• Things I'll Never Forget

  • Memories of a Marine in Viet Nam
  • By: James M. Dixon
  • Narrated by: Malcolm Hillgartner
  • Length: 9 hrs and 36 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (1,076 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Things I’ll Never Forget is the story of a young high school graduate in 1965 who faces being drafted into the Army or volunteering for the Marine Corps. These are his memories of funny times, disgusting times and deadly times. The author kept a journal for an entire year; therefore many of the dates, times and places are accurate. The rest is based on memories that are forever tattooed on his brain. This is not a pro-war book, nor is it anti-war. It is the true story of what the Marine Corps was like in the late 1960’s, when the country had a draft and five hundred thousand Americans were serving one year tours in battle-torn South East Asia. If you served in Viet Nam you will want to compare your experience with the author’s. If you know someone who went to Viet Nam, you will want to listen for yourself what it was like. If you lost a loved one or friend in the war, you will want to listen to this and share it with others.

©2016, 2018 James M. Dixon (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about Things I'll Never Forget

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Accurate Description

I wasn't going to read this book because I didn't want to relive those memories that turned out to be very much like Dixon's. I decided to anyway. This book is an accurate description of the misery called Vietnam.

I was there at the same time as Dixon, with the 4th Marines. My memories are from Con Thien, Phu Bai, Hue, Dong Ha and Quang Tri, North of Mr. Dixion's AO. Boot Camp at San Diego, ITR at Pendleton, Radio School then on to Vietnam via Braniff International Airways out of El Toro, CA. Returned home via ship to San Diego after a three week voyage.

Our ship was late coming in to Da Nang and had to wait three days after turning in my helmet, flak jacket and rifle. We were rocketed and mortared every night before the ship arrived. Like Dixon, Vietnam did it's best to see that I didn't escape alive.

I'm glad Mr. Dixon made it back to write his book. I'm thankful to God that I am still here to read it.

Semper Fi

47 people found this helpful

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Stirred up memories

At first I was hesitant to get this book, but now I'm really glad I did. My path to Viet Nam was quite similar in many ways. My boot camp was in Quantico, so I have a somewhat different perspective. Mr.Dixon's journey to "in country" was quite similar to what mine was, first Camp Pendleton, then by ship to Japan (Okinawa for me) with a stop in Honolulu for ship repairs, and then to Viet Nam. My time in Chu Lai was exactly 1 year prior, so comparing Mr. Dixon's memories to mine, detailed how much worse it got year after year. The first 2/3 of the book had me occasionally laughing at expressions and language used. Loved the stories as told from the enlisted man's side. As a junior officer, I can say the views from a 1st Lt artillery forward observer were not too different. The last 1/3 of the book became intense, memory wise. The epilogue is a perfect summation in so many ways to how this Viet Nam combat veteran feels now and felt back then. Thank you James Dixon for a job well done.

29 people found this helpful

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Very real

This story is one of "this sucks, but here I am." There's not a lot of glory or extreme tales of valor, heroism, or all the other stuff people tend to write. The drudgery was real, and a good bit of it was drudgery. I know this doesn't seem like a glowing review but it really is meant to be. It felt, real. I liked it.

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Good, very good.

As a Marine in the Nam, I also cannot let it go for the way we were treated by the privileged such as Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland. I hope they are proud of themselves.This book brings out the horror of War and terrible way our soldiers were treated in country and when they came home.
This book is well worth the effort to listen to or read.

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Excellent Read!

I joke to people when I tell them that I am a souvenir of the Vietnam War....however I am serious. I am of Vietnamese descent and if it were not for my father bringing my mother and I home from that war, I'd surely be squatting in a rice patty right now. Bravo to all of the combat veterans of the Vietnam War.

18 people found this helpful

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One of the best...

books on the Vietnam War about life as a US Marine Corp grunt. Hopefully, our youth will want to read this and become a bit more smarter about that nasty conflict.

11 people found this helpful

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Do listen,to this hard slice of one man's Nam war

In V. Nam I served in the USArmy Infantry (11B10) same old story that this Marine experenced. USMC congratulate themselves unduly for the same experences that I lived in "I - corp." South RVN. Perhaps the army under congratulates..
I served, along the "Qua Viet River at the DMZ.
The FireFights, and the day to day humping boonies is a hard experence to survive; it will change one forever it did me. .
Comming home was in it's way as soul damaging as surviving the killing fields of that sad country . I was, I am one who was Wounded In Action "WIA." I was lifted home through Japan with a body full of, artillery fragments, and a leg off above the left knee... and yes, the "PTSD" of Combat is a real disability itself.
This book is a worthy read, no bullshit here, but to really get it, you have to live it.
- SP/4 Vaughn Larry L. '68-69
Ps:
Early on while recovering from wounds (18Months) I used to tell people that
I died in "The Nam," that someone else, some other person came home in my place, not Larry. It was another five years before recalling the experence of dieing.
I saw myself wounded in the medivac; I looked so badly mangled, I so much blood. A voice within, I was told that I still had things to do this life, that I had agreed I would and, you have to go back. I said NO! That body hurts, it did.
I was so weary of fear yet doing anyhow, always afraid. Next I was back in the body, no choice, I thought I had, a choice. Much happened through that time out of the body, I learned soo much, it changed who I was, I am, only I didn't recall any of it for over five years after the wounding. Then, long after, it was like a brilliant light Comming on. I've always wondered how many others are like me...
How many.?


🐸
Tet, & after'68... 3/21/196LIB/Americal... Quang Tri Prov. /I-corp. /RVN...

8 people found this helpful

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My life

What a Great story! Brought back many boot camp memories. The Corps hasn’t changed a bit.

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Thank you!

Mr. Dixon, thank you for sharing your story with the world. My father enlisted in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War and he, too, is a combat veteran. He doesn't talk much about it but after being a father, being a Marine is something of which he is most proud. After reading your book, I understand more completely where the pride comes from. From boot camp, to work parties to always keeping you busy to the point of exhaustion in hopes of making you more aggressive were eye opening stories. Sharing what I have read has also allowed me to ask questions about his experiences in boot camp and other things, but of course, never the actual fighting. I would never ask about that as I feel that is a sacred thing that only a veteran should share when he or she is ready, if that ever happens. I absolutely enjoyed your book not only because it gave me a better understanding of the war (I am a US history teacher) that I can share with my students but it also gave me a better connection with my father. I want you to know, too, that when I tell my students about how Vietnam Veterans were treated when they got home, they are appalled. They simply cannot relate or understand how people not only didn't welcome you back but also spit upon many of you and ridiculed you. I thank you for your service and for your contribution to humanity and education.

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A little slow at first

A little slow for the first 15 chapters however an excellent book and unique perspective.Overall
an excellent read !

4 people found this helpful

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  • Chris
  • 10-21-19

Stunning in its simplicity

Iraq Veteran 2003 - 2007

I am always amazed about how all wars are different...yet all the same.

This author put his true experience on paper, no exaggerations, no heroics, just the raw truth.
His telling of the Vietnam conflict brought back many memories of the same experiences of my own conflict in Iraq so many years on from his.

If there is one thing that this author and my own experiences have led me believe is that governments and the military too, never learn.. and neither do we, because we allow them to do this over and over.

A brilliant and honest telling of not only life in the military but in conflict too.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Thj Williamson
  • 06-11-19

should have got his promotion to Cpl

As a British Vetran I find the way the Vietnam veterans were treated as appalling . these guys go and do a job get called all the names under the sun.
but James Dixon did his job lost his friends
witnessed the cruelty of man against man and made to do what Soldiers and Marines do in every
Army hurry up and wait and if it dose not move paint
it or polish it. this is a great book and I think anyone who called the vietnam vets baby killers should read it and understand how these Soldiers and Marines felt when they came home


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  • Paul J.
  • 03-30-22

Enjoyable listen

I won’t review the book as that seems ridiculous when what the book covers in terms of life experiences. I highly recommend this book, for the story, it’s balance and the stages the author went through before, in Vietnam and life afterwards. Helped me to understand my father more, shame he is not here for me to tell him.

1 person found this helpful

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  • rory kavanagh
  • 11-10-19

Amazing

What an amazing true story of a young Marine that' serves with the grunts in Nam.Very touching and heartfelt encounters of the horror war can bring.Hightly recommend this book.

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  • T K
  • 05-09-19

Poignant, well told and brilliantly written

A very well written and narrated personal story of war told by a Marine on the ground during the Vietnam war. Highly recommend for anyone to read, not just for war/history enthusiasts.

1 person found this helpful

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  • rory
  • 03-20-19

This is a great Vietnam story and very honest

this book fills a bit like Full Metal Jacket at the beginning which is nice to hear another version of a similar Tale. The middle felt like there was a lot of stagging on and the reader is almost keen, too keen for the soldier to go to the grants. But when he is at the grants, it's a clear tale of be careful what you wish for. there is lots of action but the action can feel very sad at times.

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  • Jon
  • 09-26-18

Intriguing account

I really enjoyed the retelling of this Vietnam account. It is revealing and thoughtful in its retelling. I’ve used some of the anecdotes while teaching my students the Vietnam war in history. Well worth the listen.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Duncan Connell
  • 03-10-22

An honest account

A heartfelt honest account of a tour in Vietnam. It has your usual chapters about training, travel and duties, but it's has a very fine balance of humour, sadness and lessons of life.

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  • lauren phipps
  • 01-24-22

superb

So good i listened twice in a row !! pulls no punches and tells no lies ... we'll read and great story 👍🏻

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-08-22

BRILLIANT!

This book is perfect, it has its humourous side to it as well as it's dark side, it brings you from the beginning to the end and managed to get in all the details while not being too dragged out, perfect.

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  • Owen Cleverton
  • 01-30-19

The best of many

I enjoyed this narration so much. Being of an age identified with the Vietnam war, I could feel this guy's realism and compassion. I particularly agree with the finale of his final chapter.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Karl Puetz
  • 10-24-18

Brilliant

This book belongs to on of the best books on the Vietnam War .
I have never been moved to tears reading a War Memoir until now
reading this.
Thank you and God bless !

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-21-22

Was a amazing book. All the small and big details

Was a amazing book. All the small and bug details that tell a story of a first person journey

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  • Leigh
  • 06-19-22

Amazing

The author's journey starts off relatively 'normal' but by the end of his tour his experiences are harrowing. Excellent narration, great book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-18-22

Must read recount of a grunt

This book was an amazing read. What James went through and the others he describes in this detailed recount shows the courage and sacrifice of a generation of forgotten soldiers.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-03-22

No sugar coating.

Great all round. Didn't hold back on any of the ghastly details, that are not normally mentioned in military books.

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  • Matt
  • 02-25-22

brilliant

absolutely brilliant, very well written and a truely immersive story. best Vietnam war book I've read.
definitely worth your time

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  • Thomas Bouvy
  • 04-01-21

More of a memoir than an action story

It's interesting, but the action scenes are skimmed over. You can understand why he doesn't want to go in to too much detail though.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-17-21

amazing

very informative and written from his own standpoint with no vices or political inference. excellent

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  • Phil
  • 07-09-20

Good

really enjoyed this book. Sad, funny and at times graphic. recommend if you are interested in this war