AbstractDon's Nam is a vivid first-person account of war in Vietnam centered around the daily activities of the Orient Express, it is a story unlike any other account of the war. Written from a diary, and documented with operational reports, eyewitness accounts, journals, and photos, Rast eloquently and passionately takes the reader on a gut-wrenching roller coaster ride of horror, courage, and sacrifice that the headlines and TV news never saw. It is essential, poignant reading for those veterans who were in `Nam and cannot forget, and also for those who were not there, but strive to understand the electrifying intensity of what war is about.
Ride the primitive roads on dangerous convoys with the men of the Orient Express, and get a true feeling what it was like to be ambushed or mined in 1969 and 1970. Experience "Rat Patrols," rocket attacks, reconnaissance missions, and the political intrigue that made the war so difficult to fight using conventional methods. The men's stories, taken down in his muddy diary, and kept locked in an old army footlocker for twenty-eight years, jump to life off the pages and leave the reader crying, laughing, or just plainly boiling with rage as this dramatic account of the Vietnam war unfolds in a story that is truly spellbinding.
Professor Gilda M. Agacer
About the AuthorDon Rast was born in Brownwood, Texas and is a graduate of Louisiana State University (LSU). While attending LSU he was commander of the Army Bengal Raiders, which emphasized training in counter-guerilla tactics and special warfare techniques. He is a Distinguished Military Graduate and holder of numerous art awards. His seven years in the military resulted in a variety of interesting assignments such as those written about the Orient Express in this book. He was a convoy commander in the 534th and 379th Transportation Companies, 7th Transportation Battalion in Vietnam; a battery commander with the 8/17th (SP155) Artillery at Fort Sill, Oklahoma; project officer for Operation Red Hat (the removal of toxic chemical munitions from Okinawa to Johnson island). Created and implemented a fifty-man Bureau of Customs contraband detachment while stationed at Naha Military Port, Okinawa, Japan; and served as a company commander of a transportation unit at Fort Eustis, Virginia. His military decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, and Vietnam Gallantry Cross w/Palm. In civilian life, Mr. Rast has owned and operated a 24-hour restaurant (Sambo's), sold insurance, estate planning, and home improvements. He is currently at work on two books while continuing to do abstract paintings. The first of the two books is about his additional military experiences in Asia with the Bureau of Customs. The second book is a self-help book about how not to get taken by home improvement companies. Don Rast has a lambent ken with explicit insight into whatever subject he finds an interest in. For this book, Don drove an 18-wheeler three years for KLLM and JB Hunt to get a renewed feeling of what it's like behind the wheel of a big rig. Currently, he owns a home improvement company and is the branch manager of Electrolux Vacuums in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Latest antics--selling a run-over dead dog to a Chinese restaurant, and sand in zip-lock bags for $5 apiece as souvenirs to Japanese tourists on Waikiki Beach while in Hawaii (he would have sold more sand, but ran out of bags).
Married to Delia Berras McWhorter of the Philippines, he has two sons from a previous marriage, who now reside in Japan, and two step-sons.
His equivocal approach to ontology is, to say the least--esoterically and portentously that of a Universalist.