by Hamilton Gregory
This is a fascinating presentation by Hamilton Gregory (author, public speaker, educator, and journalist) at a college book signing for a book he wrote about using low-IQ soldiers in war. He draws on his own experiences in the Vietnam War as well as extensive research. His goal is to give a voice to those who were not able to speak up for themselves and to their families whose warnings were not heeded. In the prologue he says:
“While I was in the Army (1967-1970), I got to know some of McNamara’s substandard soldiers, and I vowed that someday I would tell their stories and give the historical background. This book is the fulfillment of that vow.”
Category: Military History
Notes: Hamilton Gregory is my brother. I am aware that current protocol for reviewers is that they should not review the works of relatives. I, however, do no advertising and I make no money from this blog. I am retired, and this blog is my personal space for reflection on education and on books. I feel strongly that this is an excellent book and tells a tale that needs to be shared. I do highly recommend that you read it. You don’t have to be interested in military history; you just have to care about people. For official reviews and recommendations, I suggest you visit Amazon.com where people who are experienced experts in the field and are more qualified than I am have posted reviews. From my non-military viewpoint, I am amazed at the way the author intertwines data with the stories he gathered to make a compelling argument that our country should never let this happen again.
Publication: Infinity Publishing–June 2015
Memorable Lines: “Freddie’s death hit me hard. I remembered how he was always sighing–an indication of the tremendous anxiety he experienced in Special Training. I remembered how he lacked the mental quickness to qualify with the M-14 rifle. I felt enormous anger, which I still feel decades later. He never should have been drafted. He never should have been ‘administratively passed’ at Special Training. He never should have been sent into combat.”
Yes, you don’t really want to think that it could happen in our country, but it did. Politics, power, and money are powerful motivators for some.