What was the Vietnam War really like? Jack Billups, veteran and author of the best-selling Vietnam Memoir, My Vietnam, watches the hit film, We Were Soldiers


WILMINGTON, NC, Oct. 06, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ — ‘We Were Soldiers’ is a 2002 Vietnam War film starring Mel Gibson, Madeline Stowe, Sam Elliot and Greg Kinnear. The film was based on the book “We Were Soldiers Once”. . . And Young’, written by Lt. Gen. (Retired) Hal Moore and Joseph L. Galloway. The Vietnam War has been the subject of a slew of successful Hollywood films that attempt to portray the war as accurately as possible, although this is likely beyond the film’s ability to adequately convey such experiences. Books perhaps do a better job because they allow us to experience not only actions, but also the thoughts and feelings of those brave souls who protect us all.

Jack Billups, author of the best-selling Vietnam War memoir ‘My Vietnam’, recently offered insight into what the Vietnam War was really like, compared to the versions that have been depicted on the big screen, especially in the movie “We Were Soldiers”. ‘.

We were soldiers portraying the beginning of a new army division mixed with an old one. In my book, “My Vietnam – A Gift to My Daughter”, I wrote, “the 1st Cavalry traded their horses for helicopters”.

“Hal Moore, (Mel Gibson) has been tasked with leading the 1st Air Cavalry. In an attempt to gain an advantage over enemy soldiers who have been fighting on their own turf for 20 years, a new strategy has been created. helicopters, the U.S. military could quickly airlift grunts to suspected NVA infestations.

“I was also a grunt in the 1st Air Cavalry and became a participant in this rapid response mobile division.

“The beginning of the film had historical value revealing a new strategy, ‘assault combat.’ there the precision of the film dissolved.

“The first engagement with the enemy was more like the scene of the American Civil War where many NVA soldiers were crossing open fields shouting at the top of their voices. This battle lasted for days, ending in a mountain of enemy bodies. At that time, the film looked like a mixture of WW 2 and Vietnam.

“Granted, I served in the 1st Cavalry in ’69 and ’70. ‘We Were Soldiers’ happened in 1965, so I can’t say for sure that kind of battle never happened, but I ‘questioned. Only the fortified landing zones suffered this kind of attack, and only at night.

“In my book, I describe a different scenario. In the jungle it was hard to see, and if eye contact was made it was brief as both sides hit the ground and hid behind bushes and trees.

“The number of enemy soldiers was smaller and the duration of the firefights was shorter.

“The combat assaults were accurate with one exception, we had Cobra gunships on our flanks firing into the landing zone before touchdown.

“More accurate and relatable was the movie, ‘Platoon.’ I found myself becoming the character of Charlie Sheen from the beginning to the end of his tour.

“Although trivial, I found the 1st Cavalry’s bright yellow patch on the soldiers’ uniforms strange. The patch used in Vietnam was black and olive green, making it unobtrusive.

“There was no doubt that serving as a grunt in the 1st Air Cavalry was not boring. The many combat assaults blended together as we went from firefight to firefight.

Best-selling author Jack Billups, as a 19-year-old Army volunteer, was awarded the Bronze Star with the V attachment. He was awarded the Air Medal, which went to those who participated in combat air missions. Assigned to the 1st Air Calvary infantry as an M60 gunner, Jack served in the scorching jungles near the Ho Chi Minh Trail along the Cambodian border. Recently, he received a number of official awards and honors for his service in the Vietnam War, a story that eventually became a best-selling Vietnam memoir, My Vietnam: A Gift To My Daughter.

“From what I can tell, most people view the Vietnam War through the prism of two-hour movies,” Billups wrote. “It’s blood, guts, gunfights and death all the time. Hollywood, how they twist things! The reality was different; it would be more accurate to select any Vietnamese film and spread over a year.

My Vietnam is, at its core, a love story, combined with a dramatic and searing account of the Vietnam War experience. This experience is shared with a family member, in the most intimate way possible – a round trip to the battlefields of Vietnam.

Billups’ memoir puts the reader in a pair of combat boots and allows them to see, hear, smell, taste and touch Vietnam’s combat experience in vivid detail. That’s only part of the story.

“Hey dad, please share your experiences in Vietnam?” Naomi’s request set off a journey, 50 years in the past, like a “grunt” into the scorching jungles of Vietnam. Four months later, after completing her memoir, Naomi asked, “Dad, let’s go to Vietnam, just you and me?” Could the ghosts of Vietnam’s past turn into a father and daughter blessing in the present?

George C. Colclough, US Army Colonel Inf (Retired), former President and CEO of Smith & Wesson, said in the book’s introduction, “Just another Vietnam War book? Definitely not, Jack takes you down two roads as he embarks on a remarkable journey with his daughter. First, Jack effectively articulates his story in a way that puts the reader in the boots of a grunt, making him feel what he felt and understand the daunting challenges of those who have walked the jungles of Vietnam.

“Second, Jack and his daughter continued this remarkable adventure as they returned to Vietnam to return to the places where her father had so many vivid experiences. A wonderful story!”

What really sets these bestselling memoirs apart is Billups’ writing style. There is no pretension; nothing seems forced or contrived, invented or embellished. Billups introduces his real-life characters in a way that makes the reader feel intimately familiar with each member of his fledgling band of brothers, warts and all. Billups tells it exactly as it was.

His style continues throughout the second part of the book, describing his return to Vietnam and the jaw-dropping changes now evident in modern Vietnam. One of the highlights of the book’s second half is reunion, bringing together these somewhat innocent young men decades later as grown men. Readers will get a vivid insight, from many perspectives, into how the Vietnam experience has changed the lives of those who have lived through it.

It’s also a compelling memoir that reconciles America and Vietnam, then and now, including the culture shock of seeing Vietnam as it exists today. It offers a heartfelt and heartwarming message to the people of both countries, and a better understanding of what the old song “Ruby” called “that crazy Asian war.”

Readers and critics praised “My Vietnam: A Gift for My Daughter.” It was titled “A Beautiful Journey to Healing” and “A Stimulating and Introspective Memoir of Vietnam.” A reviewer said, “The book was so good that I was sad when I finished it.” Another said: “Jack’s memory of his time in Vietnam was beautifully detailed in his book. Not everyone wants to relive such a terrible page in our American history, but Jack was able to do a wonderful job of speaking about the real events he experienced and returned home in one piece to deliver such a wonderful gift as he gave to his daughter. .

Another wrote: ‘The book fulfilled my husband’s hopes for a healing response to what our armed forces faced there. My husband usually can’t read much Vietnam War material due to PTSD. He read this in just a few days; it was so good. Thanks to the author for undertaking this topic and telling his story.

The book will make interesting reading for veterans, spouses and children of veterans, and others who have been affected in any way by serving in any branch of the military, as the memoirs include the years before and after his service in Vietnam. , including the effects of his Vietnam tour on his family.

Jack Billups is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at [email protected]. “My Vietnam: A Gift for My Daughter” is available on Amazon in Kindle, paperback, and audio formats. More information is available on the Billups website at https://myvietnambook.com.

About Jack Billups:

As a 19-year-old Army volunteer, Sgt. Jack Billups was awarded the Bronze Star with Attachment V. He was awarded the Air Medal, which went to those who participated in combat air missions. Assigned to the 1st Air Calvary infantry as an M60 gunner, Jack served in the scorching jungles near the Ho Chi Minh Trail along the Cambodian border.

Jack grew up in the 1950s and early 1960s in a quiet Southern California community populated by many senior citizens and dotted with chicken ranches. He is a reliable and talented “everybody” who does not claim his service in Vietnam, except that he is a patriotic American who did “the right thing” as he saw it. He maintained this attitude all his life. Invited to talk about his military experience by his daughter, he started writing it and ended up exposing forgotten memories and emotions of 50 years of jungle warfare, ending with a trip back to Vietnam with his daughter.

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