I ran across this book while browsing through books written about the Vietnam War. I was searching for a way to explain to my own grandchildren what the war was like and what I did over there. In reading this book's description I found out it was written by a fellow Wolfhound who was there the same time I was - we were just in different Companies.
After buying and reading the book I would say that Mr. Arndt was dead on. He wrote it like it was. I even found out that we had friends in common. This is not a blood and gore story. It was written for Mr. Arndt's daughters and I would classify it as "PG" rated. This was exactly what I was looking for myself. Mr. Arndt does an excellent job of describing what we went through without all the violent detail. He also talks about the friendships that were made and lost. It is a very hard thing to try and describe the loss of a friend, but Mr. Arndt has done this with great respect. The shifting between his life growing up and his time in Vietnam is handled quite well. It gives you a much better insight into the man. I have recommended this book to several people who have asked me about Vietnam, including family and relatives. It is a good easy read, even for middle school and high school aged children. Thank you Mr. Arndt!
Robert J. Park
Portland, OR, 1966 2/27 Wolfhound, Vietnam
What started as a letter to his daughters several years ago became Don Arndt’s first book. See the Dragon, One Wolfhounds Vietnam’s Story, is a straightforward account of an infantry unit on patrols through the jungles and over the water-filled rice paddies of Vietnam in 1966.
Arndt’s does not go into graphic detail or use foul language as he focuses not on the battles but the relationship developed by men trapped in combat in a foreign and distant land.
We follow him from a rural Missouri dairy farm as a young boy, whose life was filled with many duties, to the Viet Cong infested area known as the Iron Triangle half a world away.
Arndt’s book explains in simple and meaningful words the bond he formed with his buddies, the sad loss of some of them, and his need to find the survivors long after the war ended.
As a Vietnam Veteran myself, having served in the same areas and at the same time as the author, I can verify that the facts and descriptions contained in his book are historically accurate.
I highly recommend this book to anyone studying the Vietnam War or whose family or friends were part of the valorous unit known as the 25th Infantry Division “Wolfhounds.”
Military Writers Society of America
I have known this man for most of my life but never knew until I read this book of the sacrifices that he made for our country, I true american hero and a story that no movie could do justice, most important he brings back the memories of his fellow soldiers and friends who did not get to come home so that there sacrifice will never be forgotten!
I loved the personal stories of each soldier. Don writes
in a fashion which makes you feel as tho you can reach out and touch or talk with each of them.
Incredible book. I couldn't put the thing down once I started reading it. The author was able to put into words all aspects of being a combat infantryman; from going to the army and the changes there, to actually being in combat, to coming home and living with the experiences and choices that any combat soldier has done. Although I was an infantry soldier in combat at another place and time it STILL captured and put into words how I felt and changes that I went through in a way I never would have been able to. While reading I could feel the misery of the monsoon rains, or feel the oppressive heat, or hear the roar of steady weapons fire, or feel the sorrow of losing a fellow soldier to combat. If you have ever wondered what it is like to be a combat soldier I would highly recommend this book to paint an accurate picture of what it is like to be there. I would especially recommend this book to those of you who have been there as a blue cord infantryman, deployed to a forward area in ANY combat zone and have "Seen the Dragon" for themselves.
SGT Brian Feild
C 2/7 Cav
1st Cavalry Division
July 2001 - June 2006
Iraq: March 04 - Apr 05
See The Dragon interested me from the start. Not only was it written by a man I've known my entire life, but I knew that he was in the same area as my father, only a year prior.
What I read cannot be put into words. The book came in the mail and I had it read 8 hours later, finishing the book by flashlight as the power went out. I simply could not put it down. If you want to read a book about the Viet Nam War from an expert, read this book written not by a college professor with his own political bias, or an investigative journalist with an agenda, but by a simple Soldier sharing his remarkable story.
I am currently on my 3rd tour to Iraq. Even though the Army has changed a great deal from that war to this one, Soldiers are still Soldiers, and a lot of the experiences Don wrote about I relate to. It reinforces that stirring deep inside as to why I wear the uniform. I think I'll start reading it again tonight.
CPT Patrick F. Feild
4th Infantry Division
I read the book in two settings, and would recommend it to all citizens of the United States, particularly those who like me never served in a war. I was only 4 when Don was sent to fight, and I did not even have any family members of age who served in that war either, so I never learned firsthand about the Vietnam War. While the book takes you back to that war unlike anything I have ever heard or read, I still can't even begin to imagine how difficult and impossible it would have been to have actually lived it.
I have always felt this nation did the veterans of that war a huge disservice both by asking them to do something and tying their hands behind their backs for political reasons, and then by treating them terribly when they returned. I now can understand why veterans's of the Vietnam war sought out their brothers who served with them; they were the only ones who could relate.
I refer to the author by name as I count myself fortunate that our paths crossed many years later and that we are friends (even if he spells Allis Chalmers incorrectly).
Our lives are different in direction and duration. Don Arndt's "See the Dragon" is a memoir from a time that will always be remembered as a coming of age for a generation, Vietnam. Many were called. Few were chosen. Even fewer wrote about it. And, none came back unchanged. Heat, sweat, smell, sounds, fear, exhilaration, comradeship and faith were the Combat Infantryman's lot in Vietnam. If you were there, "See the Dragon" will take you back. If you weren't, it will take you there.
Guy B. Hinton
A book that any Vietnam Veteran can relate to. Written in a down to earth style that makes you feel you are there with the author reliving his experiences with him. Funny at times, serious at times. Very moving when you read of the many reunions with those he served with as well as their families. Not only would I would recommend it as great reading for any Vietnam Vet but also for anyone that wants to read about "what it was really like."
1/27th Wolfhounds, Delta Co. 1968
“Feels kind of funny to go to church with a helmet on and a loaded rifle.”
“If you stare at a bush through the rain long enough, it will move just like an enemy. Then after a while longer you will try to kill it…”
“The enemy was everywhere and there were no “front lines” like in every other war.”
Don Arndt writes with this “you’re there” type of detail all through the book. You’re virtually sweating in the steamy jungle heat. You’re in fox holes brim full of water, you sleep in the rain, you lay down in the water to rest.
The Vietnam War becomes real. You become a part of it as you experience it with the letters written home to ma, as you sidestep a booby trap of sharpened and poisoned bamboo sticks in a covered pit, and as you feel the bond of a unit that has been together a long time, creating life-long friendships.
You’ll cry and you’ll laugh as you read this book. And you’ll even get some homespun “What I learned from what I did” Don Arndt type of philosophy like how to be ditch digger happy.
This is a book you won’t want to put down.
Liz Ray, retired high school journalism teacher
Adrian R-111 School, Adrian, MO