Beyond Our Wire
 
 
 Patrick Carl Bayer with his "uncle" Gus in 1990.
 

    Gus. The guy whom I served with in Vietnam as a Marine combat correspondent.  The goofy, flower-child in green fatigues.  The guy who wrote a novel proclaimed by some as the finest work of fiction on the Vietnam War. The guy who always ordered a large milk and large Coke to go with his fast food.  The guy who would get a $10,000 royalty check and a month later have to borrow money for a dinner.

--Earl Gerheim
from his tribute to Gus
 

    Gustav Hasford will be remembered.  He served his country in Vietnam.  He wrote three worthy novels.  And, as Bob Bayer said:  "He got the greatest fine ever levied in the written history of library science.''

--from "Gus Hasford: The Life and Death of a Short-Timer," THE BALTIMORE SUN, March 28, 1993
 

    I grunt.  I stand up, ramrod straight.  I tuck my chin into my Adam’s apple and I strut to the edge of the bunker top, fists-on-hips like a Parris Island Drill Instructor.
    I say, “LISTEN UP, MAGGOT!”  I do an about-face.  March back, about-face again.  Looking sharp, standing tall, lean and mean.  “DO YOU WANT TO LIVE FOREVER?”
    I’m a stone-cold comedian yelling punch lines into No Man’s Land.  It's a midnight comedy show in the last days of Khe Sanh.  I am show business for the shadow-things that crawl and slither out in the darkness beyond our wire. At any moment forty thousand heavily-armed, opium-crazedCommunist individuals can come in screaming from out of the swirling fog.
    I say, “DAMN THE TORPEDOES, FULL SPEED AHEAD!  I HAVE NOT YET BEGUN TO FIGHT!  GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH!  DON'T TREAD ON ME!  SEND MORE CONG!  SEND MORE CONG!”
    I wait for a reply.  I listen.  But nothing happens.

--from The Phantom Blooper
 
 
  
 
 
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