Eagle Days: A Marine Legal/Infantry Officer in Vietnam

by Don W. Griffis. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, 2007, hardcover $29.95.

Author Don Griffis was a young Marine lawyer when he began his Vietnam tour in June 1968. He was assigned to Force Logistics Command (FLC), a large supply base near Da Nang. This memoir could perhaps be titled “Two Wars in One,” as Griffis relates how he quickly assumed the additional duty of commander of the FLC Provisional Rifle Company. This unit, com – posed of clerks, truck drivers and mechanics, ran infantry patrols outside the FLC perimeter. One day he leads a patrol that engages and kills the enemy; another day is spent prosecuting servicemen for murder. A day at the beach with steaks, beer, sun and volleyball might follow a day crawling through a swamp to set up a night ambush. For Griffis, the war had “no plan for victory,” which led to disillusionment with its rationale and progress.

Griffis is a fine writer with a great eye for detail, and shows much compassion and humor. This is a thoroughly enjoyable personal memoir.


Originally published in the December 2008 issue of Vietnam Magazine. To subscribe, click here.