02 March 2012

"It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes . . . ."


A bridge-playing friend of mine recommended this book, Trust Not. I had thought that the mine of memoirs of the Vietnam era had almost been played out. It has been some forty+ years now. Not so says Captain William G Haneke of the class of 1966 United States Military Academy and improbable survivor of massive and multiple wounds sustained while serving as an American military advisor to the late government of South Vietnam.

His story is divided in two: the first part is negotiating the political and military minefields of a rural part of South Vietnam that the Viet Cong and their masters from the North had thought were fairly safely in the hands of the VC. This odyssey then takes a lurch from the field to the hospital where there is still a great deal of danger to be dealt with.

The story has the ring of truth, especially about the failings of medical professionals, and joins a couple of other Vietnam-era books on my bookshelf: General Moore's We Were Soldiers Once . . . And Young; and the more medically inclined 12, 20 and 5: A Doctor's Year in Vietnam by John Parrish.

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