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Tom LaCombe

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Tom LaCombe is a United States Army Vietnam veteran.  In 1969, he served as a rifleman in an infantry company in Vietnam. Tom LaCombe is the author of Light Ruck.  According to the book description, “Here is one year in the life of a grunt serving as a rifleman in an Army infantry company. Mission: secure or "pacify" the Central Highlands of South Vietnam. Objectives: eliminate enemy infiltration from North Vietnam; prevent operations of the local Viet Cong forces; win the hearts and minds of the local civilians.

He doesn't want to be there, but, so what? It's 1969, his country calls, and there he is, in "the Nam" doing his time as a rifleman, and putting his life on the line. The enemy is always there, just waiting for the right situation. His presence is always feared. After all, it's his domain: a mountainous jungle environment, offering extreme heat, treacherous terrain, leeches, monsoon rains, malaria, poisonous snakes, and tigers. Not much fun for American soldiers under the best circumstances.


Then comes the command of the squad leader, "Saddle up, pack a light ruck! A recon patrol is in contact." Now, every move counts, and a guy does whatever is asked of him, not for God and country, but for the fellows in the front and rear. He never considered avoiding the military--legally or illegally. He felt fortunate to live in the United States, and he wanted to do his part. He did his duty. This narrative speaks compellingly of a regular guy who served and sacrificed for what he thought was right.


One reader of Light Ruck said, “My best friends father is "Top" McManus who is documented in this book. I recall Mr. M talking of some, a very few of his times in the bush, and now I am very much looking forward to reading the "Real Deal" and to fill in the blanks that he left out. William "Top" McManus passed away on Dec 26th 2005. Another great Warrior gone on the meet up with his fellow solidiers that left us all those long years ago.”

Light Ruck
Tom Lacombe  More Info

One reader of Light Ruck said, “Author Tom Lacombe was in Viet Nam fighting in the jungle about the same time I was flying Air Force aircraft overhead. At first I wondered if the reason I enjoyed it so much was because I could relate to the names and places he writes about. But friends and relatives who had never served in Viet Nam or ever visited the country have now read the book and feel the same as I do. It is not just for the vet. The book is written in laymen’s terms that can make anyone feel a part of the action. Reading his book provided renewed appreciation of the "grunt's" role. Regardless of how one thinks our government handled the war, Lacombe's book makes one think "thank god we have young people like this to protect our way of life!" It is a well written book and very interesting to read. It brought it all back - the good, the bad, the ugly.”

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