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ISBN:1933794054
Author: Robert J. Topmiller
ISBN13: 978-1933794051
Title: Red Clay on My Boots: Encounters with Khe Sanh, 1968 to 2005
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Language: English
Category: Leaders and Notable People
Publisher: Kirk House Publishers (May 25, 2007)

Red Clay on My Boots: Encounters with Khe Sanh, 1968 to 2005 by Robert J. Topmiller



The reason this book is called "Red Clay On My Boots" is because the very first thing Topmiller noticed on his arrival in Khe Sanh on January 12, 1968 was that "everyone and everything had a crimson tint to their appearance thanks to the red clay soil upon which the base resided". However, this book is only 25% about the siege at Khe Sanh. In fact, that is, if your can call it a criticism, my only complaint of this book. Topmiller's stories, comparisons, issues and anecdotes could easily be made into three 400 page books each. With his disenchantment with the .

Corporate Name: United States. Navy Hospital corpsmen Biography. Rubrics: Khe Sanh, Battle of, Vietnam, 1968 Vietnam War, 1961-1975 Personal narratives, American. On this site it is impossible to download the book, read the book online or get the contents of a book. The administration of the site is not responsible for the content of the site. The data of catalog based on open source database. All rights are reserved by their owners. Download book Red clay on my boots : encounters with Khe Sanh, 1968 to 2005, Robert J. Topmiller.

Broken hearts, ruined minds, wrecked families, and shattered lives are all realities of the Vietnam War. Real people suffered because of the fighting, death, and tragedies that occurred at the battle of Khe Sanh.

Download Red Clay on My Boots: Encounters with Khe Sanh 1968 to 2005. Both certainties are copiously illustrated. Bearing the outgoing Kirkhouse Publishers is your direct source to purchase the book Red Clay on My Boots - Robert J. Topmiller as well as other excellent titles. Red Clay On My Boots By Robert J Topmiller

Books by Robert J. Topmiller, The lotus unleashed, Red Clay on My Boots, Binding Their Wounds Americas Assault On Its Veterans. Red Clay on My Boots: Encounters with Khe Sanh, 1968 to 2005. Binding Their Wounds Americas Assault On Its Veterans.

Was it all for nothing? He has been fighting his own internal war for the last forty years. Robert Topmiller entered the . Navy in 1966 at age seventeen and trained to be a Hospital Corpsman. Download Free Books Downloader.

His next book, Red Clay on My Boots: Encounters with Khe Sanh, 1968 to 2005, came out in 2007. In it, Topmiller recounted his time at Khe Sanh and his 11 subsequent trips back to Vietnam. Bob Topmiller was working on Binding Their Wounds, which he intended to be a stinging indictment of the Veterans Administration (which, in part, it is), when he committed suicide in 2008.

Sanh Remembered by Michael Archer, published 2005. In it, Topmiller recounted his time at Khe Sanh and his 11 subsequent trips. 2002) and Red Clay on My Boots: Encounters with Khe Sanh 1968 to 2005

Broken hearts, ruined minds, wrecked families, and shattered lives are all realities of the Vietnam War. This is a story of a Vietnam corpsman immersed in the bloodiest, most confusing, and controversial battle of the Vietnam Wa. s the war ends, the author tries to re-build his life but finds his mind and heart are still on the battlefield in Vietnam

Broken hearts, ruined minds, wrecked families, and shattered lives are all realities of the Vietnam War. Real people suffered because of the fighting, death, and tragedies that occurred at the battle of Khe Sanh. This is a story of a Vietnam corpsman immersed in the bloodiest, most confusing, and controversial battle of the Vietnam War. As the war ends, the author tries to re-build his life but finds his mind and heart are still on the battlefield in Vietnam. How did this happen? Why did I survive? When will the nightmares end? Was it all for nothing? He has been fighting his own internal war for the last forty years. This is his story.
Reviews: 7
Steel_Blade
Robert J. Topmiller was a 17 year old whose parents would not let him join the Marines. He joined the Navy instead and became a medic at Khe Sanh. Twenty years later he got a Phd in History and became an expert on the Buddhist Crisis of 1964-1966. Topmiller deserves his own memorial. Don't miss his books.
Ohatollia
Great book, serviced at Khe Sanh in 1968.
Celak
The quality of the book, its research, relevency and story stand on their own.

Dr. Topmiller eventually succombed to the wounds that he received while in Vietnam in 1968, and will be missed.
Efmprof
The late Robert Topmiller, former Marine Corpsman and Professor at Eastern Kentucky University, published "Red Clay On My Boots" in 2007. Ostensibly about his experience as a medical corpsman during the defense and siege of Khe Sanh, Topmiller wound up conveying a multitude of opinions, reflecting on a variety of subjects, and his finished project is a gem about what happened at Khe Sanh as well as American involvement in Viet Nam. Khe Sanh was a U.S. Marine outpost in the north westernmost part of South Vietnam during this war. With an airstrip built initially in 1962, fighting began there in April of 1967, which became known as the "Hill fights". The Hill Fights: The First Battle of Khe Sanh

These individual battles eventually developed during the 1968 "Tet Offensive" into the "Battle of Khe Sanh". General William Westmoreland and his commanders hoped that General Vo Nguyen Giap leading his North Vietnamese Army would attempt to duplicate his famous victory that occurred at the "Battle of Dien Bien Phu", in May, 1954. The Last Valley: Dien Bien Phu and the French Defeat in Vietnam However, the battle at Khe Sanh ended as a military failure for the NVA, with the American defense of this base representing one of the largest enemy sieges of the war drawing heavy international and domestic attention. Highlighting the futility of this battle, and drawing comparisons to the fiasco at "Ripcord", on July 5, 1968 Khe Sanh was abandoned. Ripcord: Screaming Eagles Under Siege, Vietnam 1970 The official reason cited for the abandonment was the vulnerability of Khe Sanh to NVA artillery dug into the surrounding mountainous caves of the Co Roc Mountains, of which Topmiller has an incredible photo of displayed in this book.

Topmiller commenced his book in his preface by explaining that he went to Khe Sanh, Vietnam in January, 1968 as a medic. Citing battle participant and Chaplain Ray Stubbe's facts, the base received 11,114 rounds of incoming rocket, artillery, and mortar fire from the onset of the siege in January until it's conclusion in April, 1968. 573 Americans were killed defending Khe Sanh and an additional 2,000 U.S. personnel were wounded. To attempt to understand his feelings of isolation, immense survivor's guilt, anger and remorse, Topmiller visited Viet Nam almost a dozen times before his death last year and wrote this book. He explained his feelings as follows: I am constantly troubled by Viet Nam. Perhaps I feel shame because of what we did to the Vietnamese (dousing their country with dioxin, the "My Lai Massacre", abandoning the Montagnards and leaving the South Vietnamese to fend for themselves during the April, 1975 Communist takeover) or maybe I understand that I could have done much more. Possibly if I had been much braver or more competent more Marines would be alive today. Definitely I should have been more vocal in my opposition to the war when I returned home. Or, possibly I realized that my continued existence resulted from pure luck and that blind fate condemned those who died in my place".

As a teacher at E.K.U., Topmiller, who taught a course specifically on the Viet Nam War and saw himself as a "surrogate father" of his students, who themselves wanted their fathers to recover from the conflict and be able to emotionally connect with them. Only seeing his own failures in the war, everywhere Topmiller investigated, he found constant negative Vietnam reminders: shattered lives, broken hearts, ruined minds and wreaked families. Topmiller wrote: "I often reflected on the pain of the families who lost loved ones in a conflict that many Americans now believe constituted a terrible mistake. How do I explain to someone that his/her child or parent or brother/sister died for nothing." It Took Heroes: One Chaplain's Story and Tribute to Combat Veterans and Those Who Waited for Them This book serves as Topmiller's catharsis.

Although he says he relived this day a thousand times, Topmiller's description of the January 21, 1968 initial attack is "gut wrenching". He details the sapper's initial attack, the tear gas the enemy used to confuse U.S. Marines, the terrifying reaction as the NVA mortars scored a direct hit on the American ammunition dump. As his aid station was destroyed by enemy fire, Topmiller moved his wounded and his medical supplies to a bunker better built to withstand the enemy barrage, quipping at the end of the day: "I went to bed absolutely convinced that I would never see another day on earth." Topmiller claimed that his experience at Khe Sanh of witnessing so many people trying to kill him, led him into a lifelong study of the Viet Nam War. Topmiller asserted that this was a senseless battle and those that perished died in vain. He wrote that the Johnson administration carried out exhaustive reviews of their Viet Nam policies in 1966, and concluded that the U.S. could not win this war.

In 2003, Topmiller organized a peace movement at E.K.U. to try to prevent America's plunge into what he called "a new Viet Nam-style swamp" in Iraq. A fellow staff member sent him a derogatory e mail calling him a "Liberal Democrat" and that there was no place for people like Topmiller in the U.S. anymore. Optional Wars Topmiller's response deserves to be published in this book review. He angrily retorted: "I have pushed the intestines back inside of a horribly wounded man, I have tried to ease the pain of men burned so badly that their skin peeled off like a pair of gloves, I have witnessed men become comatose from the constant deluge of shelling. I have collected body parts from the remains of 2 men who had run out of a doorway at the wrong time, I have listened to the screams of a wounded Marine as a doctor inserted a chest tube into his lungs without a general anesthetic, and I have abandoned wounded men so that I could treat those most likely to survive. And no place remains for me in America? I guess there really never was a spot for me after Khe Sanh". 365 Days

The reason this book is called "Red Clay On My Boots" is because the very first thing Topmiller noticed on his arrival in Khe Sanh on January 12, 1968 was that "everyone and everything had a crimson tint to their appearance thanks to the red clay soil upon which the base resided". However, this book is only 25% about the siege at Khe Sanh. In fact, that is, if your can call it a criticism, my only complaint of this book. Topmiller's stories, comparisons, issues and anecdotes could easily be made into three 400 page books each. With his disenchantment with the V.A. slow acknowledgment and reticence to assist veterans and their families with the diseases, birth defects and ailments caused by Agent Orange, he refused to celebrate Veteran's Day, and felt great bitterness on reflecting on the aftermath of the war. Waiting for an Army to Die: The Tragedy of Agent Orange

Anger and indignation was expressed by Topmiller towards people who now that Viet Nam is 40+ years over, claim that they wished they had served in the armed forces (he called these people "neo-conservatives" or "neo cons" for short). Topmiller wrote: "While I am continually amazed at how patriotic some people became when no longer eligible for the draft, I am astounded by the rank hypocrisy of people who did not serve explaining the reality of warfare to vets like me". Chance and Circumstance: The Draft, the War, and the Vietnam Generation Citing examples such as George W. Bush (who used his family connections to join the National Guard and evade military service in Vietnam) and Dick Cheney (who said "I have other priorities", Topmiller pointed out that they played it safe and sat out the fighting and then later metamorphosed into "super hawks" when the draft no longer had the ability to place them in the jungles of Viet Nam. To illustrate this, Topmiller wrote of Bush: "He said he wanted to go to Viet Nam. He could have gone on active duty if he really wanted to go to the war zone, and I feel sure that a place would have been found for him to serve. Even worse, despite his deserter status during the war, he acted like a born again John Wayne, landing on an aircraft carrier to confirm to the world his toughness and bravado. Stolen Valor : How the Vietnam Generation Was Robbed of Its Heroes and Its History "Astonishingly, when asked about troop levels in Iraq during the summer of 2003, the deserter in chief dared Iraqi insurgents to attack American forces with his infamous "bring them on" rejoinder. Who does he think belongs to this army? These are our children, not a bunch of mercenaries. His tough talk may make him feel robust, but it has cost many of our soldiers their lives. But, of course, he does not understand that because he never served in the military."

There are many other issues touched upon in this book. Topmiller claimed that when he first joined the Marines in 1967, he could not go on liberty without proudly wearing his uniform. After the "Tet Offensive", the "My Lai Massacre" the incident of Jane Fonda in North Vietnam, and the assassination of R.F.K and M.L.K., he was strongly discouraged from wearing his uniform off base because of the growing anger in the U.S. over the war. Topmiller also hit on behavioral problems of ex-vets, i.e. alcoholism, drug addiction, violence, suicide, crime and divorce. Racial tension is also mentioned. Long Binh Jail: An Oral History of Vietnam's Notorious U.S. Military Prison When Topmiller DEROS'ed back to the U.S. at the end of his 1 year tour, many American bases in the U.S. had to be locked down because of the large number of racial incidents ("dapping", "fragging", etc.) occurring throughout the military.

There are so many anecdotes and "spin-off" stories that I can only mention the few.
Topmiller wrote about the various battle wounds and the treatment of them as a combat medic. He wrote about the problem of rats in Viet Nam, the lack of edible food and water, the problems of malaria, rats, leeches and mosquitoes. There are humorous stores of discovering the bubonic plague in a soldier, accidentally injecting a man with a vaccine twice because of combat fatigue, the infamous "Lost Patrol" of the Battle of Khe Sanh, and "Luke The Gook", a wayward NVA soldier who sat in a spider hole at the end of the Khe Sanh airstrip firing at U.S. aircraft as they approached the Khe Sanh runway. When the Air Force launched a massive air strike right inside U.S. lines using rockets, bombs and cannons to kill him, Topmiller and his buddies cheered for "Luke The Gook" to survive the attack.

Finally, Topmiller chronicled his close to a dozen trips back to Viet Nam starting in 1996. He wrote about how most former battle sites and U.S Bases have become tourist attractions raking in big bucks for the Vietnamese economy. There is an interesting photo of a bar deemed "DMZ Pub". He wrote about the horrible effect "Dioxin" has had on the Vietnamese, a fact the U.S. refuses to recognize or correct. After visiting Khe Sanh in 2002, he wrote about the futility of the war when he witnessed a Vietnamese family watching on a color TV an American show called "Little House on the Prarie". Greatly saddened by our county's abandonment of our former ally, he wrote of the torment suffered on the Vietnamese because of the "Orange Colored Poison", deaths by unexploded ordinance littering the Vietnam landscape even today, former ARVN soldiers having their trigger fingers amputated by the Vietnamese Communist Party's henchmen, and the stigma at being sentenced to Communist reeducation camps. Other iota is Topmiller's run in with Walt Zumwalt, Jr. at the "War Remnants Museum" (formerly called "American War Crimes Museum") in Ho Chi Minh City in 1996. Walt Zumwalt Sr. was the former Admiral and U.S. Chief of Naval Operations who made the decision to spray chemicals in South Vietnam. His elder son, a naval officer who served in Viet Nam, died of cancer at a young age, with Dioxin the suspected cause.

Finally, Topmiller concluded his book with religious persecution that currently occurs in Vietnam, particularly of Buddhists and Catholics. The saddest part of this book is when he interviewed and described what four survivors of the massacre at My Lai saw. As I've mentioned, there are many topics that Robert Topmiller covered in this book. It is of great historical loss that he did not live to expound upon the wealth of knowledge about the Viet Nam War that he would have been able to give the historical community. Regardless, this is a blockbuster book, and one that cannot be missed about a sad and tragic period of American involvement in Southeast Asia.
MOQ
Few people are more intimately acquainted with the horrors of war than Navy corpsmen serving with U.S. Marine units in combat. Upon that terrible and grisly stage, corpsmen carry out their duties, and become heroes to Marines, by risking their lives to help others; bandaging wounds, easing pain, comforting the dying and lamenting (sometimes forever) the loss of those they could not save.

In 1968, at age 19, Bob Topmiller found himself in just such a situation, amidst of the longest and bloodiest battle of the Vietnam War -- at a place called Khe Sanh. Surrounded by as many as 30,000 of North Vietnam's best troops supported by artillery, tanks, anti-aircraft guns and rocket units, 6,000 Americans successfully held the majority of their positions despite fierce ground attacks and endless artillery bombardment. Young Bob Topmiller was among a handful of corpsmen that, at great peril to their own lives, forayed out each day under intense enemy fire to assist some of the nearly 3,000 Marines who would eventually be killed or wounded during the three-month long battle.

In Red Clay on My Boots: Encounters with Khe Sanh 1968-2005, now Professor Bob Topmiller combines chilling personal recollections, with his expertise as a distinguished scholar of Vietnamese history, to create a unique and powerful account of the Vietnam War -- and the disturbing human toll it continues to exact. Topmiller's courage during that fierce and bloody battle would later serve him well in his tireless quest for reconciliation; eventually leading him from the brink of despair to rediscover a level of compassion he thought lost forever amid the carnage and ubiquitous red clay of Khe Sanh.

Topmiller's search took him back to Vietnam a dozen times, visiting a multitude of cities, villages, and former battle sites. His knowledge of the language and culture permitted him access to facets of the society often missed by more causal travelers, but which provides the reader with astonishing glimpses of the war and its aftermath.

Everywhere he traveled, Bob Topmiller witnessed the shocking legacy of Agent Orange on Vietnamese society; particularly evident in the appalling numbers of children deformed at birth by an environment still poisoned from the war. His search for inner peace ended in 2002 at a non-descript doorway on a street in Hue - a special school for these severely handicapped boys and girls. Since that day, Bob has been supporting them- back again, easing the pain of war.

Terrifying, heartbreaking, enlightening and, above all, honest; Red Clay on My Boots is a story hard to forget.