"Suicide Charlie": the bastard infantry company that fought where the combat was bloodiest. Norman Russell was nineteen, a sportswriter for a small-town newspaper, when he was drafted for the Vietnam War and landed in the army's hottest spot as an infantryman in the 25th Division. Charlie Company, better known as "Suicide Charlie", had earned its nickname. Mole City was their next assignment. A combat patrol base smack in the middle of the enemy's resupply route off the Ho Chi Minh Trail into South Vietnam, Mole City was a sitting duck designed to provoke the NVA forces across the border. Outmanned and overrun, Charlie Company barely survived the furious onslaught as mortars, rockets, and rocket-propelled grenades rained down, shrapnel exploded all around, and bullets screamed overhead. For Russell, whose own father committed suicide after returning from infantry duty in World War II, it marked his "acquaintance with the Devil"-- and the beginning of a remarkable journey through the despair and depravity of war, the camaraderie that made the horror almost endurable, and the torturous questions that lingered long after his tour of duty in Vietnam.
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