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Proud Bastards

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  63 ratings  ·  16 reviews
In 1967, a young E. Michael Helms boarded a bus to the legendary grounds of Parris Island, where mere boys were forged into hardened Marines -- and sent to the jungles of Vietnam. It was the first stop on a journey that would forever change him -- and by its end, he would be awarded the Purple Heart Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Citatio ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published February 20th 2004 by Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing (first published 1990)
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J.R. Wright
This may very well be the best book I've read in my life. It's a very gripping story of a young man's tour in Vietnam. I actually thought I was part of the story for a time - beads of sweat broke out on my forehead. If you're into action and suspense, please don't pass this one by. It was an all nighter for me - I couldn't force myself to put it down. Excellent read - beautifully written.
Nancy Steinle gummel
The Proud Bastards: One Marine's Journey from Parris Island through the Hell ob Vietnam by E. Michale Helms is a first reads win and I am giving my honest review. The brutality of war leaves your eyes wide open. The terrors of bootcamp shrivel in comparison. War is an non stop terror ride. This story starts out the Mike Helms entering Parris Island as a civilian and leaving as a Marine. Michael makes PFC after boot camp. Then off to Camp Lejune for further training. Michael is assigned office wo ...more

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It takes courage to enlist knowing you will be dumped into one of the ugliest and most controversial wars of recent history, Vietnam. To bare your soul and write about the horrors, nightmares and fear endured while trying to maintain your humanity and come home alive, well, that goes beyond any courage I could ever possess. E. Michael Helms has gi
April Khaito
War is hell and THE PROUD BASTARDS is your ticket in. Helms writes with a refreshing and terrifying level of honesty. From his days on Parris Island and basic training to Nam and back to 'the world', Helms takes the reader into the setting of war and what's more, into the minds of those it affects. I can't speak to the experiences Helms had while in Vietnam, but I can assure you that his portrait of basic training was spot on. I remember my own time in basic--a mere six weeks compared to Helms' ...more
Jeannie Walker
"Lock and Load" - For some reason, this reminds me of Flight 93 with Todd Beamer and the heroism shown by him and all the 40 victims on that flight. Todd's last audible words on the last day of his life, "Are you guys ready? Okay, let's roll!" The heroes on that doomed flight fought to stop terrorists from reaching their target, and ultimately gave their lives in order to save others on September 11, 2001.
This is a memoir and grunt's eye view of the jungle combat in Viet Nam and the fierce fight
I received this book through a First Reads Giveaway on GoodReads. The Proud Bastards is the battlefield memoir of E. Michael Helms, who joined the Marines in 1967 and served in a front-line combat company in Vietnam from the fall of 1967 through the spring of 1968. Mr. Helm's narrative is direct and powerful - I do not know when he wrote the book, but the narrator's perspective is very much in the "you are there with me" vein - the language is of the time and of a Marine, it is the E. Michael He ...more
Sep 07, 2014 Jeanne rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: military
Recommended to Jeanne by: Amazon
Raw and real, “Proud Bastards” terrified me. It brings home the meaning of “War is Hell.” This is the detailed story of one young recruit’s experiences as a Marine, from boot camp to the battlefield, during the Viet Nam era. Had I not known the author lived to write the story, I would have had to stop reading about the terrible events. I cried for the young man who survived, for those who did not, and when remembering the lack of respect given Viet Nam warriors.

This is a page-turning story for
Kait Carson
Amazing book. Definitely five stars and I don't give those out very easily. Reading this book takes you to the heart of the action. it's a view of war that you can only get by being there. Far and away the best account of Viet Nam from the soldier's point of view I have ever read. It's clear this book was written from experience. Serving in Viet Nam was an act of courage - the author enlisted. Writing this book is an equal act of courage. Easy to see why it has been in print so long.
Darcy Koch
I read this book several months ago but have not had the chance to review it until now. I apologize for the delay. I found this to be a very interesting account of the author's experience. Once I began reading it it was hard to put down. I finished it in 2 sittings. I believe that writing and expressing our thoughts to others is very important for our mental and emotional health. Congratulations to the author on a job well done.
This is by far the best combat book I’ve read. It sucks you into the story in a way that makes you feel like you are there with the soldiers and feeling what they feel. You can’t help but feel a variety of very real emotions both mental and physical. The wording paints vivid imagery in your mind that will stick with you long after you’ve read the book. It is a very powerful and moving read.
Kade Worry
An excellent page turner that walks the reader on a journey from a little Georgia town through the hell of Vietnam. In your face honesty paints a very real picture of boot camp and the recruits mindset, and make you feel like your boots are on the ground in 'Nam. If you love history, war stories, or are prior military you owe it to yourself to read The Proud Bastards
Sierra Ronspies
This book is definitely one of my new favorites. It's a little difficult to understand at times, because it's written in the form of stream of consciousness. The author's personality is clearly known throughout the book because he tells his thoughts, exactly as they were. The book is about a man and his comrades in the Marines fighting in Vietnam.
The Proud Bastards is a great book to give you the information you need to know about Vietnam, of which it is hell. From boot camp to the front lines this book gives you a great sense of what the United States troops in that time had to go through. Anyone instrested in knowing how a grunt felt during that time, this is the book for you.
Gary Daly
The Proud Bastards a Memoir of Vietnam and it packs a punch.

Page 194 Lines 1 to 4;

'We grab the bodies by the handiest stiffened arm or leg, and fling them unceremoniously into the pit to the sound and stench of protesting farts emitted from assholes and mouths and gaping wounds.'

As an Marine vet, I always have an interest in books written by other Marine vets, even if they are a bit a amateur in writing style.
All in all an interesting read.
Louis Buccella
Moving story. Seems like an accurate depiction of the life of a marine in Vietnam. Fast read that I enjoyed very much. Thanks Goodreads.
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E. Michael Helms grew up in Panama City, FL. He played football and excelled in baseball as a catcher. Turning down a scholarship offer from the local Junior college, he joined the Marines after high school graduation. He served as a rifleman during some of the heaviest fighting of the Vietnam War until wounded three times in one day. Helms discounts it as "waking up on the wrong side of the foxho ...more
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