A Dusty Boot Soldier Remembers, written by Military Connection user Larry Redmond, is much more than a memoir. It is a fast-paced, hard to put down account of Redmond’s service; the places he went and the people he met, as well as the history he experienced and witnessed. The book traces his adventures from college graduation as a second Lieutenant of Infantry to his retirement as a colonel.
Redmond’s service and travels took him to some out of the way places in addition to the norm for any infantryman. He served overseas in Panama, two tours in Vietnam, one tour in Thailand (assigned to a little known unit, the Joint Casualty Resolution Center looking for our Missing in Action and POWs), a five month TDY in Israel on the Golan Heights as a UN Observer during the 1973-1974 “war of attrition,” and his final overseas assignment as a student at the Royal College of Defence Studies, London England.
He served with the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, KY and twice in Vietnam with that storied unit (67-68 / 71-72). His service in the 8th Special Forces in Panama and assignment in Thailand were unique unconventional periods with many one of a kind stories. He also served at XVIII Airborne Corps before going to the 82d Airborne and command of the 1-505 Airborne Infantry, the Black Panthers. As commander of that battalion he led them on a real world operation at Fort Indiantown Gap, PA to control Cuban refugees from the Mariel Boat Lift. While at XVIII Airborne Corps he was involved in testing and certifying our initial Counter Terror units. Earlier in his career he served at Infantry Branch in Washington as an Assignment Officer and then attended the Navy Command and Staff College, effectively, as he terms it “escaping from Washington.” He was assigned as the Senior Offense Instructor at the Infantry School for four years and his tales from that time are quite interesting. Colonel Redmond’s last assignment was as Chief of Plans at United States Central Command, MacDill AFB, Florida.
His experiences were definitely not the norm. Every page brings a new revelation, or experience, or fabled soldier he served with and leaves the reader wondering, what next? Deemed a primer for young officers and NCOs by several who have read it, the book is an easy, illuminating, quick read. Chapters stand alone. One reviewer called it “A look at both the shiny and tarnished elements of our Army, and our Joint Services, over the years, and a tribute to our great soldiers and leaders.” It rates as a must read.