Where’s Charlie? by Tim Soyars

Tim Soyars was born and grew up in Norfolk, Virginia. After graduating from high school in 1963, he worked for a while and went to a local college part time. In 1965, he realized he was about to get drafted, so Soyars joined the Army.

“I figured the military would be a great place to get myself together and plan a career,” Soyars writes in his memoir, Where’s Charlie? Memories from a Time of War, 1965-68 (iUniverse, 279 pp., $31.95, hardcover; $21.95, paper).

“In addition,” he notes, “the military was a requirement for my generation, so I knew I had to serve and I wanted to serve. After a few years in the Army, I’d be ready for college and have a better chance at succeeding, so [enlisting] sounded like the thing to do. The thought of dying in a war crossed my mind, but I was confident and never gave it serious consideration.”

Soyars had basic at Fort Jackson where he applied for OCS. He took Infantry AIT at Jackson and OCS at Fort Benning. The newly minted lieutenant arrived in Vietnam in March 1967 as an officer replacement for Company C, 2nd/5th of the First Cavalry Division in the Central Highlands. Soyars served for a year with Company C. He experiences in Vietnam make up the bulk of this book, which also includes excerpts from many of the letters he wrote from the war zone.

The author’s web site is http://timsoyars.com/order_264.html

—Marc Leepson