In the summer of 2002, I embarked on a mission that had been a goal of mine for many years. That mission was to write about a group of American servicemen who fought for our country. I was naturally drawn to WWII as a subject. I had read numerous accounts of how America led the effort to defeat the twin evils of Hitler’s Germany and Tojo’s Japan. A visit to a local bookstore, however, opened my eyes to two realities: 1) many books have been written about the heroes of WWII; 2) few books have been written about the heroes of the Vietnam War. The reasons for this discrepancy were obvious to me. Conventional wisdom tells us that the men and women of WWII were heroes who won our last great war. The deeds of our heroes should be recorded for posterity. Conventional wisdom is correct. Yet, that same “wisdom” has two faces. The men of WWII were treated as heroes. The men of the Vietnam War were not. Instead of receiving ticker tape parades, many were greeted with shouts of “baby killer” and “war monger”. Thrown tomatoes, rocks, profanities and,in some cases, being spat on by fellow Americans was a common occurrence. That “wisdom” tells us that the men and women who fought in Vietnam were not heroes. They fought an immoral war, a war which they did not “win”. Not only were they immoral, they were losers as well. The conventional wisdom about the men and women who fought in Vietnam could not be more wrong. The heroes of Vietnam fought for the same reasons as every other American in every other war: for freedom, for country, for family and for the buddy holding the line next to him. That visit to the bookstore opened my eyes. My mission was crystal clear: I was to write a book about the heroes of the Vietnam War. That book was to tell a true account of combat, an account that had been ignored by historians up to that point. I wanted to tell a story that might be lost to posterity forever but for my efforts. The book was to set the record of “conventional wisdom” straight for good: that the men and women of Vietnam were and are heroes who won the war they were told to fight. That, as heroes, their deeds should be recorded for posterity. Conventional wisdom should get it right. Lions of Medina is a true account of Marine courage at its best. Courage in the face of overwhelming odds. Courage that defined the generation of men and women who fought in Vietnam. This book is a tribute to those who fought the Vietnam War, a reminder that freedom is never free, and a testament to the valor of the American soul. Doyle D. Glass May, 2007 Acknowledgments Lions of Medina would not have been possible without the contributions of many dedicated individuals.
Doyle D. Glass (Lions of Medina: The True Story of the Marines of Charlie 1/1 in Vietnam, 11-12 October 1967)