These photographs were taken by author Dennis Lane during his service in Vietnam. They do not represent the characters described in the book. Click on an image for a larger view.
Everyone was always high on something – legal & illegal drugs, alcohol, etc. It was readily available. These were some of the coolest guys that I knew. I shared the Communications Section sleeping hooch with them for 14 and a half months.
Near the end of my tour, someone was assigned to create a sign for the unit. I took the picture because I thought, “What the hell is this all about? Why do they need a sign for all the Vietcong to see?" I guess it reminded me too much of state-side.
Outpost created with great care by one of the gun sections. This was use for guard duty to catch the Vietcong troops.
An 8 inch artillery piece in Gun Section #4 - the best section in the firing battery.
It was time for me to leave and the first time in 14 months that we had to do morning formations. I was glad to be going home. By that time things had calmed down considerably compared to when I first arrived.
One of the mechanics in the maintenance pool.
Ammo carrier for the 8 inch / 175 mm guns.
The 1st Sergent (middle) posed with some of the recruits.
Sergeant Otto. He was head of the best gun section in the unit.
When the priest showed, someone would always want to intimidate the others into, "getting their ass to mass," in case there would be an attack. People of all faiths participated in the services.
A 175 mm gun. These guns we're assigned to most dangerous spots in Vietnam to back up the combat units in the field.
All I remember about him is that he worked in the kitchen. He was a very likeable guy. This picture was taken a few days before I left for home.
My buddy Johnny Noblin after a rough day.
Filling up drinking water for his gun section.
The three of us were headed to An Khe Pass, a very dangerous spot, to get the guy in shotgun to base camp for his flight home - "the land of the big PX". That's oil on the road to keep down the dust. The weapon is a M-60 machine gun.
These guys are happy, because they are going on an "ammo run", which is code for partying with friendly locals in Nha Trang, a big city.
An Officer Candidate School 2nd Lieutenant. We called this type of soldier "shake and bake officers."
One of my closest friends was in charge of the Communications Section. He was an all-state quarterback in Kentucky when he graduated from high school.
Local Vietnamese girls that worked in the kitchen at base camp. They were very friendly and very likable. They were hired right before I left for home. The base came to resemble life in the U.S.
Newbie going into his sleeping hooch. The new arrivals were always so clean compared to the short timers (soldiers who were returning state-side shortly). The white powder on the sandbags was to protect us against malaria.
He was head of the maintenance for all the guns and vehicles.
A new recruit got slightly wounded in some action the night before. He's wearing a sock on his right foot. The building in back left was the showers.
Southern boys proudly displayed their Confederate flag where ever they went. All the racial tension among all soldiers was channeled into hate for "Luke the Gook".
Hippies became more blatant about their feelings during my time. He was one of many young men who were drafted into service but never gave up their values.
The captain always chose the sharpest looking guy in the unit to be his driver. He wanted someone presentable in front of the other units and "big brass".
Letters from home were our life blood transfusion.
The Captain's jeep.
Me (right) with two buddies receiving Army Commendation Medals for outstanding service the morning of our final departure for home.
A captured Vietcong flag displayed in one of the sleeping hooch - they were made of sand bags can sheet metal.