The Ground You Stand Upon: Life of a Skytrooper in Vietnam

The Ground You Stand Upon: Life of a Skytrooper in Vietnam

by

, first-reads, 2019, first-reads

Awarded the Silver Medal by the Military Writers Society of America - Sent into the deadly Central Highlands of Vietnam, the true story of my dad and his fellow skytroopers of the 1st Air Cavalry from 1966 to 1967. Wilbur E. Bowe was living on his family’s farm when he was drafted in 1965 and assigned to Alpha Company, 5th Battalion, 7th Calvary. The 5/7th Cavalry was formed as a brand-new battalion in order to fill out the 1st Air Cavalry Division’s 3rd Brigade. The young men of the battalion were largely drafted together in 1965 as the build-up of regular Army forces in Vietnam had just begun. Together, these impossibly young men would be trained in the airmobile infantry and become what were known as “skytroopers”. They would then be sent deep into the jungles of Vietnam, where together they would learn what “search and destroy” meant and face the reality of this new war.

The story features many of the letters and photographs my dad sent home from the war zone. His dispatches were sent from some of the most remote valleys and outposts in Vietnam, written under the most austere of conditions, often scribbled in haste before another mission, or by flashlight, under a poncho in the rain. They would travel over 8,000 miles across the ocean, to be placed in a mailbox that stood across from a farmhouse, along a rural county road in Wisconsin.

Many former skytroopers of Alpha Company were interviewed for this story, and their personal accounts recall much of the humor and friendship they shared, along with the sadness and tragedy that would accompany a year spent in the jungles of Vietnam. The story also draws upon the 5/7th Cavalry’s daily staff journals and situation reports for every day of the battalion’s first year in Vietnam.

This is their story, told in great detail from their time spent training together at Fort Carson – through their historic journey across the ocean aboard the USNS Gaffey, where they would encounter a massive typhoon – through their many battles fought together in Vietnam – and eventually, their final patrol.

Title:The Ground You Stand Upon: Life of a Skytrooper in Vietnam
Edition Language:English
ISBN:null
Format Type:

    The Ground You Stand Upon: Life of a Skytrooper in Vietnam Reviews

  • Joe Sanchez

    I SERVED WITH THE 5/7 ALPHA COMPANY SKYTROOPERS FIRST CAVALRY DIVISION AIRMOBILE IN VIETNAM 1966. I READ THE BOOK FROM START TO FINISH. SO MANY INTERESTING STORIES OF THE SOLDIERS WHO FOUGHT AND DIED....

  • Paul Bacon

    I really enjoyed the format of this book. It felt like a veteran son honoring his father's service, which is exactly what it was doing. This made it feel real even though it was not a first hand accou...

  • Ronald Rock

    This is a very, very good book. The writing style is easy to follow and constantly engages the reader. The author (who is a son of the main character) did an incredible amount of research to understan...

  • Jamie

    Big thanks to Goodreads for me winning this book. I'm very glad I got to read it. Well written, intriguing, and knowledgeable on it's subject, I have to recommend this to anyone interested in the life...

  • david dilsaver

    Enjoyed this book....

  • Linda Moss

    A good Vietnam Vet Biographywith a good historical account of the Company he served in. Two books in one! So its sort of a bonus read. Thank you for sharing....

  • Jill

    Excellent description of Will’s experience military experience. It begins with a draft letter and ends twenty-two months later, when he returns home from Vietnam. His letters home reflects the relat...

  • Jill

    Excellent description of Will’s experience military experience. It begins with a draft letter and ends twenty-two months later, when he returns home from Vietnam. His letters home reflects the relat...

  • MaryKaye

    This is a story of relentless rain, disease, suffering and death. This is a story of misery and also great courage. This is a story of Vietnam. This book is written by the son of Will. Will was with A...

  • Thomas Lennek

    Author Joshua Bowe took his father's letters home and interviewed a number of other former soldiers and family members to craft the account of his father's two years as a draftee during the Vietnam Wa...