Borrowed Time: A Medic's View of the Vietnam War
In Borrowed Time decorated Vietnam veteran Charles Kinney picks up where We Were Soldiers leaves off. He tells the compelling story of his year as a combat medic with the renowned 7th Cavalry of the US Army, focusing on C Company of the 2nd Battalion of the 7th.
After the Ia Drang campaign of We Were Soldiers fame, which took place in the Central Highlands of Vietnam in 1965, came the Bong Son I and II campaigns in the coastal plains of South Vietnam in 1966. Kinney gives riveting firsthand accounts of the devastating battle at Landing Zone 4 (rated by the US Army as the 2nd bloodiest battle of the war from 1965- 1972), the triumphant wipeout of an entire North Vietnamese Army battalion at Than Son II, and the tragic ambush of C Company at Tuy Hoa.
In 1970, Kinney volunteered for another tour of duty in Vietnam, returning to work for a year as a senior clinical technician at the 3rd Surgical Hospital at Binh Tuy south of Saigon. There he became the assistant chief wardmaster and oversaw creation of the Army's first drug rehabilitation and detoxification center.
Rather than focusing on facts and figures, body counts, weapons specifications and the like, Kinney's narrative concentrates on the people- the men he lived with, fought with, loved as brothers and lost, those who survived , and those who remain his cherished friends to this day. In doing so, Kinney teaches us unforgettable lessons about courage, fear, love and the human cost of war. These lessons are just as valuable in understanding the world's current armed conflicts as they are in understanding the war in Vietnam.