By Richard B. Schwartz
Accidental Soldier depicts Richard B. Schwartz's army stories, first as an ROTC cadet on the collage of Notre Dame and eventually as a military veteran educating in Madison, Wisconsin. In 1959, Vietnam was once little greater than a notice on a map; inside ten years, american citizens observed the Tet Offensive and their campuses in flames. Schwartz used to be on the floor zeroes of that point, educating on the usa army Academy from 1967-69 after which going to the college of Wisconsin, Madison, simply after the Dow riots and prior to the bombing of Sterling corridor. The imperative part of the e-book focuses upon Schwartz's adventure at West element, its cadets, officer corps and process of schooling. A sequel to his award-winning memoir, the largest urban in America,Accidental Soldier displays upon his army and educational adventure during the standpoint of an over forty-year educating profession, twenty-nine of that have been spent as a dean at Wisconsin, Georgetown and the college of Missouri, Columbia.
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Extra info for Accidental Soldier. A Reserve Officer at West Point in the Vietnam Era
These attitudes might not have been statistically supportable by the actual enrollment numbers, but they prevailed nonetheless. At registration there were a series of makeshift booths operated by student representatives of campus organizations. It was like a job- or recruiting fair. (Do you wish to join the glee club? Do you wish to join the crew team? ) I approached the ROTC booth and was asked by a senior cadet if I had any prior military experience. ” I signed up, noting that the ROTC program was divided into two segments: the introductory course (for freshmen/sophomores) and the advanced course (for juniors/ seniors).
We have had various partisan accounts of the period and it was not my intention to add to their number. As the pages became covered with words, however, and as I returned after multiple drafts, I realized the nature of the story that I was unconsciously telling. That story is a traditional military one—part farce, part comedy, part tragedy, with drinks and songs, early mornings, long nights and untimely deaths. It is also an academic story. Its central focus—West Point—is a unique academic institution as well as a unique military one and my time there was one in which the country’s civilian institutions were transitioning from monasteries and finishing schools to light combat zones, from the world of the pre-war, tweed-clad don to that of the GI-bill graduate, the blue collar parvenu, the tenured radical and the academic entrepreneur.
He looked exactly like one of the construction workers from Appalachia who lived and worked in Cincinnati during the week and returned to the hills and hollers of Kentucky on the weekend. I had spent two summers in high school working with them and had seen pictures of their (often) common law wives; they were generally wearing house dresses, most of them looking like grandmothers. In his favor, he generally gave us a wide berth (unless our missteps somehow affected him) and he did see to it that we had hot water.
Accidental Soldier. A Reserve Officer at West Point in the Vietnam Era by Richard B. Schwartz