About The Owner

Mike Sutton Profile Photo

Mike Sutton

I grew up in East Texas, about halfway between Houston and Dallas—Carlisle in Trinity County. By the time I was 18, I found myself on the wrong side of the law in Chicago. A judge told me I could go to the Illinois State license plate factory.

Staff Sergeant E6

Staff Sergeant E6

Or I could provide him with proof of my enlistment in any branch of America’s Armed Forces. I left the courthouse, turned right, found an Army Recruiting Station a few blocks away. In the 60s, if you could fog up a mirror the Army would take you.

Combat Infantry Badge

Combat Infantry Badge

Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV)

Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV)

Not long afterward, in early 1964, I found myself in the Republic of South Vietnam (RVN) as a member of the Military Assistance Command—Vietnam (MACV) with approximately 18,000 other Americans. I spent the year mostly north of Saigon in Pleiku, Ban Me Thout, and finally as part of the team supporting the Vietnamese Military Academy in Dalat.

Bronze Star, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal

Bronze Star, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal

After returning to “The World,” I was assigned to Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. There I learned that the Army believed it was much easier to send successful “advisors” back to Vietnam than it was to make new ones, with “success” being defined as “survival.”
I probably misled the Army into thinking that was OK, since I’d reenlisted for six more years and I’d skipped a “Vietnam Orientation,” foolishly thinking that I’d learned more in a year than I could in an hour.

National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

My second tour in the RVN went in the opposite direction. The Mekong Delta was my home that year, mostly in Bac Lieu Province assigned to the 21st ARVN (Army Republic of Vietnam). By 1966 the Vietnam build-up was in full swing with Marine and Army units operating in unit strength, mostly north of Saigon.

Expert Rifle Badge

Expert Rifle Badge

Once again I returned to Ft. Bragg and spent a year there before being sent to Italy in 1968. Italy was a whole lot more livable than MACV. Again, there was a “Vietnam Orientation” and since I hadn’t cracked the code yet, I skipped it. In ’69… you guessed it, I received orders to return to MAC-V. Note to self…

During ’69 and ’70 I returned to the Mekong Delta and Bac Lieu Province. This time I was assigned to Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support (CORDS) Team 20.

By then, the war was going through the “Vietnamization” stage, a euphemism for “pulling-out,” which turned over more and more of the support and combat operations to indigenous personnel. However, MACV advisors continued to do what they had since becoming America’s first ante in Vietnam: train the troops, then accompany them on combat operations.

Presidential Unit Citation

Presidential Unit Citation

Organized directly under General William C. Westmoreland, CORDS consisted of a civil-military structure designed to pacify their areas of operation by training the local populations into Regional and Popular Forces (RF/PF) military organizations and improving the government’s responsiveness. The latter consisted of various CIA Rural Development organizations working to dig wells, build schools, and provide remote medical assistance.

VVA Life Member

VVA Life Member

In 1970 I returned to Ft. Gordon, Georgia. where I attended every Vietnam Orientation scheduled on the post. But alas, in early 1972 I received orders for… yup! However, I had less than 90 days until my reenlistment was up and once I pointed out to a crusty old warrant officer at personnel that I had no intention to “re-up,” the orders were rescinded.

VFW Life Member

VFW Life Member

In 1974, I finally learned that you can make more with your mind than you can with your back—unless you’re a plumber. I went to school, got a degree and was hired by IBM. It’s a long way from the bib overalls of Carlisle, Texas, to the three-piece suits of IBM and even farther from the Mekong Delta to “The World.” Life was great… and I was miserable.

The VA’s Vietnam Vet Outreach program was my salvation. Not for what it did for me, but rather for what it told me to do for myself… write.

And I did, about all the things I couldn’t talk about. That was the genesis of
No Survivors, my Vietnam novel. The title is based on the fact that no one can be associated with war at any level from any distance and not be inexorably changed by it. In that sense, in any war, there are no survivors. Based on real people and events during my three tours in Vietnam, the book is dedicated to the 58,260 names on The Wall, their families, friends, and all veterans.

In appreciation for all that my fellow veterans have done for me, and in recognition of the fact that well over 150,000 veterans are homeless on the street every night, I donate 50% of the royalties from No Survivors to various veterans’ support organizations.

No Survivors follows three infantry advisors: Hunter Morgan, a 3-tour vet fighting a war his country is fighting against; Army Medic Henry Small Deer, a full-blooded Sioux, who’d rather fight than stitch; Jesse Edwards, a naïve recruit with a hidden dark side, and Samantha Crawford, an Army nurse working in primitive operating rooms and rural hospital wards.

A spy has been planted in the advisors’ team house and, as a result, the enemy is waiting at every turn. Only luck, skill, and combat experience allow the advisors to survive the most inhuman ground assaults and bloody ambushes. Finally, the primary characters come to the bitter, painful realization that sometimes the life you give for your country… is not your own.

High Order by Mike Sutton High Order, my second novel, is based on actual Baltimore Bomb Squad cases. Again, the characters are drawn based on the bomb technicians, patrolmen, and detectives I met while doing research for High Order.

Grief can be the spawn of betrayal as well as death’s debris, and when it morphs into revenge, grief can fuel infernos Satan would envy. High Order draws a picture of the deadly results that betrayal can yield. It drives one man to serial murder; sends a victim’s husband on his own deadly campaign for revenge; and leads a third person to form a devastating plan to prevent his ex-wife from remarrying.

When Baltimore’s citizens are in a jam, they call the police. When the police need help, they call the Emergency Services Unit, AKA the “bomb squad.”

Lead bomb technician Hunter Morgan learned many valuable lessons during his three tours in Vietnam, but none more powerful than this: People are never more dangerous than when they feel they have nothing left to lose. Morgan, homicide detective Andrew Hermann, and journalist Dusty Rhodes form an unlikely trio in a desperate race to deal with the explosive results of the three intertwined cases.

My son Brian and his cousin man the “Thin Blue Line” in Colorado and Texas. In tribute to my family’s involvement and the many members of the Baltimore City and Baltimore Country police forces and bomb squads who assisted in the writing of High Order, 50% of the royalties is donated to various state and local police support organizations.

Front-JacketNow, Primary Candidates is available in hardcover, paperback, and Amazon’s Kindle formats. In writing High Order, I made many contacts and good friends in the law enforcement community.

The current situation in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs shows that veterans are seriously under supported. Thankfully, there are many outstanding private groups stepping in to assist our brothers and sisters in arms.

Since many in law enforcement and current and recent members of the military were so critical to the creation of Primary Candidates, I am donating 50% of the royalties to various law enforcement and veterans’ support groups.
Thanks for visiting. I wish you well!

Mike Sutton
Life Member Of:
American Legion
Combat Infantrymen’s Association
Disabled American Veterans
VetFriends
Veterans of Foreign Wars
Vietnam Veterans of America

Send to Kindle