And My Mother Danced with Chesty Puller by Bruce Hoffman | Books in Review

Bruce Hoffman joined the Marine Corps during his senior year in high school in 1964. That summer, after graduating, he went through boot camp at Parris Island. Then came infantry training and more training at the Marine Corps Air Station at Beaufort, South Carolina, and the Aviation Operations School at Cherry Point, North Carolina. Early in December 1965, Hoffman was on his way to Vietnam.

He didn’t stay long. An orders mix-up sent him to Okinawa, and Hoffman spent the next year bouncing between Oki and Vietnam. He went back to Vietnam in July of 1967 and served with MAG-16 at Marble Mountain and later as a helicopter doorgunner.

In his well-written memoir, And My Mother Danced With Chesty Puller: Adventures of a Marine in the Rear, To Combat in Vietn am (iUniverse, 156 pp., $25.95, hardcover; $15.95, paper), Hoffman (below) concentrates on details of his four years in the Marine Corps and two tours in Vietnam. The title refers to the fact that the author’s father served under legendary Marine Corps Gen. Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller in the Pacific during World War II, and his mother danced with the general at a 1st Marine Division reunion several years after the war.

The author’s website is

—Marc Leepson

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