Dennis Foley's novel is the first of a trilogy on Long Range Patrol soldiers and Army Rangers in Vietnam. The story centers around Lieutenant Jim Hollister, who becomes a platoon leader with the LRP detachment. The young officer leads his courageous team of lurps on a number of missions. On them they blow a night ambush on a patrol of VC assassins, rescue the survivor of a downed "bird dog" observation plane while under fire, destroy a couple of VC sampans loaded with supplies and survive a VC ambush around one of their teams.
For Captain Jim Hollister, operations officer for Juliet Company LRPs, Vietnam presented endless opportunities to fail, screw up, or die a grisly death. His job was to provide training, organization, and leadership -- and if he didn't train his men right, he'd have to bury them. The mission of Hollister's LRPs was to find, fix, and kill VC south of the Lao-Cambode-Viet border. But pulling off recon patrols, ambushes, and prisoner snatches in that flat and treeless southern part of Vietnam was a lot different -- and deadlier -- than operating in the dense jungles of the highlands. Night inserts, terrifying landing zones, choppers under fire, and murderous VC ambushes were all part of combat patrolling for the LRPs. But for Hollister, the losses and the pain went hand in hand with the courage and selfless dedication to teammates under fire that were the heart and soul of being a LRP.
While the media screamed for withdrawal, the LRPs stood strong, courageous and more dauntless than ever. The commanding officer of Juliet Company LRPs in his third and most dangerous tour of 'Nam, Captain Jim Hollister found his unit in real trouble as drugs spread, racial tensions soared, and morale plummeted. He had to whip these once proud Airborne Rangers back into fighting trim and fast because their new mission was to execute sensitive cross-border cops into Cambodia. With enemy penetration on the rise during U.S. withdrawal, the army needed to protect its flanks, and only the deadly, daring LRPs going deep into Indian country could provide the crucial intelligence needed to keep Americans alive. It was Hollister's job to make sure his men located, infiltrated, and killed the enemy--and survived. Facing tricky inserts, hot LZs, long nights with no sleep and emergency extractions, the LRPs struggled daily in the brutal, bloody nightmare of jungle warfare in the land the VC called their own. Whether gassing tunnels, snatching prisoners, or rescuing downed comrades under fire, the LRPs never forgot theirs was a savage, desperate war of courage, honor and sudden death.
A REQUIEM FOR CROWS, by Dennis Foley
Drafted when service was obligatory and rarely avoided, Scotty Hayes' story begins moments before tradition comes under challenge, a time of Camelot where the only fear is the Soviet Bloc. Hayes walks half-heartedly and without direction out of high school into the Army when the country was still hearing JFK's words: "... we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty." Scotty Hayes is catapulted from recruit to combat soldier, from Florida to Vietnam. There are moments when he comes to doubt his country, his beliefs and his loyalties. Leadership and the responsibility for the lives of others are thrust upon him and his trust in his superiors is shattered by betrayal and abandonment on the battlefield.
Throughout his multiple tours of duty in SouthEast Asia, Dennis Foley served with America's finest warriors -- men like David Hackworth, the nation's most decorated living soldier, and Jim Gardner, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for sacrificing his life so that his men might live. Now, in a tough, clear-eyed account, he recaptures the raw courage and sacrifice of American soldiers fighting a savage and desperate battle for survival.