About the Book 2017-05-26T18:50:36+00:00


Marines Never Cry: Becoming a Man When It Mattered is the story of Zeke Hammond, a baby boomer, who joined the Marine Corps and drove a 26-wheeler in the DaNang area and on convoys into “Indian Country” where danger lurked around every corner. Truck drivers in Vietnam, regardless of their branch of service, were the unsung heroes of the war. They risked life and limb in support of American and allied operations against Viet Cong insurgents and North Vietnamese Army regulars, bringing food, water, ammo and supplies—often under fire—to far-flung base camps and skirmishlines. 

Marines Never Cry also gives the reader a tragicomic glimpse of what it was like for rank-and-file Marines behind the scenes and off-camera, so to speak, both in Vietnam and on the home front. While in Vietnam, the people closest to him either died or were killed. Hammond has countless brushes with death in Vietnam and extraordinary life-changing moments after he came home and confronted his fiancé’s killer and a gang of vandals that ravaged the family farm.

Marines Never Cry is a work of fiction, but is inspired by true events and crafted to portray the thoughts, emotions and actions of real people in the context of the Vietnam War in 1966 and 1967. Where appropriate, names and other potentially identifying information have been changed. While some of the language, actions, thoughts or references may be jarring to some readers, it is a story that will make you laugh, cry, get mad … and appreciate another side of the Vietnam coin.

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“Marines Never Cry is a compelling account of a youth who strives to mature in the most challenging place possible … the Marine Corps and a confused, deadly war with the fears and frustration of mortal combat. There, his ideals and core beliefs are sorely tested and found wanting at times.

Throughout the book, he has reason to cry when he loses those closest to him, but he doesn’t. Tim Hall gives us a Vietnam equivalent of Catch 22 with his capacity to personalize not only his war, but also the unique life and experiences that molded this young man. You are joining a great group of Vietnam experienced veteran writers and your book is one of the best yet.”

Bob Fischer, Colonel USMC (Ret), Senior Advisor to 6th Bn., South Vietnamese Marines,
Vietnam 1966-1968 Author of Guerrilla Grunt, Covan and co-author
of The Miracle Workers of South Boulder Road.


“In Vietnam, we Marines learned quickly that war never goes well or as planned. Tim Hall brings that “lesson learned” home to a new generation of readers who have no idea what transpired fifty years ago, in a faraway Southeast Asian country. Through his main character, Zeke Hammond, an all-American kid from rural roots, Tim weaves actual tales of intrigue, levity, and danger that most people have never experienced or even thought of in their entire lives. He did change names to protect both the innocent and guilty alike. In this book, Tim aptly records United States Marines going about their daily routines of boredom and toil, of events both good and bad and the untimely dangerous exploits of Marines, who “never cry” until the war is over. Tim’s poignant book takes place in the mid 1960’s during one of America’s longest and costliest wars. Very well done, brother Tim!”

Grady T. Birdsong, Corporal, USMC 1st Bn., 27th Marines; 2nd Bn., 9th Marines,
Vietnam 1968-1969, Author of A Fortunate Passage and co-author
of The Miracle Workers of South Boulder Road.

“NEVER have I been so pissed at a character, happy with him, sad with him, humbled by him and cried because of him. Well, Zeke Hammond, the lead character in Tim Hall’s book, Marines Never Cry, made me feel all those emotions.  Hey, wait—isn’t that what the lead character in a good book supposed to do? Excellent read!!”

Wesley S. Love, Sergeant, USMC
3rd Battalion, 27th Marine Regiment
Vietnam, 1968


“Marines Don’t Cry is astonishing. I am serious when I suggest that you look into the process of making it into a movie.”

Mike O’Neill, Division Chief and Commander, Denver Police (Ret.)

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