From Chicago to Vietnam

From Chicago to Vietnam

A Memoir of War

In the early hours of January 31, 1968, eighty-thousand North Vietnamese and Vietcong combat troops attacked every major city and military base in South Vietnam. The perimeter of the massive Saigon Airbase, Tan Son Nhut, was breached, and fighting raged all morning.

Both gritty and intimate, From Chicago to Vietnam tells the powerful story of the ensuing epic battle, the Tet Offensive, from the perspective of one brave American soldier, Michael Duffy, whose life, like so many others, would forever be changed.

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At a Glance

Title: From Chicago to Vietnam: A Memoir of War
Author: Michael Duffy
Publisher: Inkwater Press
Pages: 328
Trim Size: 6″ × 9″

Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-62901-366-4
Price: $17.95

Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-62901-367-1
Price: $28.95

Kindle
ISBN: 978-1-62901-368-8
Price: $4.99

ePub
ISBN: 978-1-62901-396-1
Price: $4.99

How to Order

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Portland, OR 97223-2542
Email: orders@inkwaterbooks.com
Phone: 503.968.6777
Fax: 503.968.6779

About the Book

In the early hours of January 31, 1968, eighty-thousand North Vietnamese and Vietcong combat troops attacked every major city and military base in South Vietnam. The perimeter of the massive Saigon Airbase, Tan Son Nhut, was breached, and fighting raged all morning.

Both gritty and intimate, From Chicago to Vietnam tells the powerful story of the ensuing epic battle, the Tet Offensive, from the perspective of one brave American soldier, Michael Duffy, whose life, like so many others, would forever be changed.

Duffy’s war experience begins when he exits a C-130 cargo plane onto the Tan Son Nhut tarmac—a chaotic scene of blasts, explosions, and small arms fire. Sprinting to a waiting helicopter, he is lifted up and over the city, where he gets a bird’s-eye view of Saigon under attack. The helicopter lands on a road outside Bien Hoa Base Camp, and Duffy crawls in under enemy fire, tumbling into a fox-hole under cover of two GIs. Later, he meets up with his younger brother, Danny Duffy, in an ammunition convoy driving up Highway 1 to the village of Xuan Loc.

After his brutal one-year tour in Vietnam, Duffy returns to Chicago, where he enjoys a Christmas dinner with his family before enrolling as a freshman at Colorado College. Like many vets, his return from the war would be met with curiosity, indifference, and at times, scorn. This harrowing memoir was thirty years in the making.

Excerpt

As I lay awake in Bien Hoa in pitch darkness, listening to explosions, I thought of my draft letter once again. It read, “Greetings, Your friends and neighbors have selected you to join the armed forces.” I thought about those words “friends and neighbors.” These were not my friends and neighbors. These were the two ladies at the Devon Avenue draft board. They reached into their file drawer and selected me. I bet they didn’t draft their own kids, or their nephews, or their neighbors’ kids. I wondered if the other kids my age living on my block had received draft notices: Ira Goldman, Tommy O’Sullivan, or Steve Murphy. Steve lived on the third floor of our apartment building. Probably not. I didn’t see any of them down at the Polk Street Induction Center.

I started hearing more explosions. They seemed louder and more frequent and close. I looked at my watch; it was 11:00 p.m. I still had not been issued a weapon. I would be useless if Charlie came through the door with his gun blazing. Useless, I thought. No, I would be dead.

About the Author

Michael Duffy grew up in Chicago and received his draft notice at the age of nineteen. While in Vietnam, he served as an officer with Battery C, 7th Batallion, 9th Artillery, U.S. Army. He worked as a Forward Observer and Fire Direction Control Officer. In the fall of 1968 he was promoted to Executive Officer of this unit. Battery C consisted of six 105 millimeter Howitzers that provided artillery support for the infantry in South Vietnam’s III corps.

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