When Larry Rogers volunteered for Vietnam to enhance his surgical experience in 1967, he was assured that no doctor had ever lost his life there. Imagine his shock when the first dead man he saw was a young doctor like himself! Denied an assignment in surgical hospital, he was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division. For nine months he alternated slogging through jungle and streams with an M-16 and operating a small medical facility in a forward First Division base camp. Ahead lay the Vietcong’s Tet Offensive, the decisive campaign of the war. He would encounter wounds and circumstances that seemed to have no solutions, only hope. When he ultimately was transferred to a surgical hospital, and the experiences there capped off the adventure of a lifetime.
Sword and Scalpel is one of the most exciting books about war I have ever read. Buy it and read it now. You will never forget it
Larry Rogers has written a stunning memoir about the role of medical officers in the Vietnam War. From the journal he kept in 1967 and 1968, plus snippets from letters home, he has constructed a fast moving story. Particularly compelling are scenes of medical care rendered in combat during the Tet Offensive where ingenuity and flexibility were crucial. To me, as a 1st Infantry Division officer at that time and place, Sword and Scalpel is a tribute to young men like him who were so crucial to saving life and limb. The men they served revered them. I know. I and my men of the 3rd Brigade depended on “B-Med.”.
Brigadier General Frank E. Blazey, US Army (Ret.)
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