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Crucible 0311
By C. Wayne Standiford
Read by Shawn Campbell

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Crucible 0311
By C. Wayne Standiford
Read by Shawn Campbell
AudioPulp.com, (2001)
An MP3 Audio Recoding
Playing Time: 5 Hours and 27 Minutes
Genre: Autobiography, History - Vietnam War

Reviewed by Rochelle Caviness - March 10, 2002

Like many other boys like himself, C. Wayne Standiford went to Vietnam while still a teenager. And, like many others, when he came home, he did not speak about the part he played in the war. Time changes all things, and what was once unspeakable becomes a story that must be told. In this intriguing and often humorous book, Standiford looks back on his life in Vietnam.

Crucible 0311 begins when Standiford was still in highschool. He candidly talks about his feelings about the draft, and the atmosphere at his school when word is received that one of his schoolmates had died from wounds he received in Vietnam. The narrative then moves onto his enlistment in the Marines, training, his deployment to Vietnam and his first impressions of the country. Standiford is a great story teller and he speaks in a style reminiscent to that used when telling yarns around a camp fire or when sharing memories with friends over a cold beer.

Throughout, this narrative is infused with unique observations of his surroundings and the men he worked and lived with. In retelling the story of his experiences in Vietnam, Standiford speaks with an obvious sense of pride and patriotism surrounding the war and the contribution made by him and countless others like him. Standiford allows us to follow him throughout his tour, from the first time he came under fire, to his recon patrols, to his final journey out of country.

As a true storyteller, Standiford has infused this story with countless anecdotes that bring the narrative to life. These anecdotes range from the nicknames of the charters such as Meatball, Tut, and Fud (Standiford was Fud), to a sergeant whose name was really Sergeant. He also candidly and graphically describes the various living conditions that he endured, the food he ate, such as Sand and Spam, and the untold dangers he faced in the country, such as menacing ticks that had a habit of trying to shimmy up a man's urethra.

This book is read by Shawn Campbell, who sounds like a typical American boy who has just finished highschool. Consequently he is the perfect narrator for a book in which most of the characters are teenagers themselves. His reading is not as polished as one would find with a reader such as David Case who is a professional book reader and has narrated hundreds of books. This not withstanding, Campbell does a nice job of reading this text.

If you are looking for an antiwar treatise, look elsewhere. Crucible 0311 is infused with patriotic spirit and pride. Despite the horrors Standiford seems to have enjoyed himself in Vietnam, and he looks back fondly upon the memories and the friends he made in Vietnam. This book offers a unique perspective on the Vietnam war experience. It will be of interests to Vietnam War Veterans, students and military history buffs, and individuals who are simply seeking an interesting book to listen to.


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