Then I went to the web site put up by Hasford's cousin, J. Aaron, at:http://www.gustavhasford.com/ST2.htm
I read "Short Timers", the basis for "Full Metal Jacket", a movie I never really enjoyed, despite several attempts to watch it all the way through.
In a recent article in a gun magazine, the author said there was no such thing as "overkill"; the animal was as dead with a reasonable caliber as with a heavy recoiling super rifle. In "Short Timers" Hasford is guilty of overkill. All the cliche soldiers John Kerry ever complained of are in one squad, or in the story. A naked door gunner machine guns a farmer in his rice field for the fun of it. Near the end, our protaganist shoots another farmer, because he's there.
In between, one Marine wants to rape young girls, and frags his Platoon Leader for calling him on it. A Viet Cong sniper, a fifteen year old girl, is wounded, then shot after the battle is over. Wounded Marines are killed by their squad mates in order to back out of an ambush without leaving them behind. The sniper who has carried out the ambush is apparently alone and shoots his victims to wound them, so others will come to their aid. He uses the same technique, and sequence of wounds, as the young girl killed earlier.
Granted, the book is well written. It just is not fair to the young men who fought and died in Viet Nam. I was never in country, but skated all around it, from Japan to the Philippines to Okinawa. I got out just before Tet, the period of the story. Maybe Gunny Robbins or others of our board posters who were in country then will have a different slant.
The atmosphere surrounding the Marines in "Short Timers" is very similar to what is too often said about our ancsetors in the WTBS. Stan