Book Reviews
My FO from Operation Texas
The Captain's Links
Military History of the Author
The Photo Gallery

Images from the Otherland

Memories from the war in Vietnam


"My career had just started. A few months earlier I had been commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, USMC, just after graduation from UCLA. Like all new marine officers, my first duty station was Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia, where I was scheduled to be transformed by some long-practiced magic into a real marine. For the first time in my life, I had a real job and a steady, albeit small, income. I had had, of course, many part-time jobs over the years, but they were for extra spending money or to buy a typewriter to use in college. This was the real thing, and to celebrate the occasion of my first pay check, I went shopping at the Quantico Post Exchange -- the PX. The very first article I bought there was a jewelry box. It was covered with a brown imitation leather, and it had a Marine Corps emblem embossed in gold on the lid.

That was 1963. Here it is, 1995, and that same case sits on my dresser, filled mostly with trinkets from the Marine Corps -- rifle and pistol badges, globe and anchor emblems from my dress blue uniform, a couple of sets of captain's bars, my name tag from the Army Artillery School in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, two sets of service ribbons, a spent shell from a .50 caliber machine gun, some coins that I found in a Viet Cong cache, a set of spiffies (a little wire contraption used to hold down the points of your shirt collar). On and on."



The Book

That's the way the story starts. Some time ago, I made a detour through Vietnam. A few years ago, memories of my time there decided to return. In an effort to deal with the more disagreeable thoughts, I decided to indulge in an exercise in self-therapy.

Through a series of events, one of the results of that has been the publication of a book titled Images from the Otherland. I hope to share some of the stories with you here in my web home. Please review the table of contents. There, you will find links to pages that provide excerpts from each of the chapters in the book. These page previews introduce you to the material in the book and give a sense of some of the conflicts with which I felt I needed to deal.

You may find the foreword, written by General P.X. Kelley, USMC (Ret), the 28th Commandant of the Marine Corps, of interest -- the foreword is included in its entirety. In the preface, I present a short explanation of how the book came about and I thank a few of the people and organizations who have been particularly important to me. Or, from the table of contents links, head right into the chapter pages to read about combat operations like Starlite, Double Eagle or Texas.

I've included some reviews if you would like to see what a few publications have written about my book. My publisher and I continue to solicit reviews. If you know of a periodical that would be interested, please let me know. And feel free to pass on the address of my home page.

In addition, please try the other links on the left ("My FO from Operation Texas," "The Photo Gallery," etc. I think you may find some things of interest.


If you are interested in purchasing Images from the Otherland, you may do so and the publisher's website iUniverse.com, Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, and other locations. It is available in either paperback or hard cover.


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In memory of LCpl Robert Guy Brown, KIA on Operation Texas on March 21, 1966. He had just turned 19.  Semper Fi.

Images from the Otherland. Copyright 2002, Kenneth P. Sympson. All rights reserved.