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Vietnam War Story

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On August 27, 2009, Conversations with American Heroes at the Watering Hole will discuss the Vietnam War with former USMC Major Richard Botkin. Former United States Marine Corps Major Richard Botkin “graduated from the University of Michigan's School of Business. He served from 1980 to 1995 on active and reserve duty as a Marine Corps infantry officer with units to include 2nd Battalion 7th Marines, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, and 4th Force Reconnaissance Company. His understanding for Southeast Asia has been enhanced by the nine medical/dental mission trips he helped to organize and lead to Cambodia between 1998 and 2007, and four trips to Vietnam, including one with his main Vietnamese character Le Ba Binh, to specifically do research for Ride the Thunder. Botkin currently lives with his family in northern California, where he is an investment advisor for a major brokerage firm.” Richard Botkin is the author of Ride the Thunder: A Vietnam War Story of Honor and Triumph. According to the book description of Ride the Thunder: A Vietnam War Story of Honor and Triumph, “Richard Botkin breaks new ground in telling the heroic story of a few American and Vietnamese Marines who fought brilliantly and turned the tide of the Vietnam War, only to have policymakers surrender the battlefield. Botkin recounts the exploits of the American Marines and their Vietnamese allies who were largely responsible for thwarting the North Vietnamese invasion of the northern portions of South Vietnam known as the 'Easter Offensive of 1972' in the West that was intended to bring the nation to its knees. These are the men who 'rode the thunder' and almost saved a nation. Botkin tells the story of Captain John Ripley's daring raid to destroy the Dong Ha Bridge; Major Le Ba Binh and his seven hundred Marines bravely holding off more than 20 thousand North Vietnamese troops; Lieutenant Colonel Gerry Turley's leadership and bravery that helped thwart the Easter Offensive and much more.”

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