Military Writers Society of America review:
In his book Heroes to the End, author Jim Smith provides us an excellent perspective of the waning days of U.S involvement in the Vietnam War. As a young man employed as a Newsday reporter, the author received a very low draft number ensuring he’d be picked up in the next draft, he took the initiative and enlisted for three years. This kept him from going straight into the infantry and on to Vietnam. At least this was his plan and it did work, somewhat. He enlisted and became an admin clerk, but the army still sent him to Vietnam at the end of July 1971.
Smith provides some insight from his experiences as an admin clerk at Cam Ranh Bay, but the meat of the book comes after the author volunteers for and got accepted into the correspondent’s pool with Stars and Stripes. In his position with the press, Smith was allowed to travel throughout Vietnam and conduct a variety of interviews. He captured the essence of these interviews, along with his own observations, in articles he wrote back then and republished in this book.
I found the first hand accounts refreshing as they provide a real time picture of events, individual’s thoughts and emotions. The vast collection of articles give us a much better picture of what was happening in Vietnam from late 1971 to mid 1972, than someone’s recollections recorded some forty plus years after the war.
I recommend this book to anyone interested in military history and especially to those with an interest in the Vietnam war. I found it an interesting read and am certain you will too.
MWSA Review by Bob Doerr (June 2018)
I am a 1966 graduate of Chaminade High School in Mineola, NY. I graduated from Nassau Community College in 1968 and Hofstra University in 1970. I was a sports reporter at Newsday from 1966-1999, covering 5 Super Bowls and 9 Stanley Cup Finals. I was a features desk copy editor from 2000 to Dec. 31, 2014, when I retired. I am married to Lynn, a social worker, since April 9, 1978, We have one son, Peter, 33, an air traffic controller in Ohio.