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This is a wonderful book and a wonderful tribute to Holly. While it is the great sports
book that you must have envisioned, it is also far more.
There is a certain irony in having a sportscaster end up writing the best and most
detailed account of the battle of Ong Thanh. Here is a guy who starts out to write a
sports book about a sports figure, who is basically unfamiliar with the military, let alone
the war in Vietnam, and who stumbles onto a battle the accounts for which raise more
questions than they answer. Instead of going about his sports business with a tip of the
hat to the battle, he uses his journalistic skills to track down every lead, double-check
information he receives, and interviews scores of people who really have nothing to do
with football. That is come achievement, and you have likely produced what will be the
definitive account of Ong Thanh, something I am sure that you did not initially set out to
I realize that the elapsed time, the availability of archives, and the two books that have
been published between yours and mine gave you much more information that was
available to me, but what you did with the material and the way your presented it, warts
and all, is the best tribute there is to those who participated in the battle. Well done!
--- Colonel (USA Ret.) Michael Mahler, author of Ringed in Steel, Armored
Cavalry, Vietnam, 1967-68 (in part deals with the controversial battle of Ong
I am not an avid reader, but I just finished reading A Spartan Game, The Life and Loss
of Don Holleder, by Terry Tibbetts. It is complete in every detail. I commend this book to
all who have not read it. It should be required reading for anyone who wants to be a
member of the Long Gray Line.
--- Phil Farmer, USMA Class of 1956
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