A Reluctant Warrior by John Henningson

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John Henningson enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1968. He was a high school science teacher at the time, and joined the Army mainly because the draft was breathing down his neck. “I enlisted into the Army just ahead of the inevitable draft,” Henningson says in A Reluctant Warrior: 1968-1974: An Artillery Officer’s Story (Henningson Environmental Services, 262 pp., paper).

Henningson says he was, “in my own words, ‘a reluctant warrior,’ but I saw no personally acceptable alternative to answering my Country’s call. I enlisted in order to assure an opportunity to get into the Officer Candidate Program.”

Henningson received his commission in 1969 in the Artillery. During his ten-month, 1970-71 Vietnam War tour of duty, he spent most of his time with infantry units: as an artillery FO with B Company, 1st/52 Infantry, and as battalion artillery liaison officer with the 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry. Both units were part of the Americal Division.

This detailed memoir covers the author’s tour throughout I Corps. It includes grid coordinates of the locations Henningson talks about, along with his sketches of the landscape, maps, and in-country photos.

The author’s website is www.henningson.net

—Marc Leepson

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The author in Vietnam 

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