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"My Name is America", Khe Sank, Vietnam 1968. Grade 6-9-Patrick turned down college scholarships to enlist in the Marines. In December 1967, just out of basic training, he finds himself in Vietnam, "on a combat base, out in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by mountains, and jungle-and- a whole lot of enemy soldiers." His journal is an intense and vivid record of the loneliness, confusion, comradeship, and suffering during the four months spent under constant assault by the North Vietnamese at Khe Sanh. Naive and provincial, the teen is transformed and matured by combat. He develops a close friendship with Bebop, a Detroit jazz musician, and begins to question whether he and his comrades are actually accomplishing anything. "Too much shelling, too many mortar attacks, too many casualties. Not enough food, water, and mail." Patrick writes that he doesn't want to make any more friends, "because you keep losing them all the time." In April, 1968, the men of Hill 881S are sent to a "safe" base at Quang Tri. There, in an ironic twist of fate, Patrick is badly injured, and Bebop is killed in a rocket attack. Based on extensive research, Journal is supplemented with photographs, a map, a historical note, and an epilogue. Readers will respond to this absorbing book's vivid descriptions, deft characterizations, and fast-paced action. A sensitive treatment of a painful episode in America's history.