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Book: Beatles, Books, Bombs, and Beyond by Robert John DeLuca

Book: Beatles, Books, Bombs, and Beyond by Robert John DeLuca

categories: Book, Vietnam War, USMC, College Life, Brown University, Rotc, Patriotism, Duty, Honor, County, Southeast Asia, Beatles, The 1960's, War Protests, War Casualties, Memoirs


Robert John DeLuca

Author Robert John DeLucaabout this book: As I have gotten older the time I spent in service to this country and the wonderful relationships I enjoyed with my fellow Marines have become sources of increasing treasure. "Beatles, Books, Bombs, and Beyond" is intended in part as a look-back at the unprecedented turbulent era that was the 1960's. More importantly, it is an open tribute to two very special comrades and pals, who made the ultimate sacrifice fulfilling a commitment they willingly made.

Virtually no one foresaw the upheaval of our culture as the 1960's began to unfold. An incredible series of world and national events transformed us from a people rooted in conformity and conservatism to one imbued with a new-found skepticism and liberalism. Just think about what was happening: the moon landing, the Beatles, Vietnam, Martin Luther King, feminism, the Great Society, free love, miniskirts, civil unrest, Cuban missiles, Fidel Castro, MLK assassinated, JFK assassinated, RFK assassinated, Elvis, Woodstock, Cassius Clay, the Beach Boys, and a whole lot more.

"Beatles, Books, and Bombs" traces the lives of three young men who met in 1963 on one of the most liberal campuses in America. They signed up to become United States Marines before the Vietnam catastrophe was even a blip on the radar screen. Before long as ROTC students they founded themselves immersed in a flood tide of anti-establishment sentiment. Their story tells of fast friendships and boys becoming men. It is laced with humor, love, determination, and rambunctious college-boy adventures.

As they moved toward graduation, with every passing day it became clearer that the ugly cloud of Southeast Asia was destined to take hold of their lives. On the fateful date of 6/6/66 they proudly became USMC second lieutenants and marched off to infantry officer training in Virginia. It was a bittersweet time as new marriages struggled to coalesce facing the stark reality of imminent separation. Two went off to train to fly jets and did not head overseas for two years. The other was in Vietnam almost immediately and returned home before the others even left the states. With anti-war and anti-military sentiment at a fever pitch he was scorned and spit upon. Forty years later he heard his first "Thank you for your service". But he was the lucky one. His F4B Phantom pilot buddies never came home at all.

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