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A Sniper's Journey: The Truth About the Man Behind the Rifle - Softcover

 
9780451220516: A Sniper's Journey: The Truth About the Man Behind the Rifle
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A Vietnam sniper tells his story and reveals the battles he fought even after the war was over...

In 1968, Gary Mitchell enlisted in the Army and was sent to Vietnam, where he earned a reputation for keeping his head in extreme situations. This caught the eye of his superiors, who trained him in long-distance shooting, setting him on the path to becoming a sniper. Over a twenty-four-year career, Mitchell had twenty-four confirmed kills, most of these in Vietnam, where intelligence agents “borrowed” him from his Army unit.
 
This is not just the story of a man at war; it’s also about the war within the man, because the memories of his sniper missions followed him home, throughout his career and into civilian life. And as the years went by, the full realization of what he’d done in the line of duty came back to haunt Mitchell’s scarred conscience. With the love and support of his wife, Ellen, he struggled to understand what had happened to him, and what his actions revealed about him. And though the immediate horror of Vietnam was long past, he found himself facing a different kind battle—one that nearly destroyed him.

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About the Author:
Gary D. Mitchell served in Vietnam, earning a Bronze Star for Valor, two Purple Heart Medals, and the Combat Infantryman Badge, and participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Michael Hirsh was a combat correspondent with the 25th Infantry Division at Cu Chi, Vietnam, in 1966, where he earned the CIB. In 2002 he was embedded with Air Force Combat Search and Rescue forces in Operation Enduring Freedom to write None Braver: U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen in the War on Terrorism. Hirsh is a George Foster Peabody Award and Writers Guild Award winner, as well as an Emmy winning documentary producer and investigative reporter.
From Publishers Weekly:
A compelling, troubling story, this war memoir recounts the hellish experiences of an 18-year-old naf from Texas who volunteered to fight in the Vietnam War only to find himself transformed into a part-time sniper. Mitchell served as an infantryman and as the commander of an armored recovery vehicle for most of his 1969–1970 tour, spending most of his time in the thick of the guerrilla war. Periodically, he would be plucked from his unit by a team of anonymous intelligence operatives (perhaps members of the CIA's Phoenix Program), handed a special sharpshooter's rifle, put on a helicopter and given a mission to stalk and kill someone. For respite, he was given three weeks of temporary duty working with dead American bodies at the Danang morgue. Mitchell survived the war, but soon after coming home he began suffering from terrifying nightmares and rages that would plague him for three decades. Mitchell tells his life story with the help of journalist Hirsh (None Braver), also a Vietnam veteran. Though the later sections dealing with Mitchell's efforts to overcome post-traumatic stress disorder are bogged down with repetitive details and long quotes, the authors' recounting of Mitchell's sniper missions are absolutely riveting.
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  • PublisherDutton Caliber
  • Publication date2007
  • ISBN 10 045122051X
  • ISBN 13 9780451220516
  • BindingPaperback
  • Number of pages288
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