The year is 1965. Allen R. Fitzpatrick is a nineteen-year-old on the brink of adulthood when he gets a letter from the local draft board telling him that it's his turn to serve his country. It's time to go.
Duster Duty, 1967: A Rhode Islander in Vietnam is a chronicle of Fitzpatrick's thoughts as he finds himself on the other side of the world manning light armored air-defense and ground support guns known as M42 Dusters. Along the way, he hears others talk about past battles such as the Korean Conflict and World War II, but this is Fitzpatrick's world—whether or not he understands it.
Talking about the M42 Duster, he doesn't dwell on its role in combat but rather on the experience of maintaining such a fighting machine. Fitzpatrick explains what it's like to go with a group of young men to combat…and what it's like to return to a country that is angry, both at the war itself and at the unsuspecting soldiers returning from duty.