Kilo 3 (The True Story of a Marine Rifleman’s Tour from the Intense Fighting in Vietnam to the Superficial Pageantry of Washington, DC)
Richard W. Foster, Jr.
Outskirts Press (2021)
Reviewed by Kathy Stickles for Reader Views (12/2021)
Wars, all of them, are a horrible fact and something that most of us do not want to know any more about than we have to. Whether it is a fictional book, a fact-filled account, or a huge cinematic blockbuster on screen, we would rather just stick our heads in the sand and believe that, since we weren’t actually there, it did not affect us in our happy little corner of the world. Unfortunately, for many this is not the case, seeing as that they were there and it did have a profound effect on them no matter what their corner of the world happened to be.
In his book, “Kilo 3,” Richard Foster, Jr. gives us a true-to-life account of his time in Vietnam and the consequences and changes it had on his life before, during, and after the war. This is a story of a lost little boy who went into the world with big dreams to help change it for the better, only to find fear, disillusionment, and exhaustion on the combat fields. This is the story of a growing teen who could not figure out what to do with his life and decided that it was time for him to step up and try to make a difference. This is the story of a 17-year-old who quit high school in order to join the Marines and fight. And, finally, it is the story of a man who comes home in shock over what he has seen and done and is able to turn that into a respected and significant career in one of the most important details of the Marine Corps.
From his decision to join the Marines, to boot camp, to the barracks and the battlefields in Vietnam, Mr. Foster tells a tale that encompasses fear, fighting, frustration, and friends, and he tells it all in an extremely graphic, honest, and straightforward way that makes the reader feel for him, his family, the people of Vietnam, and all soldiers everywhere with the courage and bravery to fight for the rest of us. I was also very impressed with the way he was able to incorporate some of the fun he and his newfound friends in battle had before things changed into those horrible moments we have all seen and read about. It is a story of the growth of a soldier from the terror of battle to the bright lights and symbolism of Washington DC.
Mr. Foster survived and, by telling his story, has been able to enlighten one reader to the true horrors of life and the fascinating results that those horrors can bring. I was very impressed and recommend the story to all those who were and are fighters, as well as those of us who stay behind and pray for the best. Mr. Foster, I would just like to say thank you for your story and, most especially, thank you for your service!