Our site will be undergoing maintenance from 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 20. During this time, Bookshop, checkout, and other features will be unavailable. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Cookies must be enabled to use this website.
Book Image Not Available Book Image Not Available
Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:War & Military
  • Language:English
  • Pages:386
  • eBook ISBN:9798350901641
  • Paperback ISBN:9798350901634

Cheerful Obedience

by Patrick McLaughlin

View author's profile page

Book Image Not Available Book Image Not Available

The characters of this book highlight the men that America sent off to Vietnam in the 1960s and early 1970s. Damn good men ordered to fight a war that would tear at the social and family fabric of America. Cheerful Obedience is a story of duty, loyalty, and ultimately survival.


Navigating the stormy seas of the 1960s wasn't easy, especially if Vietnam was on your horizon. Ignoring his 2-S selective service deferment, Conor Patrick McKall volunteers for the draft, and Uncle Sam promptly deposits him in the Big Green Machine. Six months later McKall is walking point in jungles, rice paddies, and rubber plantations. In nine short months, he's made an infantry squad leader responsible for a dozen other grunts. In the "boonies," life is lived one day at a time. Joining McKall's squad is Jack "Red" Sheridan whose near-death encounter with a black panther presents challenges to his credibility from other members of Lima Platoon. When McKall stands with Sheridan, an unbreakable bond develops. They meet Red Cross Donut Dollies and together experience the infamous Black Virgin Mountain where the good guys control the top and the bad guys the rest. Escaping Vietnam for a handful of days on R&R in Sydney, Conor experiences Aussie hospitality and the attention of a green-eyed beauty who offers him a chance to escape the war. Loyal to his oath and to his men, Sergeant McKall barely has time to supplant the fading scent of Chanel before he and his squad must face their determined and deadly adversaries. The arbitrary gauntlet of Vietnam offers no guarantees.

About the author
Patrick McLaughlin volunteered for the draft even though he was 2-S deferred as a college student and entered the U.S. Army in July 1966. Six months later he was walking the point in Vietnam as an 11Bravo Infantry grunt. He soon was named a squad leader responsible for a dozen other soldiers assigned to "Dogface Charlie:" Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division (the famed "Big Red One"). He successfully walked the gauntlet of the Vietnam War emerging as a decorated combat soldier. General Richard E. Cavazos, Dogface 6, Patrick's battalion commander in Vietnam and an Army legend, described "'Mac' as the man who volunteered to walk the point more than any of the other 1,000 members of the battalion. It was not bravado, but McLaughlin's high sense of purpose and responsibility." In the Cleveland Plain Dealer article of December 30, 1984 (U.S. attorney nominee likes to 'walk the point'), Cavazos described McLaughlin as "one of the top combat soldiers he ever met in his 34-year Army career….'He could have my wallet anytime he wants it.'" The legacy of General Cavazos has been made manifest in that the Army has changed the name of Fort Hood to Fort Cavazos, Texas. According to McLaughlin, "The fort is now named after an American soldier that has earned it." Following military service, Patrick graduated from Ohio University, then Case Western Reserve University School of Law. He served in the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Ohio as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. Patrick rose to lead the office upon the appointment by the judges of the U.S. district court followed by the appointment of President Ronald Reagan as the United States Attorney. After ten years of service with the Department of Justice, he entered the private practice of law. He made his mark for 30 years in the private sector as an accomplished trial lawyer, the last 20 years heading his own firm. He is a retired Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Patrick has been inducted into the Ohio Military Hall of Fame, and the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame. Deciding to try his hand at writing a novel, he says "This is my debut product and I hope you find it worthy." Married for more years than he is permitted to say by his wife, Christine, they have three sons, and now three daughters, with nine exceptional grandchildren. The McLaughlin's all reside in the Greater Cleveland area. Patrick is writing a sequel to Cheerful Obedience so Conor Patrick McKall and others serving with him will be back. You may follow Patrick at PMMcLaughlin.com.