THE MAILMAN WENT UA (A VIETNAM MEMOIR)

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5.0 out of 5 stars, The real Vietnam Marine Corps, by Matthew Pippin

As a former Marine, post Vietnam mid 70's this was a fun read. There were many guys like David still in the Marine Corps during the mid 70's. They tried to hide them out on the night shift, until their enlistments were up. Young new Marines like me tried to be like them, talk like them, push the pettiness like them. Though deep down we knew we'd never be them. I wonder when the last time someone called the Marine Corps the Crotch.


5.0 out of 5 stars, A sobering account!, by Tim Kozusko (Cocoa Beach, Fl. USA) (REAL NAME)
 
 

Mr. Mulldune has written a sobering account of war that should be read by anyone with the power to send our service men and women into harm's way when the objectives are murky and the allies and enemy are separated by a line of gray. It should be read by anyone who wants to understand why the people they love or know are changed by the experience of combat, even if without physical injury. Books like this just need to be read.

I would like to address two recurring complaints in the reviews: 1) Vulgarity. Not to put too fine a point on it, the book is about war. Of course it's vulgar; human endeavor gets no more vulgar than war. 2) That Mr. Mulldune has somehow shamed the armed forces. If the American armed forces can be shamed by one man's written account, there are bigger issues at work than this fine book. I'm afraid these reviewers have missed the point.

It does not seem right to say I "enjoyed" reading it - I wish none of these Vietnam memoirs had to be written. But what I did gain from reading it was a better understanding of the phrase "All gave some, some gave all." I simply cannot imagine what it must be like to be exposed to such great amounts of stress, even shear terror, over and over, for weeks and months on end. This book is definitely "in your face" but that is what makes it so powerful.

Mr. Mulldune's writing style is effective - the at times brutal use of vernacular that some might find offensive makes it so. Its use works so well as a sort of vehicle for getting the reader to feel some measure of the hours and hours of adrenalin, the full spectrum of stress hormones, that he was exposed to. I'm a biologist not a doctor, but I think it's fair to state that adrenalin acts as a mood altering drug. I cannot imagine how anyone comes out of such an experience unchanged.

The book is not all brutal accounts, there are moments of humor, of bonding, and mention of events. I was very young, but I remember hearing Hey Jude for the first time when it came out too. That was a cool temporal connection. The pacing of events and the background information are just right.

In short, I highly recommend this book. Read several war memoirs. But read this one. We owe it to our service men and women to read their accounts of war. We'll never really understand, but we can learn from them. Thanks Mr. Mulldune for sharing your tour with us. I am so fortunate not to have gone through anything like that.


5.0 out of 5 stars, by Jack Flynn

If you were too young or too old for Vietnam and you want to know what it was like over there, this book is for you. But be 100 percent sure that you want to know the whole story, because David Mulldune's book pulls no punches and gives you the unrelenting, unvarnished truth of it. You don't like raw language? Men talking like men in war? Men acting like men in war? Then, this book isn't for you. Go get yourself a watered down, abridged version in a children's library.

In The Mailman Went UA, David Mulldune is your real life tour guide into the bush and villages of Vietnam, but it is no Fantasy Island he takes you through. It is the day to day, moment to moment, life and death experience of a US Marine in the bush for 13 unendurable months. Mulldune puts it this way, "Your brain never gets a break."

I was awestruck at how many times, Mulldune came within a hairs breath of buying the farm, but for a last second or minute change of plans, the inadvertent direction or misdirection of the wind or the fortuitous accumulation of trivial events, but I never had the sense that he was just lucky. Nor did I believe that some God was laying a cosmic hand on his shoulder. Rather, he seemed to have a built in guidance system that moved him away from the hooch (living quarters) to the seemingly more dangerous perimeter, where he didn't have to be, except that his own mind and /or intuition told him that it was necessary that he be there at that very moment and while he was there, the hooch he would have been in gets shredded by shrapnel. There is no accounting for that, yet in one form or another, it continues to occur and Mulldune finds himself alive again, only to face death another day and on and endlessly on until it is finally over yet never ends because memory is such in warriors that there is no such thing as "The End." It is here that Mulldune's story separates itself from just another war story.

It is here that one man's story becomes every man's story and becomes universal in scope. Living and breathing daily with David Mulldune, one gradually realizes that it is not simply the survival of David Mulldune that matters, but that David Mulldune is the allegorical everyman in battle and the hope that his comrades gleaned from the daily miracle of his survival rubs off on them as well, and to all men of all time, forever. It is ultimately a spirit that rises from David Mulldune's soul and communicates an inner victory that lifts one beyond the destructive trappings of war and suffering to the absolute commitment to life, because in spite of being surrounded on all four sides by death, it is not survival that matters most. It is the Mailman. In that very same sense, David Mulldune becomes our Mailman who is so important to our survival, as well.

Although the author humbly underplays his personal significance, the soul of this book--its gravitas, emerges from the mind, eyes, heart and persistent honesty of David W. Mulldune--no other. His presence as a leader among the men was infectious and gave his brothers in combat that extra impetus they needed to survive and endure. The unrelenting fact that belies Mulldune's genuine humility is that he led what must have appeared to the other men, as a charmed existence. He seemed to possess a special talent or extraordinary extra sense that warded off imminent disaster--and he was constantly doing something outrageous and getting away with it. So if he could do that for himself, then they had to feel that they too were under that spell as well. They rub his head or hang with him and glean some good luck too.

The bonding between the men, (only boys really) was as bizarre as it was incredible, like his buddy Gary exposing Mulldune to disease in a less than hygienic house of ill repute, just to keep him around for a few more days. Gary knew how important it was for David to be there with him.

There are other humorous moments as well, like when Mulldune runs into the Corporal at El Toro who had messed with him before he was shipped overseas and Mulldune suddenly realizes that he now outranks the fellow and makes the poor slob get down and do push-ups. I nearly fell out of the chair laughing at that one.

This is a terrific book. And the writing is like David Mulldune says, "like grenades" which is as natural for him as walking and talking. With his direct and honest writing style, Mulldune leaves memorable pictures in the reader's mind and his verbal grenades are the genuine article. I particularly like the way he handles time. It flows naturally from the day he leaves home until he returns. There is not one extraneous word or line in this book and David Mulldune should take pride in his achievement. The most remarkable thing is, David Mulldune did return, and the other remarkable thing is, he wrote this excellent book.

If you have a wife, husband, daughter, or son who is contemplating enlisting and going to Iraq or Afghanistan, give them a copy of this book.


5.0 out of 5 stars, Vietnam, by PC

Brought back a lot of memories (bad and good). Recommend reading by all Vietnam Veterans. An outstanding book and once you start to read you cannot put the book down.

5.0 out of 5 stars, powerful, by Hummingbird (Florida)

Powerful! Well written. Graphic. The author's understanding and self awareness is impressive and very helpful to understanding the impact of war. Should be a must read in school. Thank you!


4.0 out of 5 stars, Very moving and powerful!, by Michelle Brown  

First time reading a book such as this and I was truly moved. Mr. Mulldune did an amazing job telling his story.

5.0 out of 5 stars, Top notch review of a bush Marine, by Michael L. Luff (Combat Marine, Vietnam, Booneville, Ms.)

It was my tour as a sixty gunner. If they want a round put on a dink I could do it in two. If I if I could see the target I could hit it usually in one or two rounds without using sights, without anything, I would put the correct increments on the 60mm round take off the safety wrap around pin. Remove the right among of explosive packets on the round called increments and fire by the trigger I the base of the tube or drop fire it. Either way I would hit my target.

The author explained all the emotions which run through you brain all at once sometimes. I never fragged anyone but when some remf got waxed it was ok. We had vets from WW11, Korea and other conflicts in my 3rd Bat 4th Marines M Co. I learned from them to keep me alive. I was wounded May ‘66, and went home. The war haunts me every day.

I liked the way David used the proper Corps language cause that's the way it is/was then. And now. Just cause today it's been sugar coated for public used doesn't mean today's Marines are not carrying on our great beloved Corps. All bush marines should read this book.


4.0 out of 5 stars, well done Mr Mulldune!, by Peter Westra

A great book illustrating the lows and few highs of war. I've read a number of books on the Vietnam war, but this one takes the prize for its realism and 'boots-on-the-ground' feeling. The author's work confirms what a pointless and brutal war it was. I've often wondered since reading the book how the author fared later in life. Then I saw of an optimistic tweet of his recently, so looks like he's still going strong.


5.0 out of 5 stars, Could not put it down, by Chris Pennell (New Zealand)

A great book on how it really was. Some very basic language but not offensive. I felt I was very much a part of it. Recommend this book to those who were lucky enough not to be drafted.

5.0 out of 5 stars, Most will not like this book, by Rick Droz (Combat Marine, Vietnam)

A literary masterpiece this is not. Unlike most books I have read on war which are nicely polished with fine sentence structure, The Mailman Has Gone UA is rough, raw, sometimes clumsy and clearly not written by an author of books/literature. Rather the facts about war (more specifically, the Vietnam War) has been told the way they should be told by people who need to tell them.

Mr. Mulldune has shown courage in presenting his experience in Vietnam with this book. O'Brien, Herr and Marlantes have written classics, which I found hard to put down - professional writers with a true gift for the English language. But as much as I enjoy and appreciate these fine pieces of work, I find there is something separating me from something called the truth.

Mulldune has written from his heart and offered us something valuable, not for his professional gain, but rather for the hopes of people hearing the truth through unfiltered, non-glossy and unselfish honesty. The Timid Marine by Joseph Lanciotti is much like Mulldune's work; rough, raw and from the heart - no sugar coated shit and for the purpose of educating people about war.

It doesn't get any better this and I'm grateful for their courage. I'm happy to have Mulldune between my copies of Matterhorn and The Things They Carried.


5.0 out of 5 stars,
Great read, by doc waltz  (SOUTH BEND, IN, US) 

I-Corps, RVN, 68-69, Mulldune took back me back to where I lost my own youth. I went to Man (voluntarily) as a 19 year old Navy Corpsman, and came back as an old(er) man. PTSD never just stops Mulldune, but we can make peace with the ghosts of our past, and search for solace in the dark corners of our minds.

Most people I know, including relatives, will never know what really happened in Nam during those times; they felt better passing judgments on me (and other Vets) because it made them feel superior somehow. Many offered sympathy, some degraded, and the rest were apathetic or oblivious to us as human beings.

I never wanted pity, sympathy, or hollow thanks. I hated the cowards who passed judgments, those American protesters who threw bags of human waste at me when we got back in the "World", and I wanted to find the anonymous late night phone callers who threatened my family and me who accused me of being murderer. I thought that I wanted to fit back into society, but the more phonies, cowards, and hippies I saw back in the "World" the more I despised their interpretation of normal. They were the losers, not me or my veteran peers. They were their own moral conscious, a cornucopia of anarchists, drug heads, and corrupt elected officials.

I saw myself through Dave Mulldune’s memoirs, and yes it has caused me reflect back on times and places in common with his reflections. I have thought many times what it would be like to go back to Vietnam... but after reading this book, I won't have to, because I just did. Semper Fi!


5.0 out of 5 stars, Excellent book, by Kissy Fur

Great book I love the fact that he didn't sugar coat anything David told it like it was.

5.0 out of 5 stars, An accurate and detailed description of the war in Vietnam as experienced by a young Marine, by Rusty E

The war in Vietnam was a horrific, brutal, and, in many ways, infamous time in the military history of our country. This reviewer spent a year in the US Army in Vietnam but was never in combat in his time there. I heard the stories told by my peers in the Army and Marine infantry and artillery units who served in the jungles, in the rice paddies, and in the mountains of that country. I tried to tell myself that these guys were making up things that I heard from them about satchel charges, booby traps, ambushes, enemy rushes on the wire, mortar attacks, and the seemingly never-ending terror they experienced in the areas in which they served. And while some of those people I heard describing what they experienced may have exaggerated what they survived, most who would talk about it may have actually understated how bad it really was for them.

Unfortunately, as one who interviews such veterans to create oral histories for the State Archives, I encounter far too many men who lived through such things and are very reluctant to talk about their time in `Nam. Those who are willing to share those memories confirm just how bad it was to be in a combat unit in that war. Far too many of their peers will not talk about what happened to them and their fellow soldiers and continue to carry the mental and physical scars of their service quietly and privately today.

Fortunately, David Mulldune shares his detailed memories of being a young man in the Marines in combat with us via his memoir THE MAILMAN WENT UA. A warning to the reader - the picture Mulldune paints via his text is painful and brutal but is an accurate depiction of what he saw, heard, and felt during his service in the US Marines in Vietnam. Thank God he took the time to write his own personal history of his experiences there. He speaks not only for himself and his fellow Marines, but most importantly, he speaks for the thousands of men who served their country in the US Marines and US Army but are unable or unwilling to talk about their time in the field even now.

The truth about what went on in that war deserves to be told, and while the reader only sees what happened through Mulldune's eyes during his time there, it is just like what so many other men experienced. THE MAILMAN WENT UA is an excellent way for every citizen to begin to understand what that war was really like for the men who fought it. And while it is very graphic in places, Mulldune's book is a must-read for anyone interested in learning exactly what the Vietnam experience was for the men who fought there.


5.0 out of 5 stars, great book, by Brad Bell

Thank you David Mulldune, I could really feel the torment in your book. I wish that you had written more.

5.0 out of 5 stars, The Mailman went UA, by awesome game

Great book and a must read. Great learning experience and a lot of good information of the war. Hope he writes more like it.

5.0 out of 5 stars, A Marine in Combat, Great Book, by Tim Pierce

Having served in Vietnam, I know how important it was to get mail. The writer tells the whole story about his time in the US Marine Corps. Other than your friends helping you in combat, you were own your own, because no else cared.

I'm thankful that men like him served his country and followed orders even if they were stupid. This Marine should be proud of his service. Well written book, if you are interested about Marine's in combat this book is a must read!



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