mess the compelling story that it is.
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As the days drag on, the reader will meet some unusual characters. Some are funny, some are sad, and some are very sad. The reader will also experience real-life situations through the eyes of these men such as the 1969 ammo-dump explosion, the sweep of “the ville” for American deserters, and a “skivvie” run into “the ville” to meet some ladies of the night.
E Mess offers comic relief which was very much needed during the conflict, but at times might make the reader want to cry for the poor grunts on the front line. The grunts are never far from the cooks’ minds as they go about their daily routines. This book will make you laugh, cry, and shake your head by some of the decisions made by higher-ranking individuals.
T.E.D. Sullivan lives and works in Chicago, Illinois. He is a college graduate with a B.S. and M.S. from Chicago State University. His graduation from MCRD (Marine Corps boot camp) still looms as his most important graduation. He feels it prepared him for his 6 years of teaching, then his sales career and his eventual opening of his own business.