Loon: A Marine Story

“Kids like me didn't go to Vietnam”

LOON: A Marine Story is Jack McLean’s powerful, first-hand account of some of the most tumultuous events in our history, both on the Battlefields in Vietnam and back home in America.

cover of LOON: A Marine Story by Jack McLean

"“[An] insightful, powerful, haunting, extraordinary memoir. LOON is a remarkable odyssey … It is a book that Mr. McLean was finally, blessedly, compelled to write.”

Jack McLean eating fruit during Vietnam War

A Book About The Vietnam War

A Marine’s Memoir About Landing Zone Loon

Dive into ‘LOON: A Marine Story’ to explore the journey of a boy from suburban comfort to the front lines of Vietnam, revealing a gripping tale of courage and transformation in America’s most controversial war.

“Kids like me didn’t go to Vietnam,” writes Jack McLean in his compulsively readable memoir. Raised in suburban New Jersey, he attended the Phillips Academy in Andover, MA, but decided to put college on hold. After graduation in the spring of 1966, faced with the mandatory military draft, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps for a two-year stint. “Vietnam at the time was a country, and not yet a war,” he writes. It didn’t remain that way for long.

A year later, after boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina, and stateside duty in Barstow, California, the Vietnam War was reaching its peak. McLean, like most available Marines, was retrained at Camp Pendleton, California, and sent to Vietnam as a grunt to serve in an infantry company in the northernmost reaches of South Vietnam. McLean’s story climaxes with the horrific three-day Battle for Landing Zone Loon in June, 1968. Fought on a remote hill in the northwestern corner of South Vietnam, McLean bore witness to the horror of war and was forever changed. He returned home six weeks later to a country largely ambivalent to his service.

Written with honesty and insight, LOON is a powerful coming-of-age portrait of a boy who bears witness to some of the most tumultuous events in our history, both in Vietnam and back home.

Following the reflective and poignant narrative of “LOON: A Marine Story,”FOUND” serves as a powerful companion piece, furthering McLean’s exploration of his journey before, during, and after Vietnam. Where “LOON” offers an unflinching look at the realities of combat, “FOUND” seeks closure and understanding in the peace that follows, showcasing McLean’s growth and evolution as a person.

Jack McLean is the author of the national bestselling memoir LOON: A Marine Story (Random House, 2009) and FOUND: A Veteran Story (HBP 2023.). 

Born in Huntington, NY, he was brought up in Summit, NJ. After graduation from Phillips Academy Andover in 1966, he enlisted in the United States Marine Cops. In the fall of 1968, he became the first Vietnam veteran to enter Harvard University. His thirty-year marketing career included senior positions with insurance broker Johnson & Higgins in Boston, Portland, and Charlotte. He later served as the founding managing partner of the Greater Washington (DC) Initiative.

Years after returning from Vietnam, and unknowingly Battling with PTSD, and the after-effects of Agent Orange, Jack began his road to realization, which paved the road to recovery. Jack decided to write his memoirs to help others facing similar challenges as ones that Jack has overcome.

McLean and his wife Nina live in Huntington. Jack has three daughters, Sarah, Martha, and Sylvia.

LOON: A Marine Story is available in paperback, on Kindle, and Audible.

Paperback Edition

  • ASIN: 034551016X
  • Publisher:Ballantine Books; 4/25/10 edition (May 25, 2010)
  • Language:English
  • Paperback:256 pages
  • ISBN-10: ‎ 9780345510167
  • ISBN-13:978-0345510167
  • Item Weight:7.8 ounces
  • Dimensions:5.16 x 0.56 x 8 inches

Kindle Edition

  • Publisher: ‎ Ballantine Books (May 7, 2009)
  • Publication date:May 7, 2009
  • Language:English
  • File size:2063 KB
  • Text-to-Speech:Enabled
  • Screen Reader: ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting: ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray: ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise:Enabled
  • Sticky notes:On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length:258 pages

Audible Edition

  • Listening Length: ‎ 7 hours and 29 minutes
  • Narrator: ‎ Chris Andrew Ciulla
  • Audible.com Release Date: April 23, 2019
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio
  • Whitesync for Voice: Ready

Readers interested in gripping tales of bravery, the intricacies of military history, and the profound personal stories from the Vietnam War will find “Loon” deeply compelling

Genres: military memoir, military biography, books about marines in Vietnam, books about the Vietnam War, books about the military, veterans day books, books for veterans

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cover of LOON by Jack McLean

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