PFC Franklin Miller arrived in Vietnam in March 1966, and saw his first combat in a Reconnaissance Platoon. So began an odyssey that would make him into one of the most feared and respected men in the Special Forces elite, who made their own rules in the chaos of war. In the exclusive world of the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, Studies and Observation Group, Miller ran missions deep into enemy territory to gather intelligence, snatch prisoners, and to kill. Leading small bands of battle-hardened Montagnard and Meo tribesmen, he was fierce and fearless -- fighting army policy to stay in combat for six tours. On a top-secret mission in 1970, Miller and a handful of men, all critically injured, held off the NVA in an incredible Alamo-like stand -- for which he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. When his time in Southeast Asia ended, he had also received the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, an Air Medal, and six Purple Hearts.
Miller served with the Army in Vietnam from 1966 to '72, winning the Medal of Honor and six Purple Hearts. Writing with Army captain Kureth he here discusses the attractions of combat: "I loved it. I couldn't get enough." Miller is aggressively outspoken and repugnant about the business of killing ("Genuine killers are not to be confused with guys who simply spray the area and happen to kill someone") and objectionably recalls that he nearly murdered his Vietnamese girlfriend for no particular reason ("To this day I'm not sure why I wanted to kill her"). After his Medal of Honor exploit his superiors consigned him to a psychiatric ward purportedly in order to remove him from the combat zone. Miller found peacetime duty almost unendurable ("My extensive combat skills and ass-kicking abilities were no longer needed") but recovered his morale as an infantry instructor. He is still on active duty with the Army.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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October 27, 2003
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