Zero Dark ThirtyZero Dark Thirty

Unlike other branches of the military, the Marine Corps required some of its combat aviators in Vietnam to spend time doing forward air control duty on the ground, with the frontline troops. For Captain Sam Brantley, it was a harsh and horrific lesson in the realities of jungle warfare. The battle had always seemed somewhat distant to him, flying well-armed A4s hundreds of feet above the trees and paddies. But during the spring of the Tet Offensive, Brantley’s war changed. What he would see and do in those seven months on the ground would change his life forever.

In the tradition of Michael Herr’s award-winning “Dispatches,” Samuel Brantley breaks new ground in this edgy, irreverent tale of a young man’s evolution from a wide-eyed Marine aviation cadet dedicated to flying and serving his country, to a battle-weary veteran struggling to re-enter civilian life in post-Vietnam America. Along the way, Brantley treats his readers to a parallax view of war and the military—from the air, the ground, and the inside-out.