Com • bat :
1. To oppose in battle; fight against.
2. To act or work in order to eliminate, curtail, or stop.
3. Fighting, especially with weapons.
4. Contention or strife.
I have never seen the front lines of war or been in combat. I have family members that have, and I’m sure you do as well. A regret of mine is not joining one of the branches of military when I was younger. Not that I have a high desire to see combat so much, but rather, I think the military provides many benefits on so many levels (which is another story for another day). Aside from the benefits, I would have no problem fighting and standing up for this country I call home.
Novels of wartime have always interested me, both non-fiction and historical fiction. In the past years I have read The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien and Redeployment by Phil Klay.
Both books are short story collections. I highly recommend them if you have an interest in this subject.
Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes is a fictional novel based on the war in Vietnam, and a Marine named Waino Mellas. This was written over a thirty year period by a highly decorated Vietnam veteran. Marlantes was awarded the Navy Cross, the Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation Medals for valor, two Purple Hearts, and ten air medals for his service as a Marine in Vietnam. He graduated from Yale University and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.
This novel coming in at 566 pages with an additional twenty-eight page glossary of weapons, technical terms, slang, and jargon is a book that I have been wanting to read for several years now. This novel is probably over my head in language and jargon alone. There is a page at the beginning that features the chain of command as well as principal characters.
Below is the Amazon synopsis:
• Matterhorn is the timeless story of a young Marine lieutenant, Waino Mellas, and his comrades in Bravo Company, who are dropped into the mountain jungle of Vietnam as boys and forced to fight their way into manhood. Standing in their way are not merely the North Vietnamese but also monsoon rain and mud, leeches and tigers, disease and malnutrition. Almost as daunting, it turns out, are the obstacles they discover between each other: racial tension, competing ambitions, and duplicitous superior officers. But when the company finds itself surrounded and outnumbered by a massive enemy regiment, the Marines are thrust into the raw and all-consuming terror of combat. The experience will change them forever •
I know I cannot imagine with any accuracy what that experience was like. Wars are awful, but sometimes necessary evils. We, in the United States of America, are able to agree, disagree, protest, or support — and no matter where you stand in your beliefs, you have a soldier to thank for the continuous privilege of being able to express yourself.
“Perhaps the best, [and] at least the most honest book that has been written about Vietnam.” — The Huffington Post
“The most tone perfect story about the war [I’ve] ever read.” — James Patterson
“Superb…a treasure…Deserves a place on the shelf of any reader with even a passing interest in the lore of Vietnam…It’s a bloody Vietnam epic to be sure. But it’s also a full-blooded inspection of the human spirit.”
— Christian Science Monitor
“It’s been a long time since a novel has cause me to shed tears, but while reading Matterhorn, I had a hard time holding some back as I read passages of violence, and bravery that brutally captured the fog of war, the harsh reality of combat, and the bonds of friendship forged in battle.” — San Antonio Express-News
** Thank you to every soldier past and present for your service to the United States of America 🇺🇸