Page 176. " Near the center of the field First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross squatted in the muck. "

A First Lieutenant is a junior commisioned officer in the US Army. The rank comes just below the rank of captain.

A commisioned officer is one who has been through Officer Candidate School or the ROTC in college. He or she has authority over the majority of enlisted soldiers.

Page 177. " You could blame the munitions makers or Karl Marx "

Karl Marx was a philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist.

Marx was born into a wealthy family in the Rhineland-Palatinate in 1818, and later studied at the University of Bonn and the University of Berlin. He published many books, his best known being The Communist Manifesto. Marx also developed theories about society, economics, and politics, collectively referred to as Marxism. His philosophy holds that all societies progress through the dialect of class struggle. He also believed that capitalism was another form of dictatorship that would soon tear itself apart as tensions grow between classes within society. He believed socialism would replace capitalism, and the working class would gain control.

Marx dedicated his life to these ideas and was known by his friends as "the greatest living thinker." He died on 14 March, 1883.


Page 182. " The tunnels at Cu Chi "

The tunnels of Củ Chi are an immense network of connecting underground tunnels located in the Cu Chi district of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). They are part of a much larger network of tunnels across the country.

The Củ Chi tunnels were used in several Viet Cong military campaigns during the Vietnam War, particularly the Tet offensive of 1968. They served as hiding spots during combat, as well as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters for numerous guerrilla fighters.

The tunnel systems were of great importance to the Viet Cong in their resistance to American forces, and helped them achieve ultimate military success.

Page 183. " Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum in Hanoi "

The mausoleum is sited where Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence.


Page 189. " all those Gene Autry moves I'd seen as a kid "

Gene Autry was born September 29, 1907, and died October 2, 1998. He gained popularity as a western radio star and later movie star.

He was also the owner of the Los Angeles/California Angels baseball team from 1961 to 1997.



Page 190. " It was borderline gangrene "

Gangrene is the death and decay of tissue due to the disruption of blood flow to part of the body. Gas gangrene is a rare form of gangrene which is caused by a bacterial infection. Tissue affected by gangrene cannot be saved and must be removed.

Gangrene is a particular problem in war or in less developed countries, but modern medicine has considerably reduced the incidence of gangrenous infection: gas gangrene affected 1% of all open wounds and 6% of all open fractures in WWI; cases sank to 0.7% in WWII, 0.2% during the Korean War, and 0.002% in the Vietnam War. After the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, a study of 1970 affected survivors showed a 0.96% occurrence of gas gangrene.

Clostridium perfringens is the bacterium commonly responsible for gas gangrene. It can be lethal if left untreated, but there were no reports of gas gangrene among U.S. soldiers in Iraq.

Page 191. " when I was released from the 91st EVAC hospital "

This was a makeshift hospital in Vietnam where soldiers were taken for life-saving interventions. Staff would attempt to prevent shock, stop bleeding, and prevent infection until the injured soldier could be transferred to a regular military hospital. They would commonly use helicopters to get the victim out of the battle, and then transport them to a ship or military base.

The 91st EVAC was a team that flew the helicopters and were trained to perform emergency medical procedures.

Page 192. " but you could also die in the bleachers at Met Stadium in Minneapolis, bases loaded, with Harmon Killebrew coming to the plate. "

Harmon Killebrew was an American professional baseball player. He played for the Minnesota Twins and the Kansas City Royals.

After his 22-year career, he was the runner-up to Babe Ruth for home runs.




Page 200. " I'd come to this war a quiet, thoughtful sort of person, a college grad, Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude "
Phi Betta Kappa
GNU Free Documentation LicensePhi Betta Kappa - Credit: Avraham

Phi Beta Kappa is an academic honor society.

It was founded by five students at the College of William and Mary in 1776, based on the principles of freedom of inquiry and liberty of thought and expression.

Campus chapters invite outstanding arts and sciences students to join the society, which sponsors activities to advance the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences.