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Vietnam combat veterans to speak Nov. 12

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Last updated November 7, 2015

By Tina Underwood

Two Vietnam combat veterans and authors J. L. Bud Alley, and James T. Lawrence, will speak Thursday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m. in Watkins Room of the Trone Student Center on campus.

J.L. Bud Alley

J.L. Bud Alley

The event, “The Agony of Vietnam: A Discussion With Two Combat Veterans,” is free and open to the public. The discussion is sponsored by The Friends of the Furman University Libraries and the Furman Department of History. It is part of Furman’s Cultural Life Program.

Bud Alley, Furman Class of 1964, is author of The Ghosts of the Green Grass: The Journey of the Second Battalion Seventh Cavalry Into the Hell of the Ia Drang Valley in 1965. At age 23, Alley was Second Lieutenant when he and the Second Battalion went into battle against the North Vietnamese Nov. 17, 1965 at a spot dubbed Landing Zone Albany. Outnumbered 350 soldiers to 1,125 North Vietnamese, the Battalion suffered 155 losses by nightfall.

Over the 50 years since these battles, Alley has maintained friendships with his fellow soldiers, and discovered that he was not alone in his nightly clashes with the ghosts of war.

James T. Lawrence

James T. Lawrence

Jim Lawrence, another survivor of the battle, is a 1963 graduate of the Citadel and author of Reflections on LZ Albany: The Agony of Vietnam. He was promoted to First Lieutenant in the Second Battalion just before the Ia Drang campaign. His personal account of the battle, known to many as “the single bloodiest day of the Vietnam War,” delves into the heart, horrors, and soul of combat.

Copies of the authors’ books will be available for purchase, and Alley and Lawrence will be on hand after the discussion to sign copies.

For more information, contact Kathy Hamlin (864) 294-2191 at the James B. Duke Library, or


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