Robin Bartlett

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…a first-rate memoir about preparing for and then surviving a tour of combat. Highly recommended for educators and students wanting to learn about the world of an airmobile infantryman during the height of the Vietnam War.”

Robin Bartlett’s narrative immerses you into the action and you can feel the sweat dripping down your neck, smell the stench of dirty, unwashed uniforms, and hear the crack of rifles and the staccato pop of the M-60 machine guns…I strongly recommend Bartlett’s book as it provides a compelling snapshot into a Platoon Leader’s experience in the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam during the critical period from 1968 to 1969.”

Robin Bartlett’s poignant memoir is more than a personal journey through his Vietnam experiences. It is an informative, emotional, and visceral examination of day-to-day life for a young platoon leader in grueling circumstances.”

Bartlett's first-hand, boots-in-the-mud account is a rare and sobering look at both the character and nature of combat. To wit, violence inflicts scars - many not visible - and many do not heal with the tincture of time alone. With prior service as a 'Dog-faced Soldier' and past duty as the 1st Cavalry Division Psychiatrist serving in combat, I would submit that authentic connection makes the difference in taking care of soldiers in the field and in the clinical setting. From ‘mad minutes’ to Monarch butterflies, the manner in which Bartlett shares his memories can help to connect and heal.”

This is no movie, Vietnam caricature, TV series, or a self-serving “I was there” fable…If you thought you knew about war by reading the post 9/11 stories from Iraq and Afghanistan, think again. 110-degree heat, 50 lb. rucks, an unrelenting enemy using mines and booby traps, pure terror, and a cloudy mission; it’s Operation Iraqi Freedom except four decades earlier...Some things never change in war: brave soldiers and bad politics. There are so many similarities between generations of warriors. Robin Bartlett does a great job taking us right to his battle position and walking on patrol. This was a war fought by twenty-somethings who matured in rice paddies and mortar pits while their peers were eating popcorn at a drive-in. Welcome Home to every one of you. Read this book not only for the history lesson it provides but to remember that what we all learned in the Global War on Terror was learned before.”

What a story! I felt as if I was right there with them as the stories unfolded. I knew that part of the story would be ugly, and, sure enough, there were times when I could only read a few pages at a time before being overcome with emotion. Bartlett found the perfect way to relay the horrific experiences he and his comrades encountered while still expressing the incredible bonds they shared. That made my heart swell with pride…We can never underestimate the day-to-day situations the Vietnam war put our military in. We plucked them out of their ordinary lives and put them in extraordinary circumstances. Those who came home were forever changed and marked by the losses of the ones who did not. We owe a debt to them that can never be repaid.”

Ordinarily I would not choose to read about the gruesome Vietnam war or any other war, but this book is so compelling and beautifully written that I read every single word…I recommend this extraordinary book to all because it is informative, moving, personal, and easy to follow. I have known Robin since we were children catching butterflies.”

Robin Bartlett’s book is vastly different from most Vietnam war books. The author takes us on a tour of the daily tasks and thoughts of a soldier serving during the war rather than a top-down view…It brought back memories of my time in Vietnam like no other Vietnam book I have read. I laughed, cried, and shuddered while reading it.”

Bartlett’s vivid description of life as a junior officer in combat rings 100% true. Red nylon mail bags with a piece of ice and warm beer cans, ambushes that don’t quite go according to plan, and under-manned infantry companies in the field…The common dominator he stressed was the enormous burden carried daily by every infantry lieutenant attempting to balance mission accomplishment and taking care of his men. He makes a good case for this soul-wrenching burden that affected many long after they returned from war.”

Robin describes in detail his experience and feelings “in-country” chronologically and he even incorporates a section that includes a glossary and abbreviations of military teams at the end of the book for his readers. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in military history and the Vietnam War. This book also presents insightful lessons about leadership and military tactics.” Read full review.