Second Edition. From San Diego to Da Nang, from Hill 55 to KheSanh, followed by perplexing prospects in Washington, DC, this is aunique sojourn about several bizarre events, introspections, andserendipitous choices encountered by a skeptical, eye-squinting Marine.
Just Dust: An Improbable Marine’s Vietnam Story is the first-person account of a reluctant serviceman …about how ayoung man, unprepared to make meaningful decisions, decides to join theUS Marine Corps in 1965.
Skinny, tall, and a self-proclaimed”wimp,” Wes Choc barely makes it through boot camp. He is so differentthat only leftover boots from WWII fit his oddly-sized feet.
Posted to two historically significant places — Hill 55 and Khe Sanh — theauthor details his time in Vietnam, including jobs examining personaleffects of those killed in action to finally returning home tounimagined pursuits in Washington, DC.
Despite being at theforefront of the Vietnam War, the author does not tell the typical”Rambo-type” war story. Evaluative and observational, Just Dust is morejournal than history, more about fitting in than being admired.
This pensive narrative from a contemplative skeptic poses questions thatmany will identify with from their own parallel journeys. What corevalues nurtured by the military process also offer important lifelessons? Are unconventionalities in experience or attitude things thatmake one more worthy as a person or less worthy a Marine? What wasgained from the Vietnam experience that mattered the most?
In the end, the author’s meditations lead him to understand what Semper fi means to him.