Soldiers in Vietnam

Comparing Stephen Coonts’ Flight of the Intruder and
Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore’s “We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young” about soldiers’ experiences in Vietnam.

This paper compares the accounts in these books about soldiers’ harrowing experiences in Vietnam. However the difference between the two writings are apparent as Coonts’ account is fictional and Moore’s is non-fiction. The writer shows how both have very similar experiences to share, but each is presented in a different manner.
“Stephen Coonts’ Flight of the Intruder and Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore’s We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young are about an era of American history many Americans would like to forget, the Vietnam War. The two books vividly describe the horrors of war, the sense of camaraderie shared by soldiers in the field, and the devastating effect of the war on the social, mental, and physical health of the soldier. Both authors saw combat action in Vietnam and fill their descriptions with telling details and observations born of direct experience. Understandable because of the prevailing view of the Vietnam War as a public policy mistake, both works focus on errors in judgment made by decision-makers higher in the chain of command than the authors and the sense of meaninglessness and futility that resulted. Despite these similarities, Intruder and We Were Soldiers remain true to the traditional writing and composition techniques that distinguish fiction from nonfiction and therefore provide very different experiences for the reader. Specifically, through the use of differing points of view and main character, plot development, and theme expression, Coonts and Moore provide two very distinct literary takes on the soldier’s experience in the Vietnam War.”