Barry Fixler could be considered a lucky man.
He’s not lucky because he had an easy life growing up in New York or because he survived an armed robbery attempt at his jewelry store. Barry’s lucky because he returned home from Vietnam alive and with all his body parts.
In SEMPER COOL, ONE MARINE’S FOND MEMORIES OF VIETNAM Barry recounts how he came to be a Marine and what it means to be a Marine.
Growing up Barry’s father regaled him with stories of the Marines he encountered while in the Army. When he graduated high school, Barry joined the Marines to honor his father.
Barry tells of how life was during boot camp at Parris Island, SC; combat training at Camp Lejeune, NC; more training at Camp Pendleton, CA; and the eye-opening experiences when he landed in DeNang. The story is told from the view point of a Marine - it’s not toned down or cleaned up. If you’re offended by language be warned this contains explicit language.
Having friends and family that served in Vietnam I’d say SEMPER COOL gives one of the best accounts of what soldiers/Marines faced in the jungles of Southeast Asia. While this is a heart wrenching look back at a time in our history when many lives were lost, it’s also sprinkled with bits of humor.
The story flows back and forth from Barry’s young life to his time in the Marines to his current life. It’s an inspiring and thought provoking read. In addition, the author has included personal photographs from his time in Vietnam and at home.
Barry’s experience in the Marines formed his patriotic views that continue to mold him today. Learning the hardships wounded combat veterans face when returning home from the current wars, Barry has pledged all of the proceeds from SEMPER COOL to help them through his non-profit foundation, The Barry Fixler Foundation.
Normally I don’t read military books but SEMPER COOL is a true-life memoir of a Vietnam combat veteran that gives civilians a clear look at what they faced. This is a gritty, compelling read and each purchase helps benefit wounded veterans.
Author Barry Fixler’s website is www.sempercool.com
Semper Cool, One Marine‘s Fond Memories of Vietnam by Barry Fixler, Exalt Press, @2010, ISBN: 9780982518403, Hardcover, 320 pages
FTC Full Disclosure - I requested this book and it was sent to me as part of a virtual book tour in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.