Sauro, Christy

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Sauro, Christy

(Christy W. Sauro, Jr.

PERSONAL:

Married; wife's name JoAnn; children: Chris III (son), Angela, Sharon (daughters).

ADDRESSES:

Home—North Branch, MN. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer. Also worked in insurance. Military service: U.S. Marines, sergeant, Twins Platoon.

WRITINGS:

The Twins Platoon: An Epic Story of Young Marines at War in Vietnam, Zenith Press (St. Paul, MN), 2006.

Also contributor to periodicals, including Leatherneck and Reader's Digest.

ADAPTATIONS:

The Twins Platoon was adapted into a half-hour TV special, Spotlight—The Twins Platoon, FOX Sports North, produced by Trevor Fleck, 2007.

SIDELIGHTS:

Christy Sauro is a writer living in North Branch, Minnesota, with his wife and three children. A former United States Marine in the Twins Platoon, he served in the Vietnam War during the 1960s. Sauro has contributed his writing to publications such as Leatherneck, a magazine concerned with marine history and events, and Reader's Digest. In 2006, he published a detailed account of his and his fellow soldiers' experiences during Vietnam in The Twins Platoon: An Epic Story of Young Marines at War in Vietnam, which was released by Zenith Press. The book follows this select Marine Corps unit from the time they took their collective oath of allegiance during a Minnesota Twins pre-game baseball ceremony in 1967 to their tour in Vietnam. The Twins Platoon is organized into three consecutive sections, and each section contains several chapters that share a common theme. For instance, part one covers the period of time before the marines' arrival in Vietnam, including their swift initiation into the Corps, their training, and their boot camp experiences. Part two exclusively chronicles the widespread events surrounding the platoon's involvement in the war during the 1968 Tet Offensive campaign, and part three provides additional accounts of the happenings post return from Vietnam.

Sauro uses personal knowledge and materials supplied by numerous interviews with his former fellow marines to form his narrative. Although Roland Green, in a review for Booklist, commented that although the book "makes rather grim reading" due to the graphic nature of many of the depicted events and the personal testimonies of the author and others, he remarked that the text "adds respectably to the literature of the Vietnam War." Furthermore, Green noted that the author covers such encounters as the battles of Khe Sanh and Danang as well as the soldiers' frequent meetings with the many antiwar protesters and activists upon their return to the United States. An article in the Ugly Angel Memorial Foundation Newsletter stated that the book describes the "grim realities of post-war life in an America divided equally by steadfast patriotism and a growing anti-war sentiment." By "grim realities," the article refers to the hardships Vietnam veterans faced upon their return, including public discrimination and varied psychological illnesses, which Sauro portrays with literary realism. The article also acknowledged that Sauro uses "uncompromising honesty and graphic detail" in his writing. The increased interest in the Twins Platoon resulted in FOX Sports North producing an award-winning half-hour documentary on the subject shown in 2007 and 2008.

Sauro told CA: "One of the most rewarding things that I have experienced as a writer was witnessing how the book impacts the lives of many people in a variety of positive ways. In the book's preface I wrote, ‘I strongly believe publication of their experiences will benefit and touch the lives of other people in more positive ways than I can imagine.’ This has come to pass, with legislation in the Minnesota House of Representatives declaring March 29 to be Vietnam Veteran's Day."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, April 15, 2006, Roland Green, review of The Twins Platoon: An Epic Story of Young Marines at War in Vietnam, p. 25.

ONLINE

Twins Platoon Web site,http://www.twinsplatoon.com (June 30, 2008), author profile.

Ugly Angel Memorial Foundation Newsletter Online,http://www.hmm-362.us/ (June 30, 2008), "Ball Field to the Battlefield."