Keeping Each Other Alive

A Vietnam War Memoir

by Norman Hile



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 7/22/2021

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 364
ISBN : 9781663216892
Format : Hardcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 364
ISBN : 9781663216915
Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 364
ISBN : 9781663216908

About the Book

At the height of the Vietnam war, the U.S. Army drafted Norman Hile out of law school, trained him to be an artillery officer, and in August 1970 sent him to serve a one year combat tour in South Vietnam’s I Corps, where the war was hottest. “Keeping Each Other Alive” is Hile’s memoir of that combat tour. Quoting from letters he wrote home from the field, using photos he personally took of combat operations, and recounting his memories of that unforgettable year in war, Hile describes what it felt like to be an artillery forward observer in the field with an infantry company, and then an aerial observer in light planes and helicopters flying over enemy territory. “Keeping Each Other Alive” is a very personal account of what one soldier endured in a war that had already been lost when he arrived to fight it. Hile recounts the terror of nighttime mortar attacks, sweltering in Vietnam’s tropical heat and humidity while carrying a heavy pack, trying to spice up C-rations, surviving a monsoon storm on a mountainside, providing aerial cover for a convoy heading to see Bob Hope’s Christmas show, and being one of the first to arrive overhead at Firebase Mary Ann to witness one of the war’s worst debacles. Hile’s memoir allows the reader to experience not just the conditions that soldiers in the Vietnam war withstood, but also crackles with flashes of insanity, pathos and humor that soldiers in that war were bound to experience while trying to keep themselves and each other alive.

About the Author

Norman Hile is a retired attorney. Drafted into the U.S. Army in 1968, he served from 1968 to 1971, including a combat tour in South Vietnam from August 1970 to June 1971. He was awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, 15 Air Medals and two Army Commendation Medals. Mr. Hile received his B.A. from Yale University in 1967. He received his J.D. degree from Columbia Law School in 1973. He became a partner in the law firm of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP in 1980, and led the firm’s Sacramento office for over 20 years. In addition to his civil litigation practice, Mr. Hile has represented condemned prisoners on California’s death row on a pro bono basis for over 30 years. The Sacramento County Bar Association named Mr. Hile its Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year in 2018, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals awarded Mr. Hile its John P. Frank Award in 2019 as a lawyer who “demonstrated outstanding character and integrity; dedication to the rule of law… and a lifetime of service to the federal courts.” Mr. Hile resides in Sacramento, California with his wife, Belinda Beckett. The couple has two daughters and four young grandchildren.