This is based on my memoirs while a sniper in Marine Corps Recon in early Vietnam
Most of you have heard about “Black Operations” where our servicemen engage in covert missions around the globe such as the Seal Team 6 takedown of Osama Bin Laden. And, probably most of you that have also read books, watched movies and TV shows about that and other similar operations.
One of the things common to that operation and what you may have read, seen, or heard is that they all had extensive support and backup. But try to imagine if they didn’t? What if they had nothing?
What if Seal Team Six had to parachute from high altitude above Osama Bin Laden’s compound in the dark, so they would hopefully not be detected, using the old type parachutes and when they landed, if lucky, near each other, they had no night vision goggles, no intercoms, no satellite or drone support, and could not use their radios?
What if all they had were orders to somehow make it safely to Osama’s compound, somehow gain access, and do whatever it took to kill Osama and then afterward hike out for days to somewhere across the border where it would be safe to be extracted by helicopter? And less, I forget, under no circumstances allow themselves or their teammates to be taken alive.
That is what it was like for me back in those early years of Operation Phoenix, and what this book is all about.
Was it scary? Yes, for the first few missions, it was. But then it got worse; I started to enjoy it!
For over fifty years, the Marine Corps Recon involvement in “Operation Phoenix” in North Vietnam back in 1958-59 has been kept a complete secret. After reading my novel, you will understand why.
“Operation Phoenix” was the inane creation of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). When first implemented, it was their solution to stopping the spread of communism in Vietnam. Based on their distorted logic, they concluded the best method to use was to parachute Marines into the larger towns and villages in North Vietnam and have them kill all of the people there that were teaching the communist doctrine.
“Operation Phoenix” was resurrected later in 1965 with missions of an again appalling but of a different and less criminal nature (they were killing Viet Cong supporters during wartime) were conducted by Army Special Forces and are well documented. What is not documented is the unlawful Marine Corps Recon actions 7 years earlier. To avoid embarrassment to our government, all mention of these earlier activities has been expunged from the archives, and it is a totally blanked out 2-year segment of Marine Corpss history.
This book is in two distinctive parts. The first part is the fictional story of a boy and girl that have just graduated from Stanford, who ended up traveling to Vietnam due to the boy’s dying mother’s urgings to investigate the mysterious death of her father. During their investigation, they accidentally discover the memoir of a young Marine executed for multiple counts of murder in Hanoi 48 years earlier. It then continues to track their efforts and hurdles to corroborate and prepare this manuscript for publication.
The second part is the document they discovered. It is based on my memoirs as a Marine Sharpshooter (Sniper) and provides an accounting of those secretive black operations in North Vietnam. It starts with a glimpse of my childhood that led up to my joining the Marines and my to eventually becoming a Sharpshooter in Marine Corps Recon. It then follows my later personal experiences conducting those illegal “Black Operations” with my Recon Team, doing High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) parachute jumps into North Vietnam and assassinating many Vietnamese government officials and Russian officers.
At the end of my involvement in the operation in North Vietnam, it continues to track my life through several bizarre months I spent surviving with Dayak headhunters in central Borneo, but most importantly during that time, my realization of the significance of the crimes I had committed.
And yes, there is sex in my book — with anything having to do with Marines there is always sex!