PAWNS OF PLEIKU: U.S. ARMY Advisers and Montagnard Tribesmen: A factual novel of Combat, Disease, Corruption, and Survival.


455 Pages, 141,000 Words, 55 Pictures. A factual novel of combat, disease, corruption, and survival. Little is written about 1970 – 1972 Vietnam. The country lost interest, and apathy replaced anti-war sentiment now that the U.S. was rapidly withdrawing troops. First Lieutenant Darryl Wagner’s war is a surreal and harrowing experience, analogous to 1700s French trappers living with Native Americans, with comparable outcomes. Two centuries changed weaponry, but life was not so different in an assignment unimaginable upon induction into the military. Officer Candidate School trained him to lead a platoon of American Infantrymen. Instead he was sent to train, live with, and fight alongside local militia—Regional Force and Popular Force troops. They lived, ate, and operated in filth and disease…with three other team members in some of the most remote villages, mountains and jungles in Vietnam. They were tossed into positions as expendable pawns, vulnerable and alone, as were the Montagnard soldiers and civilians they lived and fought beside.Wagner was torn between duty and morals. His obligation to follow orders clashed with a guilt for helping government officials steal Montagnard tribesmen’s land. It wasn’t what he signed on for, and it was wrong; but at the same time confusing and complicated. But could he make a difference?The enemy was supposed to be the North Vietnamese Army….but not always.

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