You stepped out of a big, air-conditioned silver bird, out into the kind of heat, sunlight and humidity that even Americans raised in the Deep South could not believe. You would wander around, wondering where your ground transport was, and what your barracks might be like, and once the immensity of the new reality fully hit, someone with more time in-country might notice your expression and mutter, "Hey man. Welcome to the suck."
When USS Maddox came under attack from North Vietnamese torpedo boats while in international waters in 1964, President Lyndon Johnson uses the incident to open the throttle on the war to contain communism in Vietnam. Advising him is a Madison Avenue Wonder Boy, using computer formulas to triangulate on an elusive victory. And a dangerous, potentially fatal fossilization of politics and military doctrine slowly but inexorably plunges the United States into its darkest years of the Cold War.
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