We Were Soldiers Once and Young.


The following observation by the author indicates how the soldiers, many of them young and a few war veterans, stood by the “7 Army Values of “Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, Personal Courage” Moore argues in the prologue, “We were the children of the 1950s and we went where we were sent because we loved out country.”(xviii) This sums up all the qualities that are expected of an American soldier. The story of the book from Chapter I, “Heat of the Battle’ to Chapter 26, “Reflections and Perceptions,” provides the vivid accounts of what must have transpired at the battle front and in the minds of those who died and the mute witness were their mutilated bodies. Those who survived provided the vital information about the historic days of war.

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November 14, 1965 was the fateful day. Four hundred and fifty men of Harold Moore’s battalion engaged the Vietnamese regulars in a helicopter assault on a landing Zone in the Ia Drang Valley of South Vietnam’s Central Highlands. America was trying out new tactics and weapons since World War II. The troops were far outnumbered, with more than two thousand enemy soldiers who challenged men under Moore’s command. Brutal firefights followed until November 16 and the enemy was repulsed. Counter attack by the North Vietnamese was fast. Next day another American battalion was attacked, taking the American army by surprise. They held the battlefield, but suffered heavy casualties.

Casualties on either side were heavy. Two hundred and thirty-four Americans were killed in the battle of Ia Drang. Each death was an extraordinary example of heroism and describing one such martyrdom of a soldier Moore writes, “ We discovered in that depressing, hellish place, where death was our constant companion, that we loved each other, we killed for each other, we died for each other.”(6) Narrating one specific incident he sums up, “Just

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