Page 202. " spirits dancing in old pagodas "

Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikePagoda - Credit: Carl MiKoy
A pagoda is a tower-like building with multiple tiers and roofs. 

Pagodas are used for religious purposes by Buddhists.

Page 206. " So went went to the movie Barbarella again "

Barbarella is a comic science fiction movie directed by Roger Vadim. Released in 1968, it was based on Jean-Claude Forest's French Barbarella comics and stars Jane Fonda and John Phillip Law.

Page 206. " He was crazy about Jane Fonda "

Jane Fonda
Creative Commons AttributionJane Fonda - Credit: Alan Light
Jane Fonda is an American actress, fitness instructor and activist.  She is the daughter of actor Henry Fonda and the brother of Peter Fonda.

She has won two Academy Awards during more than 50 years as an actress. Her most famous movies include Barbarella and On Golden Pond.

Fonda campaigned against the Vietnam War, and in 1972 she visited Hanoi, North Vietnam, causing outrage in the US.

She has sold more than 17 million exercise videos and DVDs.

Page 207. " Audie Murphy and Gary Cooper and the Cisco Kid, all those heroes "

Audie Leon Murphy is the USA's most decorated WWII combat soldier. He received every US medal and award, and five further decorations from France and Belgium.

Murphy was also a famous Hollywood movie star. In Bad Boy, he played a juvenile delinquent.

He is credited with killing 240 enemy soldiers and defeating many more. He fought in nine WWII campaigns, and died in 1971, during the Vietnam War era, in a plane crash.  The US Army stated that there would never be another Audie Murphy.


Page 210. " At 0300 hours Azar set off the first trip flare "

A trip flare is a device used by the military to secure an area. It consists of a tripwire linked to one or more flares. When the tripwire is triggered, the flares are activated, signalling that the perimeter may have been breached and illuminating potential attackers. In defensive positions, trip flares are usually placed in predetermined kill zones, with machine guns sighted on them.


Page 210. " I'd go to london and ask Mary Hopkin to marry me "

Mary Hopkin was an English singer who recorded under the name Mary Visconti and was known for her UK number 1 single, "Those Were the Days". She was one of the first musicians to sign with the Beatles' Apple label.

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Page 217. " Another Hitchcock. The Birds -- you ever see it? "

The Birds is a suspense/horror film, directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1963. It was based loosely on a 1952 story by Daphne du Maurier. It is about a series of violent attacks by birds in Bodega Bay, California.


Page 225. " On an afternoon in 1969 the platoon took sniper fire from a filthy little village along the South China Sea "

A platoon is a military unit composed of 2-4 squads, containing 16-50 soldiers. Platoons are organized into a company, which consists of 3-5 platoons.

A platoon is one of the smallest military units led by a commissioned officer. The platoon leader or platoon commander is usually a lieutenant. He is assisted by a senior non-commissioned officer, the platoon sergeant.