In these personal memoirs Lawrence F. Kirby takes the reader with him as he makes the transformation from an 18-year-old high school graduate to an infantry scout carrying a submachine gun in the jungles of the Pacific islands. Only those who have served in combat can understand what the ordinary infantry Marine had to endure during World War II. The author, a three-campaign veteran, describes it by telling of the human experience - the personal, individual effect of jungle warfare. This is not a story of tactics and strategy; it is a series of short stories, an account from one Marine?s small corner of the world that depicts the terror and the tedI'm, the irreverent and the bittersweet of life during wartime. There is great humor in many of these stories but the common bedrock of fear and brotherhood are the main themes. There are stories about training and Marine Corps discipline, the boredom and boyish pranks between battles and the terror and horror of deep combat. A gifted writer and storyteller, Kirby supplies convincing evidence that it was not so much a sense of duty or loyalty to country that kept men going as it was their genuine love for one another, and their mutual support and inspiration.
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January 06, 2004
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