Loon: A Marine Story

Loon: A Marine Story Review

“Kids like me didn’t go to Vietnam,” writes Jack McLean in his compulsively readable memoir. Raised in suburban New Jersey, he attended the Phillips Academy in Andover, MA, but decided to put college on hold. After graduation in the spring of 1966, faced with the mandatory military draft, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps for a two-year stint. “Vietnam at the time was a country, and not yet a war,” he writes. It didn’t remain that way for long.

A year later, after boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina, and stateside duty in Barstow, California, the Vietnam War was reaching its peak. McLean, like most available Marines, was retrained at Camp Pendleton, California, and sent to Vietnam as a grunt to serve in an infantry company in the northernmost reaches of South Vietnam. McLean’s story climaxes with the horrific three-day Battle for Landing Zone Loon in June, 1968. Fought on a remote hill in the northwestern corner of South Vietnam, McLean bore witness to the horror of war and was forever changed. He returned home six weeks later to a country largely ambivalent to his service.

Written with honesty and insight, Loon is a powerful coming-of-age portrait of a boy who bears witness to some of the most tumultuous events in our history, both in Vietnam and back home.

Title:Loon: A Marine Story
Edition Language:English

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    Loon: A Marine Story Reviews

  • Larry Bassett

    My daughter Anna and author Jack McLean had something in common. They each decided that there was something important s/he wanted to do before beginning college. Anna wanted to go to Cambodia and work...

  • Jeanette

    Its style is hard to get into, as this author is not a writer. Most of it seems in a voice rather detached and stilted, from decades later than the events. And that aspect and affect dropped my intere...

  • Eric_W

    A disappointing purchase and way over-priced.One of the really positive benefits of the self-publishing revolution has been the number of memoirs being published. Obviously many not polished, but inte...

  • Scott Whitmore

    Having finished Loon: A Marine Story by Jack McLean just a few hours ago, I was frankly at a loss as to how to start this review. Adjectives such as “exceptional” and “sublime” are accurate en...

  • Nick Vanderwal

    I did not read this book in order to publish a critique on the author's literary style or lack thereof. I am completely baffled why anyone would bother to do that. I did read this book in order to gai...

  • Ron Wroblewski

    Another book that I can totally identify with. Jack was in Vietnam a year before I was. We covered a lot of the same territory. I too was at bases along Rt 9 - Camp Carroll, VCB, Dong Ha, Quang Tri, K...

  • Brinn Colenda

    Wow! I have seen a lot of war movies and read a lot of war books...Loon ranks up there with the very best.In 1967, Jack McLean enlisted in the Marines right out of a prestigious prep school rather tha...

  • Laura

    McLean pulls you right into the jungles of Vietnam with his memoir. It is compelling, gripping and humbling to read of the horrors of a war that was played out by our young men. No matter what you thi...

  • John Roy Dampier

    Agenda or just ignorant..."Lém arrested Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Tuan with his family and forced him to show them how to drive tanks.[6] When Lieutenant Colonel Tuan refused to cooperate, Lém kill...

  • Patty

    This was a fascinating and sometimes heartbreaking book. I was born in 1954, female and pretty sheltered but I did live through this time. I have a brother who is 6 years older and I can still remembe...