Chasing Understanding in the Jungles of Vietnam: My Year as a Black Scarf

JUNGLES OF VIETNAM                                DOUGLAS BEED

Author Doug Beed relates his memories of the men and missions during his year (1968-69) as a combat soldier with the First Infantry Division in Vietnam. After two years of college, he couldn't afford to continue so he was forced to relinquish his student deferment and enter the draft. He tried various strategies to get a non-combat job; nevertheless he ended up in the infantry and was assigned to Vietnam. 

The stories in this book depict the year Doug spent in Alpha Company where he spent days on patrols finding and killing North Vietnamese soldiers along the hundreds of miles of trails heading for the Saigon. These stories range from funny to tragic, from uplifting to extremely frustrating and from touching to horrifying. This book gives the reader a sense of life in the infantry in 1968 and 1969.


This was a different take on some of the books about Vietnam that I have read. The author is describing his journey after two years of college and not having the money to go back gets drafted. He then spends time through basic and then takes the reader through ways that he tried to get out of being deployed to an actual unit that would be fighting. All of this and he still ended up in the jungles fighting to survive and actually making friends and really wanting them to make it as well. You get a real sense that this book is almost therapeutic for the author. What you really get is an honest look at young men sent to a foreign country fighting to survive in the jungles and besides the enemy, they have other creatures that they have never seen before. Only to go out once again because some higher up has a plan but is not going out with them. This is there story, the grunts. The fun, boredom, sad times and then dealing with coming home and having to put it all together. Overall not a bad book at all. I received this book from I gave it 4 stars. Follow us at

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