"LTC Hedley’s experiences can be summed up in the short phrase often seen in Vietnam amongst American troops. 'I am what others feared to be; I went where others feared to go; I did what others should have done.' Read the book and find the meaning in those few words."
Craig S. Carson, Infantry Company Commander in RVN, 1970-1971, 173rd ABN.
Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) John Hedley takes you deep inside a close-combat infantry unit in Vietnam in his first-hand narrative, "Saddle Up". Follow these hardened soldiers through some of the fiercest days of the Vietnam War. Feel the sense of camaraderie and unit cohesion that makes these men put their lives on the line for days on end. Gain an understanding of the shared danger and mutual respect that forges these men into a true "band of brothers". This riveting book provides clear insights into what makes men face mortal danger in war like none other on the market. Hedley’s writing style will captivate you from the start. I challenge you to put the book down! Truly a superb testimonial to the American fighting man.
Ray Rhodes, LTC (Ret), US Army
"Saddle Up is an intimate and intense tale compellingly told. It provides an insight into the special bonds forged among and between members of a US infantry reconnaissance platoon in the heat of battle in the sweltering jungles and rice paddies of Vietnam, and provides a glimpse into the very soul of the small unit combat commander who led them."
Dutch Hostler, COL (R), US Army
John Hedley literally wrenches his story of fighting in Vietnam directly from his gut. As an Infantry leader, he amply demonstrates throughout the story of his tour exactly what it took then and still, to this day, takes to instill in the men who comprise a unit a fierce loyalty and a strong will to successfully accomplish the harrowing missions that are assigned.

As an author, he brings the sights, smells and sounds that accompany the adrenaline peaks and ebbs that become a continuous and familiar cycle to those who must confront the enemy face-to- face. The honing of a combat unit’s discipline and keen instincts through highly effective leadership becomes familiar to those who have been in Hedley’s situation.

The fears that one must swallow and overcome are a great part of a combat leader’s normal day as he struggles against a largely unseen enemy that appears infrequently, providing an almost surreal backdrop to the rising tensions prior to actual contact in battle. This internal conflict is brought to the fore in this author’s highly accurate and extremely sound descriptions of his personal feelings.

Through all of his story, John Hedley relates the admiration and love for the men who are in his unit. His steadfast attention to the smallest details of his warrior craft coupled with his all- consuming care for their welfare most certainly brought the majority of his unit back home from the horrors of this war.

This book will enlighten those who reverently wish to follow in Hedley’s footsteps as a small unit leader. The book should become required reading for all who wish to pursue a career of excellence in our American military.
Scott Vickers, USMA 68
Saddle Up can be summed up in one sentence; combat veterans, particularly infantrymen and regardless of the era in which they fought, will not want to put this book down!

The author, LTC Ret. John Hedley, has superbly brought to life his unit’s experience in one of, if not the worst area in all Viet Nam to have fought, which his introduction covers in detail.

Countless books have described how tough Infantry combat is, and Hedley gets an A+ for that, but the value of reading and studying this book by junior military leaders can be the knowledge gained when John takes you inside his mind at critical times providing glimpses of how decisions actually occur under intense pressure. This in fact may be the book’s greatest strength, how he candidly describes the immediate initial shock of close quarters combat, simultaneously collecting his thoughts, overcoming the “Am I doing the right thing,” making the “harder right” decisions then displaying uncompromising, successful and dynamic leadership again and again when all Hell was breaking loose!

A close second in lessons that junior leaders can learn and emulate is how successful units can be when there is extreme cohesion and devotion to one another among its members. This comes from training then fighting to tough uncompromising standards wherein members develop great confidence in one another. “Fox Force” was all of this and more.

Find and buy Saddle Up. It is as good a chronicle of infantry small unit leadership and combat as exists!
Bob Hensler, Col (R), US Army Infantry, Vietnam Vet
"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." – Ronald Reagan

This book bleeds 110% of the raw emotion, stress and brotherhood that can only be experienced by those who lived it. If you were one of the warriors who literally bled, sweat and cried over brothers lost and a war unnecessarily given away, John’s experiences will be like a magnet that locks on to you at the first touch. Some thoughts that you thought were buried and long forgotten will instantly leap from the page… other thoughts that have always been there will seep from your memory as you read like water being pulled from a sponge by a slow, steady vacuum. Reliving the memories being evoked will make you laugh and smile, then weep and mourn with tears for lost comrades that were never fully shed.

For the families it will give you a glimpse into the unknown life of a soldier you thought you knew and understood, loving him even more when you begin to understand what our war was really like. It will give you an adrenaline rush as you swell with pride over the man of valor and courage that your teenage son quickly became.

For future soldiers, it will steel your hearts to the reality of the value of hard training, loyalty and proper planning.

Finally, for the curious reader who doesn’t even know a Vietnam veteran because our nation’s policies have separated we the people from the duty of shared responsibility, I pray that this book will motivate you to find a way to server the Republic that has given you more freedom than any country in the history of civilization.

The writer of this book and his Fox Force Brothers, past and present, have paid the price for all of us to enjoy the freedom that we must all defend each and every day.
T. Allen Barnes, 4th Infantry Division, Field Artillery