They Marched Into Sunlight
War and Peace Vietnam and America October 1967
In a seamless narrative, Maraniss weaves together the stories of three very different worlds: the death and heroism of soldiers in Vietnam, the anger and anxiety of antiwar students back home, and the confusion and obfuscating behavior of officials in Washington. To understand what happens to the people in these interconnected stories is to understand America's anguish. Based on thousands of primary documents and 180 on-the-record interviews, the book describes the battles that evoked cultural and political conflicts that still reverberate.
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The soldiers reported one by one and in loose bunches, straggling into Fort Lewis from late April to the end of May 1967, all carrying orders to join a unit called C Packet. Not brigade, battalion, or company, but packet. No one at the military base in Washington State had heard of C Packet until then. It was a phantom designation conceived by military planners to meet the anxious demands of war.
The early arrivals were billeted on the far northern rim of the army base in a rotting wooden barracks with flimsy walls known derisively as "the pit." Many of them checked in at night after long flights and... see more
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