About Jack McLean

Vietnam Veteran and best-selling author

Jack’s Bio

Jack McLean is a Vietnam veteran, historian, and best selling author. Born in Huntington, NY and raised in Summit, NJ, he is a graduate of Philips Academy (Andover). In the fall of 1968, Jack became the first Vietnam veteran to enroll at Harvard University. His thirty year marketing career began with the New York Mets. After subsequent positions in Boston, Portland, Charlotte, and Washington, DC, he became the Founding Managing Partner of the Greater Washington (DC) Initiative.

After service with Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division, McLean returned home to a changed America. Decades later, after years of grappling with the mental torment of PTSD and the physical repercussions of his exposure to the defoliant Agent Orange, Jack began to reconnect with his fellow Marines and thus began a powerful journey towards recovery.

Loon: A Marine Story and Found: A Veteran Story are insightfully powerful and inspiring memoirs that recount Jack’s time in Vietnam and personal battles on the home front.

Jack and his wife Nina reside in Huntington.

Jack’s Memoirs

The veteran memoirs, “LOON: A Marine Story” and “FOUND: A Veteran Story” tell Jack McLean’s complete story from return through recovery.

LOON: A Marine Story

LOON: A Marine Story is an honest, richly textured, and beautifully written veteran’s memoir about an infantry Marine and his comrades during the height of the Vietnam War. It takes readers from Andover’s privileged campus, to the infamous Marine Corps boot camp at Parris Island, to the battle at Landing Zone Loon in the rugged hills along Vietnam’s Laotian border. During that period, McLean is transformed from a sheltered boy into a Marine, and ultimately into one of a handful of survivors of a horrific three-day assault during some of the heaviest fighting in the Vietnam War. LOON neither glorifies nor mystifies. It simply tells a compelling story about courage, honor, and sacrifice.

cover of LOON by Jack McLean

FOUND: A Veteran Story

FOUND: A Veteran Story is an emotional memoir about the decades-long post traumatic rehabilitation of U.S. Marine Corps veteran Jack McLean who found his road to recovery through the love and support of his former brothers-in-arms, the reconciliation of the fractured family of a fallen buddy, and the medical and psychological support of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

FOUND is a piercingly honest chronicle of an infantry Marine who finds his way through the scars of post-traumatic stress and the enervating impact of his exposure to the defoliant Agent Orange during a time when the American people, the U.S. government, and the Department of Veterans Affairs were ambivalent (at best) to the challenges faced by returning Vietnam veterans.

cover of LOON by Jack McLean

In His Own Words

I was once told by a college professor that if one didn’t write or become written about, there would be no record of that person’s existence. This made me think of the extraordinary people that I have known who, using this criterion, would be ever forgotten by history.

So, I set out to write my own story. Then I got to work on those of others. There’s only so much time to get all of our stories out there!

I returned from Vietnam to attend college and study American History. I was eager to put my Vietnam experience into some historical context. In a post-Vietnam War America, that wasn’t exactly easy to do. Vietnam Veterans were not heroes like our fathers of World War II, and it wasn’t until decades later that the country began to appreciate our service.

For years, I struggled with PTSD and the after effects of Agent Orange, without knowing it. The problems were real, and it turned out the best way to deal with them was reconnecting with my fellow soldiers and remembering the fallen.

I decided to write my memoirs so that others facing the same challenges might have an easier road to recovery than I have. My hope is that my story, and the stories of the remarkable people I’ve come across can help you too.

In His
Own Words

I was once told by a college professor that if one didn’t write or become written about, there would be no record of that person’s existence. This made me think of the extraordinary people that I have known who, using this criterion, would be ever forgotten by history.

So, I set out to write my own story. Then I got to work on those of others. There’s only so much time to get all of our stories out there!

I returned from Vietnam to attend college and study American History. I was eager to put my Vietnam experience into some historical context. In a post-Vietnam War America, that wasn’t exactly easy to do. Vietnam Veterans were not heroes like our fathers of World War II, and it wasn’t until decades later that the country began to appreciate our service.

For years, I struggled with PTSD and the after effects of Agent Orange, without knowing it. The problems were real, and it turned out the best way to deal with them was reconnecting with my fellow soldiers and remembering the fallen.

I decided to write my memoirs so that others facing the same challenges might have an easier road to recovery than I have. My hope is that my story, and the stories of the remarkable people I’ve come across can help you too.

Jack’s Photographs

Experience Jack’s personal photographs from the Vietnam War, and learn more about Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division.

group of marines at paris island boot camp before vietnam war
vietnam marine veterans at reunion all wearing C Company motorcycle jackets