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Beatles, Books, Bombs, and Beyond
Beatles, Books, Bombs, and Beyond by Robert J DeLuca


 
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Synopsis

Who knew ahead that the 1960’s would be so weird? When in 1962 three bright young men eagerly enter Brown University, one of the most liberal colleges in America, they have no idea what will unfold during the turbulent decade to come. They all have earned full Navy ROTC scholarships and look forward to serving their country in uniform when they graduate. In fact, they all sign up to be United States Marine Corps officers. As an inconceivable series of world and national events dramatically transform the nation from a people rooted in conformity and comfortable conservative values into one imbued with new found skepticism and liberalism, there is no place where these ideas take hold more quickly than on the college campuses. The Vietnam catastrophe, which had not even been a blip on the radar screen, mushrooms into perhaps the most divisive issue of the century. The three find themselves struggling to swim against the flood tide of anti-establishment and anti-military sentiment. Yet, they persevere while remaining steadfast in their conviction to answer their country’s call. They are fun-loving, serious, naive, immature, and yet mostly dependable, all in one package. They study, play sports, party, drink beer, chase girls, horse around, fall in love, graduate, get married, have kids, and go off to war. This true story recounts college life, fast friendships, and boys becoming men. There is plenty of humor, love, determination, and rambunctious adventure, even as it becomes clearer every day that the ugly cloud of Vietnam is destined to seize their lives after graduation. On 6/6/66, seconds after receiving their degrees, gold USMC second lieutenant bars are pinned their collars, and they enthusiastically march off to infantry officer training in Virginia. It is a bittersweet time as new marriages struggle to coalesce despite the terrifying separation which is imminent. One immediately goes to Vietnam and returns home before the other two, who have trained to become fighter pilots, join squadrons in DaNang. Sadly, despite tremendous personal sacrifice, they still must endure catcalls and blatant disrespect from the very people at home whose freedom they are committed to ensure. Dreadfully, the pilots never return and perish in the cockpits of their spectacular war machines over the jungles and seas of Vietnam, resolutely carrying out their assigned missions in that God-forsaken place. Never does their resolve and commitment to duty waiver. Was this horrible price worth it? That dilemma has taken a half century to contemplate.


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