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Authors, Vietnam War veterans Bud Alley and Jim Lawrence to discuss battle at Landing Zone Albany

On September 9, authors Bud Alley and Jim Lawrence will visit the campus of Austin Peay State University to discuss their experiences during one of the most violent clashes in America’s involvement in the Vietnam War.

On September 9, authors Bud Alley and Jim Lawrence will visit the campus of Austin Peay State University to discuss their experiences during one of the most violent clashes in America’s involvement in the Vietnam War.

The talk, scheduled for 4 p.m. in the Sundquist Science Center, room E106A on the University campus, titled “The Ghosts of the Green Grass and Reflections on LZ Albany,” focuses on the battle at Landing Zone Albany. The engagement, which took place on Nov. 17, 1965, was led by the U.S. Army’s Second Battalion of the Seventh Cavalry and resulted in 155 Americans killed and another 134 wounded as they made a forced march through the highland jungles of South Vietnam.

Both authors participated in the battle and both were wounded and decorated as a result of their efforts. The battle resulted in the most Purple Hearts awarded to any unit for a single combat operation of the entire war.

That operation was a part of the larger Battle of Ia Drang, which has been depicted in the book “We Were Soldiers Once … And Young,” by Harold G. Moore and Joseph Galloway, as well as the film “We Were Soldiers,” starring Mel Gibson.

Alley, a South Carolina native, was a Second Lieutenant on the staff of the battalion, and was in the middle of the column. Lawrence, meanwhile, was serving as the Executive Officer of Delta Company and was at the front.

Because of their separate involvement in the conflict, each book reflects the author’s unique perspective. Alley’s book, “The Ghosts of the Green Grass” weaves the story of their formation of the Second of the Seventh around Custer’s Seventh Cavalry and introduces the reader to the participants and in the words of New York Times best selling author, Joe Galloway, “marches them straight into Hell.”  Lawrence’s book, “Reflections on LZ Albany” is a series of thoughtful essays as men face death and includes his personal observations of the wounds of war.

For more information on the event, contact APSU associate professor of history, Dr. Christos Frentzos at frentzosc@apsu.edu.