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Book: In Our Duffel Bags - Surviving the Vietnam Era by Richard C. Geschke, Robert A. Toto

Book: In Our Duffel Bags - Surviving the Vietnam Era by Richard C. Geschke, Robert A. Toto

categories: Book, Vietnam War, US Army, Infantry, West Germany, Jungle Warfare School, Phu Bai, Danang, Cleveland, Ohio, Methuen, Massuchusetts, Fort Benning, Georgia, Berlin Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Military Memoir


Richard C. Geschke

Author Richard C. Geschkeabout this book: In Our Duffel Bags is not just a book on the Vietnam War. This book was written by two authors with Richard C. Geschke as the main writer along with his longtime army buddy Robert A. Toto.

The book has an intended audience appealing to the Baby Boomer generation along with veterans of the Vietnam and Cold Wars. As stated above, this book is just not about Vietnam. The reader will be taken from Germany to the jungles of Panama onto the combat fields of Vietnam in a very short time span. The time period covered in this book is from 1969 to 1972 and deals with the politics and concerns of this volitile period of American history. This is not your normal blood and guts war story, but rather a detailed look at two young ROTC officers negotiating and learning the ways of what it takes to command troops in the line duties of the infantry.

In Our Duffel Bags, shows the reader the history and consequences of the times during the Cold War and the war in Southeast Asia. It tells the personal stories sometimes humorous and sometimes harrowing but always meaningful and meant to show history as seen through young eyes from men on the ground and dealing with problems.

The writing of this memoir took twenty-two months, which was initially encouraged from my son who was always interested in what I had done during my service in the army. He also was instrumental in designing the cover of the book with my dog tags hanging from a textured duffel bag in the background.

The title brings a place to store our memories of our serive in the army and is a metaphorical title of our memroies. In writing this book, we had to verify dates and footnote references to historical events as they effected us as junior officers. Such historical notes for Berlin, West Germany and Vietnam were used.

In researching and writing this book I was stunned to learn how much we did in such a short period of time and how much we both were put into harms way. Whoever reads this book will grow to appreciate the sacrifices that we of the last generation of "citizen soldiers" had made in face of a society who at times were very indifferent to what we did.

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