GOOD TO GO by Harry Constance


The Life and Times of a Decorated Member of the U.S. Navy's Elite SEAL Team Two
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 Memoirs of a SEAL extraordinaire, who served three tours in Vietnam beginning in 1967. Constance, an able and outspoken leader, clearly relished the life of a SEAL, and he describes it with vigor and frankness, starting with the intense training and severe physical and mental testing SEAL candidates face. After boot camp, they swim for miles as frogmen while learning the delicate handling of high explosives, attend army jump school for paratroop training, study scuba and deep sea diving with the navy, and infantry and close combat tactics with the marines. Some also train with Army Special Forces units. In Vietnam the orders were to find and destroy Viet Cong units, clearing out the countryside VC platoon by platoon, village by village. SEALs usually operated in six-man night patrols and brought tremendous firepower to bear in waging fierce (but usually brief and victorious) firefights. Hours of meticulous preparation and careful intelligence work were needed before SEAL units were ready for combat. Operating in small units behind enemy lines, they often had to deal with booby traps, mosquitoes, leeches, razor- sharp reeds, mines, and poisonous snakes before they could get to enemy positions. Constance praises the loyal Vietnamese who fought with the SEALs, noting that he found them to be tough front-line soldiers. By contrast, he views the regular South Vietnamese Army as generally ineffective and corrupt. During his three tours in Vietnam, Constance served in almost 300 combat missions, was credited with capturing some 200 prisoners, and received three Bronze Star medals and a Purple Heart. Vivid war stories, well told. An unusual insider's view of the tough, winner-takes-all world of professional warriors.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-688-15249-X
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1997