That Close: a memory of combat in Vietnam

“That Close” is the memory of the experiences that surrounded Private Robert Driskill’s combat tour in Vietnam from April to December of 1969. The memoir tells his story starting from the ambivalence he had about being drafted through the firefights and wounds he experienced in Vietnam to the estrangement he felt as he walked out of Walter Reed hospital into a civilian world not very interested in a faraway war. It also tells a tale of the commonplace courage of the twenty-year-old infantrymen of Charley Company, 5th of the 12th, 199th Light Infantry Brigade, and of the cowardice and character flaws of a Lieutenant more interested in his own glory and advancement than the well-being of his platoon. The good, the bad, and the ugly of a country and an army fighting a distant war for unclear purposes are all on display in this account focused on nine months of war in 1969.

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