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April 24, 2012 | History

One-Zulu 1 edition

Curtis Randolph Kimes

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About the Book

Vietnam struggle for survival.

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1st pbk. ed.
Curtis Randolph Kimes.

Published 2003 by Paper Marche in Auburn, CA .
Written in English.

About the Book

Review Written by Bernie Weisz, Historian/Vietnam War January 19th, 2013 Pembroke Pines, Florida USA Title of Review: "War is Hell! So is a Vietnam War Veteran's Reflections...Looking Death In The Eye & Surviving!"
"One Zulu" took Curtis Randolf Kimes almost four decades to write. Drafted in 1967 and trained as an infantryman, Kimes on his own volition volunteered for the First Air Cavalry's Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) shortly after arriving in Vietnam. This was October of 1967, one month before the infamous battle of Dak To and three months before the 1968 Tet Offensive. Sent to and completing the Military Assistance Command of Vietnam's "Recondo School," Kimes was based out of Camp Evans and assigned an LRRP team to gather field intelligence for the 1st Air Cavalry Division. Camp Evans, located midway between Quang Tri City and Hue on Highway 1, was the headquarters for the U.S. Army's 1st Cavalry Division for a time. It became one of the most important U.S. combat bases in I Corps, housing major units of the 101st Airborne Division, the 18th Evacuation Hospital, the 158th Assault Helicopter Company, as well as numerous other aviation, artillery, transportation, communications, and supply units. Many historians considered I Corps the most dangerous part of all of South Vietnam, sitting right on the DMZ. Kimes story is on an actual mission he took part in during the first part of May of 1968, which he states in no equivocal terms was painful for him to remember. While Kimes concedes that that he changed the names and personalities of every man including himself that participated in this mission, the factual events are true right down to the last detail.

The repressed pain and resentment Kimes justifiably feels is present through "One Zulu." So why did Kimes pen this after such a long passage of time? The author explains; "The strength needed to relate this story has eluded me for all of 35 years. But the images of all that happened visit me in some form every day. During times as I write this, emotions that have been locked away for more than half of my life rain down across my cheeks, and onto my desk. Each one a memory moment. Or part of one. And I cannot stop them, not any longer." Although Kimes would go on to be awarded the Silver and Bronze Star as well as both the Air Medal and Combat Infantryman's Badge, the author reminiscences as to how he and five other LRRP team members were inserted and eventually trapped in extremely hostile enemy territory, known then as "Indian Country" and wound up as bait for the North Vietnamese Army gunning for U.S. Units attempting to rescue them after the team was pinned down. Out of the six LRRP members, 2 would be killed, and all four others wounded to some degree. This book is not only about this mission, as the reader will discover. The effects of Agent Orange, the unparalleled camaraderie of an LRRP team, and the gross unjustness of the VA medical system ungratefully levied towards returning Vietnam Veterans are explored.

Yet there are even more painful issues. Kimes gives a coherent representation of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome by unequivocally warning anyone that thinks war is glamorous by relating the following; "How many times has one heard "War is Hell?" It really is. The sanctum of combat inspires a strong binding force between all those that have entered, looked death in the eyes, witnessed its ugly stare and survived. A survivor's unbidden reflections of that experience occur at awkward moments, over uncounted days, and many, many nights....that too is a hell." Furthermore, Kimes expresses his wrath over a government that has spent uncounted millions to find a cure for AIDS, a disease self inflicted for the most part, while it negligently underfunded the VA which incredibly refused to recognize PTSD as a service connected problem until 12 years after the last troops had been rotated out of S.E. Asia. Even more incredulously, the VA took even longer to acknowledge the pernicious consequences related to exposure to deadly herbicides dumped all over South Vietnam to defoliate the country, in particular Agent Pink and Orange. And of the political leadership of the U.S. in relation to the course of the Vietnam War? Kimes acerbically laments; "Why had the country not been given an acceptable explanation, and an apology as to why the military had been shackled by a narcissist who had not allowed the knowledgeable, experienced and trained to take effective, offensive action against North Vietnam?" There are a myriad of contradictions, injustices and indictments of society Kimes points out that a Vietnam Veteran disgracefully faced upon return. Certainly,"One Zulu" will have the reader thinking long after he has turned the last page of this incisiveness book!

You may purchase this book direct from the author by contacting Mr. Kimes directly at:


Library of Congress
MLCM 2008/43603 (D)

The Physical Object

Paperback (softcover)
iii, 183 p.
Number of pages


  • Reviewer
    Bernie Weisz

ID Numbers

Open Library
LC Control Number


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