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Things I'll Never Forget

Memories of a Marine in Viet Nam
Narrated by: Malcolm Hillgartner
Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
5 out of 5 stars (34 ratings)

Non-member price: $34.76

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Publisher's Summary

Things I’ll Never Forget is the story of a young high school graduate in 1965 who faces being drafted into the Army or volunteering for the Marine Corps. These are his memories of funny times, disgusting times and deadly times. The author kept a journal for an entire year; therefore many of the dates, times and places are accurate. The rest is based on memories that are forever tattooed on his brain. This is not a pro-war book, nor is it anti-war. It is the true story of what the Marine Corps was like in the late 1960’s, when the country had a draft and five hundred thousand Americans were serving one year tours in battle-torn South East Asia. If you served in Viet Nam you will want to compare your experience with the author’s. If you know someone who went to Viet Nam, you will want to listen for yourself what it was like. If you lost a loved one or friend in the war, you will want to listen to this and share it with others.

©2016, 2018 James M. Dixon (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

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Brilliant

This book belongs to on of the best books on the Vietnam War .
I have never been moved to tears reading a War Memoir until now
reading this.
Thank you and God bless !

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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So much better than I was expecting

This book was fantastic - I could listen over and over. The story was so genuine and reminded me of my own brief time in the military. The feeling of hurry up and wait combined with constantly being on edge was so real listening to this.

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excellent

excellent book. the narrator did a great job. I was hooked. listened for hours on end while driving.

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The best of many

I enjoyed this narration so much. Being of an age identified with the Vietnam war, I could feel this guy's realism and compassion. I particularly agree with the finale of his final chapter.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-01-2019

Stirred up memories

At first I was hesitant to get this book, but now I'm really glad I did. My path to Viet Nam was quite similar in many ways. My boot camp was in Quantico, so I have a somewhat different perspective. Mr.Dixon's journey to "in country" was quite similar to what mine was, first Camp Pendleton, then by ship to Japan (Okinawa for me) with a stop in Honolulu for ship repairs, and then to Viet Nam. My time in Chu Lai was exactly 1 year prior, so comparing Mr. Dixon's memories to mine, detailed how much worse it got year after year. The first 2/3 of the book had me occasionally laughing at expressions and language used. Loved the stories as told from the enlisted man's side. As a junior officer, I can say the views from a 1st Lt artillery forward observer were not too different. The last 1/3 of the book became intense, memory wise. The epilogue is a perfect summation in so many ways to how this Viet Nam combat veteran feels now and felt back then. Thank you James Dixon for a job well done.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • USMC VIETVET
  • 02-07-2019

Accurate Description

I wasn't going to read this book because I didn't want to relive those memories that turned out to be very much like Dixon's. I decided to anyway. This book is an accurate description of the misery called Vietnam.

I was there at the same time as Dixon, with the 4th Marines. My memories are from Con Thien, Phu Bai, Hue, Dong Ha and Quang Tri, North of Mr. Dixion's AO. Boot Camp at San Diego, ITR at Pendleton, Radio School then on to Vietnam via Braniff International Airways out of El Toro, CA. Returned home via ship to San Diego after a three week voyage.

Our ship was late coming in to Da Nang and had to wait three days after turning in my helmet, flak jacket and rifle. We were rocketed and mortared every night before the ship arrived. Like Dixon, Vietnam did it's best to see that I didn't escape alive.

I'm glad Mr. Dixon made it back to write his book. I'm thankful to God that I am still here to read it.

Semper Fi

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • terri
  • 25-01-2019

Good, very good. <br />

As a Marine in the Nam, I also cannot let it go for the way we were treated by the privileged such as Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland. I hope they are proud of themselves.This book brings out the horror of War and terrible way our soldiers were treated in country and when they came home.
This book is well worth the effort to listen to or read.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Kevin Warren
  • 21-01-2019

Very real

This story is one of "this sucks, but here I am." There's not a lot of glory or extreme tales of valor, heroism, or all the other stuff people tend to write. The drudgery was real, and a good bit of it was drudgery. I know this doesn't seem like a glowing review but it really is meant to be. It felt, real. I liked it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Keely B. Cooper
  • 31-10-2018

One of the best...

books on the Vietnam War about life as a US Marine Corp grunt. Hopefully, our youth will want to read this and become a bit more smarter about that nasty conflict.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Daniel Grumley
  • 05-06-2019

A little slow at first

A little slow for the first 15 chapters however an excellent book and unique perspective.Overall
an excellent read !

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mike rasmussen
  • 30-05-2019

A great perspective

I've have known a couple of Vietnam combat vets, and whether by attempting to be polite, or too embarrassed to ask; I never questioned their experiences or thoughts.

This book fills that gap and allows a person who never knew anything of one of the United States most unpopular wars (aside from what was fed to us via Hollywood and other media) and creates a possibility for understanding the times and trials of a generation that we call parents.

My compliments to the Author for his openness and bravery. I'll never understand his struggles or the terrible things he and his friends experienced... but I truly respect him for his willingness to tell a story so that we may all benefit from his perspective.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • johnny the greek
  • 31-12-2018

Great book

I truly enjoyed listening to this book. It's almost like sitting down with a family member as they tell their stories of Vietnam. Both of my parents were in Vietnam but never talked much about it. So this for me was the next best thing.

thank you

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Wiinnie
  • 03-12-2018

My life

What a Great story! Brought back many boot camp memories. The Corps hasn’t changed a bit.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-10-2018

Excellent Read!

I joke to people when I tell them that I am a souvenir of the Vietnam War....however I am serious. I am of Vietnamese descent and if it were not for my father bringing my mother and I home from that war, I'd surely be squatting in a rice patty right now. Bravo to all of the combat veterans of the Vietnam War.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • rory kavanagh
  • 10-11-2019

Amazing

What an amazing true story of a young Marine that' serves with the grunts in Nam.Very touching and heartfelt encounters of the horror war can bring.Hightly recommend this book.

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  • BigPickle
  • 21-10-2019

Stunning in its simplicity

Iraq Veteran 2003 - 2007

I am always amazed about how all wars are different...yet all the same.

This author put his true experience on paper, no exaggerations, no heroics, just the raw truth.
His telling of the Vietnam conflict brought back many memories of the same experiences of my own conflict in Iraq so many years on from his.

If there is one thing that this author and my own experiences have led me believe is that governments and the military too, never learn.. and neither do we, because we allow them to do this over and over.

A brilliant and honest telling of not only life in the military but in conflict too.

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  • Thj Williamson
  • 11-06-2019

should have got his promotion to Cpl

As a British Vetran I find the way the Vietnam veterans were treated as appalling . these guys go and do a job get called all the names under the sun.
but James Dixon did his job lost his friends
witnessed the cruelty of man against man and made to do what Soldiers and Marines do in every
Army hurry up and wait and if it dose not move paint
it or polish it. this is a great book and I think anyone who called the vietnam vets baby killers should read it and understand how these Soldiers and Marines felt when they came home


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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-05-2019

Poignant, well told and brilliantly written

A very well written and narrated personal story of war told by a Marine on the ground during the Vietnam war. Highly recommend for anyone to read, not just for war/history enthusiasts.

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  • rory
  • 20-03-2019

This is a great Vietnam story and very honest

this book fills a bit like Full Metal Jacket at the beginning which is nice to hear another version of a similar Tale. The middle felt like there was a lot of stagging on and the reader is almost keen, too keen for the soldier to go to the grants. But when he is at the grants, it's a clear tale of be careful what you wish for. there is lots of action but the action can feel very sad at times.

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  • Jon
  • 26-09-2018

Intriguing account

I really enjoyed the retelling of this Vietnam account. It is revealing and thoughtful in its retelling. I’ve used some of the anecdotes while teaching my students the Vietnam war in history. Well worth the listen.