Cover of 'Taking It In the Rear: The Vietnam War's Rear Echelon' by Sherman Lynch

Taking It In the Rear:

The Vietnam War's Rear Echelon

The happenings in this book are based on the experiences of the author while deployed in the Vietnam War from 1968 to 1969 with the First Signal Brigade's 442nd Signal Battalion. Though the First Brigade was headquartered in South Vietnam, its 442nd Battalion was detached to northeast Thailand, along the Cambodian and Laos borders, who were allies of North Vietnam.

This is not a story of tense combat action, with bullets zinging through the air, and bombs exploding on battlefields strewn with bodies, blood, guts and gore, though there were some firefights. This is the anecdotal account of a rear echelon combat support unit composed of real people, who, for national security reasons, could not document or write home of any combat action they saw or heard of in Thailand, because the United States Government did not want the people, many of whom were violently protesting the Vietnam War, to know there was an active second front to the Vietnam War in Thailand.

As a member of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, Thailand had sent two Infantry Divisions to fight in South Vietnam. In previous wars, the inane and insane situations of direct support units of frontline combat units have been portrayed humorously in such bestselling books as World War II's Catch 22, and Korean War's MASH. Such is the form of this book. Though names have been changed to protect the identities of the individuals portrayed, those who were there may identify themselves and our fellow brothers-in-arms.

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Picture of author Sherman Lynch

About The Author

Sherman Lynch

Sherman Lynch was born in 1948 at Millington Naval Air Station in Tennessee, where his father was a Navy Chief teaching Aviation Electronics. As a Navy brat, he lived in San Diego, California, from 1951 - 1953; on Ford Island, Hawaii, from 1953 - 1957; and in Fremont, California, from 1957 - 1961. His father then retired and moved the family to Oregon. In 1967, he graduated from high school and enlisted in the U.S. Army for three years, going to bootcamp at Fort Lewis, Washington and then to Signal Corps School at Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey, for nine months, before going to the 1st Signal Brigade in the Vietnam War in 1968 - 1969. Then he went to the 11th Signal Group at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, and discharged in 1970 to go to college.

Bored with college, he reenlisted in 1973 for the Air Defense Missile School at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, where he graduated from Fire Control Repair as a Spec-5, became an instructor and promoted to Staff Sergeant before his discharge in 1976 to attend the University of Alabama School of Nursing. After being forced out of Nursing School in 1977 by faculty that believed men should not be nurses, he enlisted as a Navy Hospitalman, rose to Hospitalman First Class, and served his three-year sea duty tour with the 1st Marines at Camp Pendleton, California, before his discharge in 1988 to attend college. In 1991, he received a BS in Computer Science, with a Minor in Writing. After the dot-com bust in 1999, he returned to medicine, and retired from the VA Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah, with a twenty-five-year pension in 2007. He is now living in Utah.