Paperback: 384 pages with 36 photos
NAL Trade (April 5, 2005)
Available from - www.amazon.com
Having read John L Plaster book SOG: The Secret Wars of America's Commandos in Vietnam and SOG: A Photo History of the Secret Wars I was sure this book would not be that far off the same mark and in fact I was thinking it would be much of the same. However what I found when read thru the pages of this book is a truly captivating autobiography from one what I would class as the world’s best writer in this field.
Like me you may have read the above books with tales of heroism and tragedy unheard of in a modern world but what I found was also missing is the personal tale.
Secret Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines with the Elite Warriors of SOG is the memoir of John L Plaster, we start the very true tale of one man in Vietnam at Fort Bragg. We are taken into a world many of us will never know and show in very unique way the training both physical and metal that is needed to become one of the very small number that become a Green Beret.
Unlike most books I have read in the past John Plaster doesn’t linger too much here in the training side and we are soon just like he was on our merry way to South East Asia and to start running recon.
This book takes you direct into the war against the NVA deep over the fence in Cambodia and Laos, with such vividly described detail on the mission, the men and more importantly how is felt to be running recon day in day out, it made this books one of the best I having read and truly the hardest true story to put down.
I found myself many a time reading this book and laughing out loud to the bewilderment of others near me. They are many funny moments in the book that are caught by Plaster and equally many some would say to many dark moments of great loss and sacrifice these great SOG members gave for each other whiling running recon.
We follow John thru his tours in Vietnam going from the FNG to team a Spike Team member, then on to the One Zero in a Recon Team but after his well extended time in country what does he do next go home? No John L Plaster signs up for even more time in SOG, this time he is the “God in the sky” a Covey rider.
As you read thru the time John rode as a Covey rider you feel his excitement and pain at being able to help, and in some cases not help the Recon teams on the ground.
By chance when reading the chapters on John Plaster as a Covey rider I was sent a MP3 of the Prairie Fire radio chat that was here on the page in front of me!
When I listed to the radio chat I had to take my hat off to these guys for keeping as calm as they did and for be able to do this job, it just amazed me with over eight radios going at once “Plasticman” (Plaster) was able to assess the situation, call in TAC air and get them teams out while all the time keeping the recon team on the ground calm even if “Plasticman” in his mind was not. This to me was the true sign of a professional soldier in the Special Forces.
Whenever I read SOG books whoever they may written by I am always amazed that the rest of the world has not heard of them! I have a great respect for the members of SOG and it is only compounded by reading such an amazing account as this.
If you have not read this book then shame on you! If you have read this book then you will know that just like SOG was back in Vietnam this is an unsung hero that should be embraced. Now go buy it!