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Larry BrownA Writer's Life$
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Jean W. Cash

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781604739800

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604739800.001.0001

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Marine, Husband, Father, and Fireman, 1969–1980

Marine, Husband, Father, and Fireman, 1969–1980

(p.29) Chapter Two Marine, Husband, Father, and Fireman, 1969–1980
Larry Brown

Jean W. Cash

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter focuses on the time when Larry Brown was eighteen and just out of school, when he had little to look forward to other than being sent to Vietnam. Left with little choice save for what branch of the military he wanted to join, Brown chose to join the Marines. He found basic training far more grueling than he had expected and even at times cruel and sadistic, later describing it as “like serious camp for adults.” Off-duty marines constantly fought among themselves and with men serving in the other military branches. Much of the tension was racial, pitting blacks, whites, Indians, and Hispanics against each other. Instructors and the training itself reduced all recruits to the same basic inferior status with the goal of breaking them down to build them back up.

Keywords:   basic training, Vietnam, Marines, serious camp for adults, military branches

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