WASHINGTON – The author of a gritty, neo-classic Vietnam War history told the Marines Memorial Club about some of the unsung heroes of that conflict.
Richard Botkin, a retired Marine Corps captain, spent years researching “Ride the Thunder: A Vietnam Story of Honor and Triumph,” the amazing true story of the remarkable collaboration between U.S. Marine Captain John Ripley and South Vietnamese Marine Major Le Ba Binh. In the process, he vigorously dispels the notion that the military situation in Vietnam was lost, even as American war correspondents and policy makers were surrendering to the winds of political and economic pressure.
His address to the Marines Memorial Club took place last week.
“For men like Ripley and Binh, who fought long and hard only to have victory pulled from their grasps, ‘Ride the Thunder’ celebrates their heroism, their humanity, their story,” says Botkin.
Using his keen Marine insight and years of in-depth research, Botkin takes the reader back in time, deep into the heart of the jungle and into the midst of the American-Vietnamese struggle for liberty.
In the prime of their youth, the two noted warriors – Ripley and Binh – were inspired by their fathers to fight for their country’s freedom.
About the book, General Anthony C. Zinni said: “Richard Botkin has written a brilliant account of the bravery and skill of a small group of American Marine advisers and the courageous, Vietnamese Marines who fought to the end. For those of us who served as advisers to these Marines, it is a moving, personal story magnificently told. It is a must-read for all who want to understand the true nature of the Vietnam War.”