A history is not an action-adventure story where the author stimulates
the senses of the reader with the skillful use of descriptive adjectives.
It is supposed to be a recording of factual material. We have attempted
to locate the material that is available concerning the activities of the
men of the 1st Battalion(Mechanized) 5th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division,
during the Viet Nam War, verify it, extract from it accurate data, such
as date, time, event, and location, and then put that material into a somewhat
readable format. There are gaps in the research material found and thus
gaps in the finished work. We had requested input from people who were
members of the battalion during the Viet Nam era for several years before
writing this work. Some responded, some did not. If some who were there
disagree with this rendition of events, then we strongly urge them to sit
down with pencil and paper and write it the way they think it should be
recorded. A few members of the battalion have written works about their
individual tours. We strongly urge and welcome others to do so also.
This work is not written to meet the approval of
a university professor. It is written with the veteran and those interested
in the veteran as the primary audience. Any conclusions to be drawn from
the material are left to the reader. The reader is reminded that this is
an accounting of the activities of an Infantry Battalion, and not of any
one individual in particular. The decision was made early on, that the
only names mentioned would be the names of those who were killed. The only
awards mentioned are the three Medal of Honor awards. To do otherwise would
be, in our opinion, a disservice to all the men who served with the battalion,
be they leader or follower, rifleman or cook. The actions of a battalion
in combat are a team effort. To achieve success in its assigned mission,
a battalion needs the applied skills of all its members.
War is not nice. War is killing and destroying. No one
hates war more than an experienced warrior. Unfortunately, war is a fact
of human existence. It has always been a part of the human experience and
in all probability always will be.
We have made no attempt to justify or discredit the participation
of the United States in this particular cold war conflict. Nor has there
been any conscious effort to pass judgement on any military strategy or
tactics used. That subject material is for other works about the era.
Answering the "who, what, where, when, why, and
how" of a battalion size organization, spanning a five and a third year
period, is an awesome undertaking. In the end it proved to be a very humbling
January 05, 2000