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The Boys of '67: Charlie Company's War in Vietnam

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  546 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
‘compelling…  a fine blend of military and social history, sympathetic, well-written but analytically rigorous’
(Professor Gary Sheffield,  BBC History Magazine  Best Books of the Year 2012)

When the 160 men of Charlie Company (4th Battalion/47th Infantry/9th ID) were drafted by the US Army in May 1966, they were part of the wave of conscription that would swell the America
ebook, 376 pages
Published September 18th 2012 by Osprey Publishing (first published January 1st 2012)
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Art Wilmeth Yes, I recommend reading and reporting on this historical non fictional book. It's written in plain language and easy to understand. There are no…moreYes, I recommend reading and reporting on this historical non fictional book. It's written in plain language and easy to understand. There are no political points other than how the men feel when they fought and died in battle and lost hometown friends they enlisted with. (less)
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Oct 03, 2012 Jerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a former member of the 1st Brigade (2/39th Infantry) of the 9th Infantry Division who completed Basic Training, Advanced Individual Training and Basic Unit Training at Fort Riley Kansas, this book brings back a lot of memories. Some of them good and some bad. If you want to know what it was like to be a infantryman in close combat in Vietnam, this book hits the mark. It also helps explain questions that I have had for 46 years as I looked back on my time in Vietnam. When our bus pulled up to ...more
Larry Bassett
Dec 31, 2016 Larry Bassett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war, audio
There are a bunch of books about Vietnam and I have read quite a few of them. But this is the new one published in 2012 and as best I can remember it is a little bit different than most that I have read.

This book has a bit of a preamble then it has the war and then it has after the war. It follows a particular company of soldiers and it follows them closely and over many years. I wouldn't say that this is a book that is pro-war. Any book that is honest I would say is automatically antiwar. But t
Apr 04, 2014 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Vietnam war was "my war" in the sense that young men of my age fought it. I was never drafted and so didn't have to serve. This book gives a taste of what it was like to be in the front lines of that war. I admire those who put their lives on the line to serve in Vietnam. But, having read this book, I'm really glad I wasn't called to do so. The experiences of those who served in the fighting part of the Vietnam war were horrible and the aftermath for many was equally horrible in a different ...more
It's difficult to review this without comparing it to the only similar book which I've read; The Long Gray Line. This is a classic book in the pantheon of Vietnam non-fiction literature. The Boys of '67 strives to match this and while it is a satisfying enough read, it never quite reaches the same standard.

What it does pretty well is capture the atmosphere of battle in war-torn Vietnam, the daily danger presented by booby traps or sudden ambushes and the effect of battle fatigue and ultimately P
Nancy Oakes
Oct 03, 2012 Nancy Oakes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-usa, vietnam
this is the short discussion; if you want a longer one, click on through.

I have been forever fascinated with the Vietnam War -- most especially with the politics and behind-the-scene machinations behind America's involvement, but also with the growth and outright explosion of US opposition to the war, and the aftermath, as the soldiers came home, or did not. But what really gets to me are the compelling stories of the people who were actually there. The Boys of '67 briefly but powerfully examin
Dave Moore
Sep 30, 2013 Dave Moore rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Dave by: MD
I didn't enjoy reading this book. Why? Would you enjoy watching an inevitable train wreck, or a tragic accident unfold before your eyes? Particularly if it touched you personally? Of course not. That having been said this is extremely well written. Based upon actual interviews and recollections, this unsettling work puts the reader in the same atmosphere as the guys it's written about. You feel their anxiety and confusion. You share their conflicting emotions. The 9th Infantry endured a two-day ...more
Oct 20, 2016 Fred rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vietnam
If you want to honor Veterans' Day this November 11, skip the camouflage jersey and read this book. If you want to know what it was like to be in combat in Vietnam, read this book. If you want to know what it was like to be drafted, taken away from your regular life in 1966 and put into Charlie Company, read this book. If you want to see men at their best, war at its worst, confusion, heroism, fear and courage, read this book. It will break your heart and give you a small taste of life and death ...more
Nov 27, 2015 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you want to know what being in the Army was really like during the Vietnam War, not what the politicians fed us, not what the media wanted us to know, then read this book. Put together with memories of the men who served in Charlie Company, the reader gets to know these men - where they were from, how they grew up, what training they had, the friendships that bonded them together, the need to work together as a team to survive, and how many of them died. But the plot doesn't stop there, we le ...more
Adam Christian Smith
As the son of a Purple Heart, Bronze Star 1st Cavalry (Airmobile) 2/7th Cav, Company C combat veteran, this book was an eye opener. I lost my father in 1985 to suicide which no doubt had to do with PTSD and pain from 3 AK-47 slugs received at Ia Drang. His name was Harley Arlen "Sam" Smith.

I finished reading this months ago but didn't know what to say. My father was 19, and a brave young man. I feel him in my blood even though I lost him when I was 6. It is hard to get vets to talk about war, an
Mike Kershaw
Apr 12, 2016 Mike Kershaw rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vietnam’s Band of Brothers: The Boys of ’67 by Andrew Weist. This is an interesting book on one rifle company’s experience in Vietnam titled, The Boys of ‘67: Charlie Companies War in Vietnam. It is also the basis for a National Geographic special, Brothers In War. Having already seen most of the Nat Geo Special, I decided to listen to the Audio Book during a recent trip to Fort Polk.

A direct result of the Johnson’s decision to expand the war, “Charlie Company” – formerly known as Company C, 4
Sep 23, 2014 Steven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Words cannot describe the roller coaster of emotions I experienced while reading "The Boy's of '67" these past few weeks. I stumbled upon this book online, reading the preview of the prologue, describing the authors background and inspiration to writing this book. I immediately had to go out to my local bookstore to read this book, as I had to read about the young men who served in Charlie Companies and their story of their service in Vietnam.

I've read a few books regarding the Vietnam war, most
Ray Palmer
I’ve encountered a couple of broad overviews of the Vietnam war before. I picked this book up at the library because I was interested in the day to day experiences of a US soldier fighting in Vietnam. This book is about “Charlie Company” drafted right at the beginning of the Vietnam war. It goes through their experiences in basic training, the year or so they spent in Vietnam, and a quick overview of a few of the men’s family they left behind and their experiences after getting home from the war ...more
L.V. Sage
Just finished this book a few days ago. It focused on the boys in Charlie Company, most of whom had gone through basic training together & then went off to Vietnam together as well, which was something of an anomaly. Most boys trained and then were sent off separately to join their respective companies based on assignment and military needs. Needless to say, they formed a tight-knit group and shared everything with one another. As many of them are killed or wounded, their numbers dwindle qui ...more
Mar 21, 2015 Sven rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I missed a more broader and balanced view on the war. And I absolutely don’t understand the underlying „my country calls, I serve“ pathos, the author is so obvisousy fascinated by. He did a great job in collecting the memories from the men of charlie company drafted in 1966 but totally missed to answer the most decisive question: What makes Americans run from war to war even with the experiences of Vietnam in the collective memory? (He portrays a Vietnam Vet proud of sending his daughter to Iraq ...more
Chuck Thomas
Mar 03, 2014 Chuck Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Boys of '67 is a very good book recounting Charlie Co.'s 4th Battalion/47th Infantry/9th Infantry Division and its tour in Vietnam during 1967. Not just a story about the deadly battles that this unit fought in, the book also goes into detail about the makeup of Charlie Co. in 1966-67 (10% of the draftees were from the Cleveland, OH area), as well as the basic training that they endured together in Fort Riley, KS. This unit was a "Band of Brothers" in the truest sense of the phrase, drafted, ...more
Jul 22, 2015 Clayton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to read this book because it occurred to me that I probably didn't have a very complete picture of Vietnam. When I learned about Vietnam in school it was about the mistakes, regret and a lot of armchair quarterbacking on what we should and should not have done. I specifically picked this book because it told the stories of actual soldiers and their progression from basic training, to combat and into old age. Reading this helped me better understand the phrase "War is Hell" and I found m ...more
Mar 04, 2016 Edy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
As a teenager in the 60s, I lived through the Vietnam War. I lost friends in the war. I think my hatred of war began when I realized that more than 58,000 soldiers, mostly boys near my age, died in that far away land--and for what? Within a short time after the war ended, Saigon fell.

Reading this book was difficult because I thought of those kids I knew who served in Vietnam and wondered how many of the them had similar experiences. That being said, I'm not sorry that I read it.
John Turner
May 18, 2017 John Turner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sergeant Benito Alaniz was the first to die. March 19, 1967. Shot and killed accidentally by his own men when he got separated from his squad. Then Ronald Schworer, the eldest of four children from Lancaster, CA, was lost down river during an ambush on April 10, his body never recovered. 1LT Charles "Duffy" Black, an OCS graduate from Peoria, IL was wounded by a booby trap and died on April 13. Donald Peterson, from Arroyo Grande, CA, was the happy-go-lucky jokester, everybody's friend, who lift ...more
Jun 05, 2017 Joshua rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book

This a great book that has a lot of personal information. While reading, I felt like I knew these men who had been through so much. Reading the letters and knowing how their families dealt with the returning veterans was very insightful.
Dave Clark
An important story has been told, let us not forget. Thank you to all the veterans who sacrificed so much to exercise the will of our nation.
Jan 31, 2016 Courtney rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Boys of '67 tells the story of Charlie Company, largely focusing on their time in Vietnam in 1967, but goes beyond that in looking at their training and their return home. Wiest points out that Charlie was unique in the sense that while they were infantry, they spent most of their time in the Mekong Delta using landing craft to navigate the wet terrain and rivers. It was also "part of the only division raised, drafted, and trained for service in the Vietnam War," unlike soldiers being traine ...more
Mar 07, 2017 Dale rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris Steeden
Nov 10, 2013 Chris Steeden rated it liked it
My knowledge of Viet Nam is only through films like Apocalypse Now, Platoon, First Blood etc so was great to get some real insight into the draftees that went out to fight for their country. Ordinary boys dumped into an extraordinary situation. Fighting as an infantry against guerrillas is a no-win situation. Look at the Taliban in Afghanistan. Is the farmer a Taliban look-out? Is that person smiling at you from the hooch a VC that was shooting your mates two weeks ago. The book also goes into P ...more
Aug 13, 2014 a.t.m. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Riveting book about America's best in a war 47 years ago.

This book should have been considered for a Pulitzer prize for such an in-depth accounts into the lives of all the men that served in Charlie company. The author painstakingly delved into their hopes, their fears, their triumphs, and their worst nightmares. The families were not overlooked and you almost want to lash out at the author for being so completely thorough. I am filled with both joy and sorrow for those that survived, but, came
Tyler Cowart
Jan 04, 2017 Tyler Cowart rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I didn't enjoy this book at all. The author jumps around to too many different people so that in the end they still remain soldiers without identity to me. And while I absolutely think the soldiers of the Vietnam war had a particularly unique and difficult time I don't think the author conveyed much purpose in the writing on this book. Some of the problems (a great many in fact) were at the very least intensified by alcoholism and there's no mention at all in the narrative about this being a cho ...more
Dec 12, 2014 Joshua rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: viet-war
Great social history of combat soldiers during the Vietnam War. It's mostly narrative with some interesting threads about how these soldiers' attitudes toward the conflict evolved between enlistment and DEROs. The author has a tendency to become melodramatic when he describes various situations and when he speculates about what each soldier probably felt during and after combat situations. This book rests on a substantial amount of oral histories collected by the author after he invited a Vietna ...more
Chris Gillies
Aug 04, 2013 Chris Gillies rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book has the dubious honour of being only the second book I've never finished. Initially this book was very hard to get into. Names of people are rattled off at will, scenes are set for a number of individuals (who are already mentioned in the very first chapter and who you may already know are alive, dead or injured) and their backgrounds, and I found very little of that interesting or relevant. I'm sure that for the family of Charlie Company soldiers mentioned in the book it will be inter ...more
David Ward
The Boys of '67: Charlie Company's War in Vietnam by Andrew Wiest (Osprey Publishing 2012) (959.70433) is not a new type of account about the typical foot soldier in Vietnam, but it is different. Many of the narratives about the ground war experience of the typical infantryman reveal very little contact with the enemy - and that is where this book is different. Once in country, the unit whose story is told herein (from induction through discharge) is under fire. Their original unit suffered unbe ...more
Jun 21, 2015 Dionna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wiest put in narrative form one company's training and wartime experience during the Vietnam War. Wiest interwove the troops' personal accounts with historical military reports.

As the child of a veteran who did two tours in Vietnam, I was grateful for these soldiers' perspectives and memories. I was especially grateful for Wiest's recounting of what happened to the soldiers later. Their tours ended, but the memories affected them (and their families) for the rest of their lives. This book has he
Oct 26, 2015 Patrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
excellent ... the boys of 67 were much like the "Band of Brothers" Ambrose wrote of, in that, they were citizen soldiers who came running at first ask, were trained together as a unit and deployed as a unit, and ultimately, died (mostly) as a unit ... the similarities vanish however at key points, namely, the WWII Band of Brothers could see the enemy and experienced much-needed battle success and they were welcomed home as victors by a thankful nation ... the author does a wonderful job of weavi ...more
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“With the gates thrown open, the men of Charlie Company rushed the pool, in a flurry of cannonballs and belly flops. For a few happy minutes the teenagers within the warriors emerged. Splashing, diving – having fun. The water accepted them, didn’t care about their sins. They were back on Pismo Beach, the banks of Lake Michigan, the local pond.” 0 likes
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