OinK! Only in Korea!
Korean DMZ, a story based on true events
This is a story about a young US Army intelligence officer who was stationed on the Korean DMZ in 1980. He volunteered for the assignment looking for some adventure during a period of peace in America. Up on the “Z”, there weren’t any Zombies but there were plenty of frightening things: mines, small arms fire, spies, infiltrators, frogmen, riots, a party that was nearly lethal and the worst affliction of all, the river blindness. It’s not a disease but it’s going down to the river at night and getting your eyes shot out. The lieutenant had two goals, doing a good job and coming home safely. He failed but the story of how he failed is fascinating.
David Osterhout came from a small town in east Texas. Although college educated, he joined the Army as a Private First Class. “What was I thinking?” ran through his mind on many occasions during the first year of enlistment. He went on to Officer Candidate School and became a 2nd Lieutenant. After a two year assignment in Alaska, he volunteered to go to Korea. That whole Korean episode is well chronicled in his book, including the hospital stay and 18 months of temporary retirement for rehabilitative purposes. After the Army, he worked for the Texas Department of State Health Services helping run hospitals for the next 32 years. He also found a military home with the Texas State Guard and currently holds the rank of Colonel. For more background on Mr. Osterhout and to see some pictures of Korea and read some rare news articles from that era, please visit his website at: www.davidosterhouttx.com
Top Customer Reviews
I found this book to be funny and heartbreaking
By Frank J. Hoffman on June 15, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
(Review by Jeannie Hoffman) After being an officer in the Army for 23+ years, I found this book to be funny and heartbreaking; realistic and tough,
with no holding back. I could feel myself shivering through the cold and feeling hungry, tired, and irritated at the sometime incompetence or lack of
common sense of some in leadership positions. I felt the short-lived relief of a hot steam bath, and sadness for the way of life of many women near the DMZ in Korea (and elsewhere). Soldiers will identify with the events that occurred in this book and find the humor as the usual medicine military folks rely on to carry on in rough times. They will also see how one presses on through pain to take care of his comrades and complete his tasks first. Although this is a novel based on events that happened while the author was in Korea, it pulls you into each fast moving minute as extremely real, humble, and without heroics – what a movie this would make! I’d like to add that this is a good read for anyone who might like a taste of what military life is like in a danger zone, like the DMZ in Korea then, and is still to this day. Five stars – hard to put down!
By Richard Irwin on June 18, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
This book was one of the best and most entertaining I have read in a long time. Learning the truth about the DMZ and the chaos that happens was very interesting. I would HIGHLY recommend this book as part of your military library.
I do not think you will be disappointed.
Again, outstanding read.
The real deal and funny as hell
By chris on September 15, 2015
Format: Paperback1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I spent a couple of short TDYs on the DMZ in the mid-90s, and this book brought a flood of memories back to me. While my time in Korea wasn’t nearly as eventful (as in 1%) as the author’s, Osterhout’s vivid descriptions of the approach to the dreaded DMZ and the crazy nightlife in the dark alleys of Korea are dead-on, and I was completely drawn into his memoir. I laughed out loud a couple of times at some (many) of the great anecdotes that fill this book. I felt like he and I were long-lost Army buddies sitting around trading war stories. You don’t have to have a military background to enjoy this great book; in fact, I think it would be a great primer for a non-serviceman to read if he was interested in seeing how day-to-day life in the machine can take on an ordinary, mundane existence punctuated with moments of pulse-pounding excitement and/or pisspants hilarity. Someday the two Koreas will be united, and it will be hard for my grandchildren to understand what I was doing on the DMZ, lying in my sleeping bag and listening to the ridiculous North Korean loudspeakers trying to convince me or my buddies to defect. In fact, it was hard for me to understand what I was even doing there at the time! This book will help me bridge that generational divide with my future heirs, and for that I thank the author.
OinK is a must read for anyone wanting to know what it is like on the Korean DMZ
By Kenneth D. Johnson on July 19, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This is the finest account of military service in Korea that I have read. Reading about life on the Korean DMZ as experienced by a young lieutenant has given me a greater appreciation of the struggles and sacrifice our soldiers have faced for many years in this troubled part of the world. Colonel Osterhout shared his personal experiences with the local nationals, other young lieutenants and staff officers, as well as the politics involved in maintaining a military career. I found myself unable to put this book down, wondering what excitement each new day would bring. I found myself laughing, concerned, and to the point of tears reading of the lieutenants experiences. My son served on the DMZ several years ago and returned a changed man. I will share this book with him because I know he was very proud to wear the 2nd Infantry Division patch! I highly recommend this book to anyone who has served in the military or has an interest in the Korean War.
To buy or see more of OinK! Only in Korea! by David Osterhout