Blackburn writes, “April 11, The reservoir had growth of tall grass and reeds around the edge and masses of Vietnamese lotus floating on top of the water. A thin layer of fog was suspended over the watery milieu. Emilio could hear frogs croaking as he approached the pond. Handing his M60 to Abbate, the young Marine removed his Ka-Bar knife from its sheath and with knife in hand, slipped into the murky water. He was sure he had seen something stirring among the growth at the water’s edge.
“Moving quietly, De La Garza eased his way around the side of the pond. Feeling his combat boots squish in the soft sticky mud on the bottom of the pool, he barely rippled the water as he moved. Then, without warning the Marine lunged into the reeds, disarming a young Vietnamese man dressed in black and taking him prisoner. As the VC was being brought to shore, he began to struggle and resist. Abbate and Peterson put down their weapons and waded in to assist hauling the enemy soldier out of the water. Nearing the shore, the man pulled out a hidden grenade and removed the firing pin. Only De La Garza saw him. Yelling ‘Grenade!’ he threw himself on top of the enemy soldier and grabbed hold of the arm with the grenade, forcing both the man and the grenade back under the deeper water. There was a horrendous blast, knocking down Abbate and Peterson, and filling the pond with a turbulent mixture of mud, blood, and gore. Birds in the surrounding trees screamed in protest, and members of the rifle squad came running in response. Jimmy Huff and the squad ‘doc,’ Navy corpsman HM3 Sam Lyles were the first to reach the scene.”
Published by Newman Springs Publishing, Gary B. Blackburn’s captivating tale draws on a variety of sources, including personal interviews the author conducted with family members, friends, and witnesses, as well as news articles, official records, medal citations, and after-action reports. Expertly paced and poignant, Blackburn weaves each story together in a compelling novel that is sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats, desperate for more with each turn of the page.
Readers who wish to experience this engaging work can purchase “More Gentle Heroes” at bookstores everywhere, or online at the Apple iBooks Store, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble.
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Newman Springs Publishing is a full-service publishing house for serious authors. Each title produced by Newman Springs Publishing undergoes every step of the professional publishing process, including editing, layout, cover design, circulation, distribution, and publicity. All titles are made available in both eBook and print formats. Newman Springs Publishing distributes to tens of thousands of retail outlets throughout North America and internationally. All manuscripts in any genre are welcome to be submitted for review; If the manuscript meets the necessary criteria and is accepted for publication, Newman Springs Publishing will work closely with the author to bring the book to the retail market for a relatively inexpensive initial investment.