by John Siegfried
Historian & Writer

 
 
   
 

by John Siegfried
Historian & Writer

 
   
   
 

Professional Reviews

The rush of battle is often a potent and lethal addiction, for war is a drug.
—Chris Hodges



 


Book Review from a former Vietnam Recon Marine

“Hundreds of books have been written about the Vietnam War (first referred to as a military conflict) including some by such noted authors as Senator James Webb, and W.E.B. Griffin, but none have tried to capture the events and human drama that encompassed the entire war such as John Siegfried’s Six Degrees of the Bracelet.

The land now called Vietnam has been inhabited since the Paleolithic Period, a million years ago. In 1948, President Truman sent the first Marines to Vietnam to see what was happening as the French fought the Viet Minh. In 1950, the first Military Assistance Group arrived, and its numbers swelled to 15,000 between 1960-1963. But it wasn’t until 1965 that we acknowledged sending in the first combat troops, Marine Combined Action Platoons of the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade. Vietnam became the longest war in the history of our country, essentially involving American troops from 1961 to 1975. No matter how unpopular the war became, young American men and women went there to fight and die for their country.

Six Degrees of the Bracelet had its genesis in 2009, when the author, a man who never served in the military, was watching the movie Flags of Our Fathers. Soon after watching the movie, John found an errant box of his own which contained an old silver bracelet with the name of a Vietnam POW/MIA.

In the two years since finding that first bracelet, Siegfried has been driven to write, what amounts to, an anthology of the Vietnam War. But he did not write the stories. He traveled the length and breadth of the United States interviewing the men and women who lived the war. Their episodic stories comprise the bulk of the book, told according to their memories, and in their own words. The six degrees of separation (where we know everyone in the world) became much smaller as Siegfried interviewed and transcribed 27 individual stories. The reader can hear the sounds of combat, the crackling of rifles, the thumps of mortars, the whistling of rockets, the cries for Corpsmen and ammo, whirling chopper blades, and screaming radio chatter. These are gut-wrenching actions of war the participants want to forget, but can’t. These first-hand incident reports capture their feelings about the war, raw emotions of combat, losses of buddies, and their thoughts some 40 years later. Every interviewee was asked the same questions: growing up, Vietnam, how Vietnam shaped their lives, advice to someone considering a military career, and current day.

The reader will hear from Marines, Seals, pilots, Corpsmen, Medal of Honor recipients, Guardsmen, soldiers, nurses, surgeons, ARVN soldiers, Viet Cong, NVA soldiers, displaced women and children, POWs, and MIAs. The author knew he would be permanently emotionally scarred by the stories he would hear, but was compelled and driven to commit these stories to history in honor and remembrance of all who served in the Vietnam War.

Due for (formal) release November 11, 2011, Six Degrees of the Bracelet is 386 pages and sells for $19.95-$29.95 at www.johnsiegfried.com, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble.”

 

Dick Hrebik

Retired Marine Major

Author of The Warrior Among Us and Corps Vet

Nominee for a Stars and Flags Book Award

www.DickHrebik.com or dick@dickhrebik.com

 

"I found this manuscript Six Degrees to be the most compelling and complete anthology of the entire Vietnam War, which I happened to have participated in.”   

 Dick Hrebik Major USMC (Ret.)   

 

Wonderful Tribute to Vietnam Veterans

"In Six Degrees of the Bracelet, author John Seigfried presents a raw, honest and compelling view into the lives of a number of men and women affected by the Vietnam War. While there are many good books available on the subject, this is the first I have read that gives first hand accounts from such a wide spectrum of interviewees; from NCO's to Generals, draftees to "lifers" and from support personnel to recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor. The author's respectful interview style seems to pry into the souls of his subjects, and what they have to share makes Six Degrees a wonderful read."

Scott T. Bowman, Author of Victis Honor: A Tribute