July 18, 2007
A Helmet For My Pillow
By David E. Petzal and Phil Bourjaily
It’s called “Helmet for My Pillow” and was written by Robert Leckie (1920-2001) who served as a machine gunner in the First Marine Division and survived the war to become a sports writer and historian. He wrote a lot of good books, but nothing like this one. It’s been reprinted, and is available on Amazon, whatever the hell that is.
If you are interested in the Korean War, Leckie did a short but memorable volume called “March to Glory,” about the Marines at the Chosin Reservoir in 1950. If this one does not have you pounding on your local Marine recruiter’s door, you are probably dead or overage.
And if you would like to see how very, very far we have come since 1957, read “Helmet” and Anthony Swofford’s book “Jarhead” (2003) back to back. You will be amazed, and probably suicidal.