Thirty Days Has September, Second Ten Days by James Strauss
Thirty Days Has September is set in the very center of the time of most difficult combat experienced by a United States Marine Corps rifle company.
During this Second Ten Days the Second Lieutenant, ‘Junior’, only 14 days from training back in the states, is ordered, under fire, to assume command of a company of cast-off Marines, all out in the brutal bloody jungle because of the either the worst of luck or the most minor of offenses or infringement.
All the men are ruled by terror and fear of the end they know they are not likely to avoid. They are not going home. They are not going to the rear area. And they are only to be kept moving through a valley of death called the A Shau, with only the manner of their passing in question.
James Strauss graduated from college to a leadership position that turned out to be a ‘hanging by the fingernails’ survival posting in the Marines Corps, during the Vietnam War in 1968. During that deployment, he was seriously wounded, resulting in a long hospitalization. When he was finally told that it was likely he would live (though still in a hospital bed), James looked up and asked God for one favor. He asked not to lead a normal, humdrum life.
He now believes that God heard his prayer, and pointing one finger down, granted his request.
Outrageous fortune has indeed been the nature of the life that smiled down upon James; a roller coaster ride of joy, success, ruin, more success, depression, physical pain, danger, international travel, adventure and a total lack of believability.