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Publisher's Summary

An honest tour of the Vietnam War from the soldier's eye view... 

Nam-Sense is the brilliantly written story of a combat squad leader in the 101st Airborne Division. Arthur Wiknik was a 19-year-old kid from New England when he was drafted into the US Army in 1968. After completing various NCO training programs, he was promoted to sergeant "without ever setting foot in a combat zone" and sent to Vietnam in early 1969. Shortly after his arrival on the far side of the world, Wiknik was assigned to Camp Evans, a mixed-unit base camp near the Northern village of Phong Dien, only 30 miles from Laos and North Vietnam. 

On his first jungle patrol, his squad killed a female Viet Cong who turned out to have been the local prostitute. It was the first dead person he had ever seen. Wiknik's account of life and death in Vietnam includes everything from heavy combat to faking insanity to get some R&R. He was the first man in his unit to reach the top of Hamburger Hill during one of the last offensives launched by US forces, and later discovered a weapons cache that prevented an attack on his advance fire support base. 

Between the sporadic episodes of combat he mingled with the locals, tricked unwitting US suppliers into providing his platoon with a year of hard-to-get food, defied a superior and was punished with a dangerous mission, and struggled with himself and his fellow soldiers as the anti-war movement began to affect his ability to wage victorious war. Nam-Sense offers a perfect blend of candor, sarcasm, and humor, and it spares nothing and no one in its attempt to accurately convey what really transpired for the combat soldier during this unpopular war. 

Nam-Sense is not about heroism or glory, mental breakdowns, haunting flashbacks, or wallowing in self-pity. The soldiers Wiknik lived and fought with during his yearlong tour did not rape, murder, or burn villages, were not strung out on drugs, and did not enjoy killing. They were there to do their duty as they were trained, support their comrades, and get home alive. 

"The soldiers I knew," explains the author, "demonstrated courage, principle, kindness, and friendship, all the elements found in other wars Americans have proudly fought in." Wiknik has produced a gripping and complete record of life and death in Vietnam, and he has done so with a style and flair few others will ever achieve.

©2005 Arthur Wiknik, Jr. (P)2018 Tantor

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-09-26

Great Book!

Very well written and performed. I was amazed to learn that a distant relative was referred to in this book many times. Made it even more special for me to listen to! If you are interested in the Vietnam War, particularly from a marine grunts first person perspective this is a great book to read!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • David Ginaitis
  • 2018-05-25

What an awful soldier

Guy is too honest or an a-bird; spends the book complaining. He’s a whiny brat who talks mostly about having relations with boom boom girls, avoiding patrols with self inflicted wounds, and complaining that when he was right he didn’t get put up for a medal. Really???

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Jason Barum
  • 2019-03-30

Nam-Sense is a must read

Very very powerful stuff that will leave you teary eyed at the end. Thanks for your Service Sargent Wiknik.

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  • Michael
  • 2018-08-09

Great!

Written from a unique perspective. Humorous and incredibly enjoyable. One of my favourite military books.

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  • B. J O'Connor
  • 2018-06-26

A True view of a Army’s Sergeant in Vietnam

It must have been very hard for drafted men to fit into a army
full of men who see life in military service as commonly straight and righteous.
This review opens some light on the seismological difference between those who choose to see the road and how to travel it.