Don't Mean Nuthin'
Don’t Mean Nuthin’ tells the story of Frank Morgan, a young college grad raised on Army discipline, who starts his career as a Phoenix Program assassin in Vietnam believing in his country. The book begins with Morgan on the Freedom Bird to ‘Nam in 1969, sitting next to a grizzled grunt. It’s Morgan’s first realization of what may be in store. With less than a month to go on his tour, Morgan leads a squad of South Vietnamese special forces in a bloody massacre and then mistakenly kills a beautiful innocent woman, Liem, in an old French plantation outside Can Tho. The attempted murder of Morgan by his CIA chief, a swashbuckling midget cowboy named Comer, who wears silver spurs on his boots, begins Morgan’s metamorphosis into an avenging assassin, not for hire by the US war machine. Morgan teamswith a Montagnard scout, Luong, and they visit an old comrade who has adopted a young Vietnamese boy. during their stay, the vil is attacked, leaving Morgan and Luong as the only guardians. While moving through the bush with the child and Luong, or at night watching the Southern Cross, one of Morgan’s pastimes is to write letters he never mails to his parents and draft fictional articles for Stars and Stripes. Don’t Mean Nuthin’ is filled with stories in the style of Tim O’Brien and Michael Herr. The book captures the setting of a country melting in napalm ooze and anecdotes grunts used to survive the insanity.