GARY LINDERER, Vietnam vet and book author: Truth vs. Fiction
In July 1968, Gary Linderer was questioned during a U.S. Army CID (Criminal Investigation Division) investigation concerning the attempt made on the life of his commanding officer by someone in his unit. Mr. Linderer was CQ (Charge of Quarters) the night this incident occurred. The perpetrator of this crime was protected by Mr. Linderer and the other men in his unit when, according to Mr. Linderer himself, they all stuck together and offered little cooperation in the investigation. It is unclear whether or not Mr. Linderer knows who was the actual perpetrator of the attack on their C.O., but he has stated that if he knew, he would not tell. After all, “LRPs don’t do that to LRPs.” These men are still sticking together today. Wouldn’t we be shocked if we heard that even one soldier in the 101st Airborne Division's 326th Engineer Battalion in Iraq refused to cooperate with the investigators during the investigation of Sgt. Asan Akbar, the soldier who tried to kill some of his colleagues in 2003? Would we believe our ears if that soldier said he refused to do so because“Engineers don’t do that to Engineers”?
Mr. Linderer is very effective at promoting himself. As a result, he enjoys the support of a large portion of the Special Forces and LRP/Ranger Vietnam veteran communities. The following link contains a partial list of authors whom Gary Linderer helped get book deals. These men all have given their support to Mr. Linderer. http://www.lcompanyranger.com/books.html.
There are also questions about the veracity of Mr. Linderer's version of events concerning what happened on 20 November 1968 during a patrol Mr. Linderer was on while he was in F58th LRP, the long range patrol unit he served with in the 101st Airborne Division and which operated in the I Corps area of South Vietnam. According to Mr. Linderer in his books and interviews, and in the books some of his colleagues have written (the we-stick-together group), his team engaged in a battle with a very large number of enemy soldiers after having ambushed and killed a group of what he describes as NVA staff officers and NVA nurses. Records that were kept at the 101st Division level, of which Mr. Linderer, a Spec/4 at the time, was unaware, and which documented the radio transmissions in the 101st Airborne Division's area of operations, seem to refute his version of these events. The records don’t differ slightly from Mr. Linderer’s version of the events; they differ greatly.
Read Mr. Linderer's books, and the other books written by colleagues of his who served in F/58th LRP during that time, to learn what they say happened on this patrol. Read the records and make your own decision about what really happened, or didn't happen. Also read what was written about the 4 November 1968 patrol and compare it with the records.
Gary Linderer’s Official List of Awards (obtained via FOIA request from the National Personnel Records Center). He claims he was awarded two Purple Hearts for wounds suffered in combat in Vietnam. There are NO Purple Hearts on his Official List of Awards. He’s been promoting himself as a double Purple Heart winner since at least the publication of his first book in 1991. If his official record in St. Louis is wrong, why hasn’t he had it corrected? We asked him for a copy of his DD214 years ago. He refuses to provide one. Perhaps others will have better luck getting a copy from him. Even better, if his Official List of Awards is incorrect, then Mr. Linderer should sign a Standard Form 180 authorizing the National Personnel Records Center to release a copy of his complete military record. That would settle the issue, once and for all. If Gary Linderer is claiming Purple Hearts that he did not earn (which his Official List of Awards appears to indicate), he is dishonoring every person whose name appears on “The Wall.”
We all know that human beings who may otherwise be of good character may sometimes do things in war that they never would have done under normal circumstances. The extremities of battle can cause a man (or now a woman) to commit acts that they regret at the very instant the deed was done. The “Fog of War” is something only someone in combat can understand. No one who has never been shot at or ever feared for their life can fully comprehend what it takes to remain calm and focused when you hear what you think is the enemy moving toward you. If, in your fear, you react too quickly and shoot your weapon or blow your ambush before you have identified your target, that one unthinking instant can result in life-long guilt over having mistakenly killed an innocent person. We should not withhold forgiveness, or understanding, for such an act if the person committing it is truly sorry, and learns from his mistake never to let the fog of war, or any other reason, cloud his vision in such a way again. He can redeem himself by striving to always do what is right for the rest of his life.
On the other hand, he deserves our strongest contempt and censure if he tries to make a profit off what happened by exaggerating the story and by trying to rewrite history to turn it into something it was not. By doing this, he kills the innocents all over again.
The information above was provided by Don C. Hall and Annette R. Hall. Don and Annette are the Executive Producers of the documentary, "Silent Victory," and the authors of the book, "I Served." Don Hall served as a team leader in Vietnam in Company F, 51st Long Range Patrol (Airborne) Infantry in 1967-68.
Website created by Annette Hall
September 3, 2004
Date site last updated: 6/17/08