Arthur Wiknik, Jr. served in the Vietnam War with Company A 2/506th of the 101st
Airborne Division as an infantry squad leader from April 1969 to March 1970. He was one of the first in
his unit to safely reach the top of Hamburger Hill during the final assault. A few months later, he prevented
a possible attack on a remote firebase by discovering a nearby enemy weapons cache. Proud of his
military service, Arthur Wiknik, Jr. is the author of Nam-Sense.
According to the book description of Nam-Sense, it “is
the brilliantly written story of a combat squad leader in the 101st Airborne Division. Arthur Wiknik was a 19-year-old kid
from New England when he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1968. After completing various NCO training programs, he was promoted
to sergeant "without ever setting foot in a combat zone" and sent to Vietnam in early 1969. Shortly after his arrival
on the far side of the world, Wiknik was assigned to Camp Evans, a mixed-unit base camp near the northern village of Phong
Dien, only thirty miles from Laos and North Vietnam. On his first jungle patrol, his squad killed a female Viet Cong who turned
out to have been the local prostitute. It was the first dead person he had ever seen.
Arthur Wiknik’s account of life
and death in Vietnam includes everything from heavy combat to faking insanity to get some R & R. He was the first man
in his unit to reach the top of Hamburger Hill during one of the last offensives launched by U.S. forces, and later discovered
a weapons cache that prevented an attack on his advance fire support base. Between the sporadic episodes of combat he mingled
with the locals, tricked unwitting U.S. suppliers into providing his platoon with a year of hard to get food, defied a superior
and was punished with a dangerous mission, and struggled with himself and his fellow soldiers as the anti-war movement began
to affect his ability to wage victorious war.