A Marine's Vietnam War Story
by Terry Presgrove
| About the Book
Event Horizon: A Marine’s Vietnam War Story is a memoir of my time in United States Marine
Corps: 1967-69, boot camp through returning home. The book zeroes in on operation Dewey
Canyon, at which time I was the artillery forward observer for Alpha Company, 1st Battalion,
9th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division. Dewey Canyon was the last major engagement by
the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. This work is an attempt to give the outside observer
a peek behind the veil and some pliable understanding into what a combat Marine in Vietnam
The extreme psychological impact of war on the individual combatant has been portrayed as an
event horizon, a boundary in spacetime beyond which events cannot affect an outside observer.
In layman’s terms, it is defined as “the point of no return,” i.e., the point at which the gravi-
tational pull becomes so great as to make escape impossible. Even light cannot escape. For
those who fought in the Vietnam War, and specifically for the Marines who fought in operation
Dewey Canyon, it is impossible to escape the experiences that have generated a paradox of
*Revolving Door memories that will forever both haunt and inspire us.
In the book’s concluding chapter, under the title “Unlearned Lessons of War, America’s
*Revolving Door war policies are addressed. Even though more than four decades have passed
since the Vietnam War, many of the same mistakes continue to be made today. The message of
this work is as relevant today as what you read on your favorite news app or see on the evening
news. In the Unlearned Lessons of War critique, the author points out some of the self-defeating
policies that have trapped our great nation.
Finally, In Appendix A, Terry delivers a spiritual message of hope to all the wounded and hurt-
ing folks who question their relationship with God. From our old warriors to the very young, no
one is exempt from feelings of hopelessness and despair. Even Christians find themselves
among the severely wounded, asking the question: Is there still any hope?
*The Revolving Door is the fourth chapter of Event Horizon.
Note from the Author
From a military perspective, the language in the memoir is relatively PG, but it’s not a children’s
book. It deals with the horrors of war and is definitely adult themed. For those who are offend-
ed by stark reality and double doses of salty language, this is probably a read to pass on. Except
for a few limits, I’ve tried to be faithful to what happened during my time in the Marine Corps,
warts and all.
Book Cover Blurbs
“Many sons and daughters of our great nation have served in combat zones during our sever-
al wars, both declared and otherwise. However, only something like 20 percent of that number
have served at the cutting edge, the fighters, the ones who make a difference. Terry Presgrove
was one of those fighters. He was my rifle company’s Artillery forward observer (FO) in
Vietnam: that was Company A, 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division...
The 9th Marines went into the A Shau Valley on Operation Dewey Canyon knowing that we
were in for a fight. We were going into our enemy’s back yard; he would have to confront us.
…on 22 February 1969 my company located the enemy force sought; I launched my assault
against them only to learn quickly that it was a bigger force than expected. The situation be-
came somewhat uncertain for us, especially after a mortar round hit among my command
group. Terry was wounded by that round a long with several others... he expresses in person-
al depth the feelings we all know during those moments of trauma with death all around us.”
Colonel Wesley L. Fox, USMC (Retired), Medal of Honor Recipient,
Author of "Marine Rifleman"
"A moving memoir that brings home the misery and horror of combat in the Vietnam War.
Terry Presgrove masterfully portrays the strong commitment among fellow Marines along with
classic examples of heroism and love of God and country. Event Horizon is a gripping, haunting
book, with stark descriptions and candid language."
David L. Nelson, JD, CPA, Captain, USMC, 1971-73,
Co-author of David & Lee Roy: A Vietnam Story
Corporal Terry Presgrove’s description of the action in Vietnam is accurate and leads the reader
to feel he was actually there with him. Like the vast majority of the members of 1st Battalion,
9th Marines, Terry had no idea that it would be a daily life and death struggle throughout his
tour. It was not only a desire to win the war, but it was a personal desire to survive."
Derl Horn, Corporal, Bravo Company 1/9, 3rd Marine Division, Vietnam 1967-68,
Author of Blood, Sweat and Honor: Memoirs of a Walking Dead Marine in Vietnam
“Powerful and compelling account of the way it was operating in the A Shau and Da Krong
valleys with a company size unit that rated officers as artillery forward observers and forward
air controllers, but relied on its survival with the valor and proficiency of Marine PFCs.”
Oscar Borboa, Corporal, Alpha Company 1/9, 3rd Marine Division,
“ The Walking Dead,” Vietnam 1968-69
Note: The green highlighted area is not included on the book cover due to limited space .
Al (Robert Albertini) and I went through the worst of the Vietnam War together. And after
being lost to each other for forty-nine years, we were reunited in 2018. Al was killed in a
motorcycle accident in October, 2019. I miss you, brother.
Full of love for country,
We were young once and lean,
Trained to do our duty—
United States Marines.
It was the best of times,
And the worst of times—
Filled with blood, sweat, and tears,
We laughed, we cried and cheered.
He always had my back,
In every firefight,
Regardless of the attack,
Or fear of the long night.
I will not beg to lie,
And cannot say goodbye,
Love you as a brother,