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Stealth Patrol

by Bill Shanahan John P. Brackin

From Stealth Patrol:"He spoke in a sort of clipped cadence, his words tumbling out quickly, one on top of the other; and his voice was deep and throaty, the way a bear might sound, if he could talk, after a night of drinking. 'Basically I'm here recruiting guys for the Lurps.... We operate in teams of five, maybe six, members apiece. In the Lurps, every man counts-and that's why we only take the best.'"Just four months after he arrived in Vietnam in 1968, Bill Shanahan joined the LRPs (Long Range Patrol). The mission of the Lurps, as they were called, was dangerous: Five- or six-man teams were dropped into the dense forest behind enemy lines. With quiet stealth, they observed enemy troop movements and staged ambushes that often ended in fierce firefights. When their mission was accomplished, they called for quick helicopter extraction. Back on base, they debriefed and tried to sleep off the adrenaline. Two days later they were back in the brush. The missions changed from week to week, but every day the goal was the same-stay alive.

Stealth Patrol: The Making of a Vietnam Ranger

by Bill Shanahan John P. Brackin

Bill Shanahan was troubled by his line company duty in Vietnam: whenever his unit went on patrol, the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong could hear them coming. His unit didn't have a chance against an enemy that quietly emerged from the jungle like ghosts-and just as quickly disappeared. Shanahan wanted a better way to fight. . . and to stay alive. And so, just four months after he arrived in Vietnam in 1968, he joined the LRPs (Long Range Patrol). The mission of the Lurps, as they were called, was dangerous: Five- or six-man teams were dropped into the dense forest behind enemy lines. They were to observe enemy troop movements and stage ambushes that sometimes ended in fierce firefights. When their mission was over, they called for quick helicopter rescue. Back on base, they debriefed and tried to sleep off the adrenaline. Two days later they were back in the brush. The missions changed, but one goal was always the same-stay alive. In hard-hitting prose, Bill Shanahan, with co-author John Brackin, tells his story of survival behind enemy lines.

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