Twins Platoon story finally told (by Denise Martin of the Chisago County Press)

15 03 2006


Meet Christy Sauro, have him sign your book, and discuss The Twins Platoon Saturday, March 18, at Morgan & Company, 25 North Lake Street, Forest Lake. Sauro will be there 1 to 4 p.m.

On a partition wall in his insurance office Christy Sauro jr.
has tacked-up pages of printouts from a dozen internet warehouses
offering his book for sale…amazon-dot-com, shopzilla, barnes and
noble…it’s his way to affirm that, yes, this book release thing is really,
truly happening.
Sauro has put 15 years into gathering facts and anecdotes, collecting
photos, quotes and letters, and seeking out expert advice to complete
his book The Twins Platoon.

His wife and three kids have been sharing Sauro almost fulltime with
this passion since 1990.
Sauro said his daughter even wrote a school paper about her father
and the book. He wrote this book from when I was six to when I was
about 15, his daughter related. So I have lived my life hearing about
Vietnam. I have talked to and seen what an impact (the) book had on
the families of the ones he wrote about. The book brought closure to
part of their lives they did not know about.
“While it was a terrible war, I have seen good come out of it, his daughter
Sharon wrote in a writing class assignment.
All those years of methodical, patient and sometimes painful toil writing
the story of a group of Marines is ended now, leaving Sauro with mixed
As a self-described introvert, Sauro is entering the realm of public
author-slash-book promoter reluctantly.
Sauro has two talk radio shows under his belt and a cuple newspaper
interviews. Book-signings and group book discussion events are
coming up. Sauro spends hours reading e mails from readers who just
want to connect with him.
All this attention and publicity breaches his comfort zone, but Sauro
says it’s balanced by gratitude that the book seems to be generating a
positive effect.
Especially with this nation on-going committment in Irag, Sauro said,
we can always use a reminder that in wartime, it isn’t the warrior who’s
to blame for the conflict.
Sauro’s book “The Twins Platoon” is not a straight combat story.
In 288 pages it gets the reader inside the platoon members’ lives
before and after the war.
It also illustrates the disconnect between the reality of being inside
Vietnam and the atmosphere back home.

Only about two years daily military life passes in the book but the
political and psychological ground covered is great.
Sauro observed, “When I left, it seemed as though the majority of
people believed that we had to stop the spread of communism. The
people I encountered believed that every young able bodied male had
a patriotic duty to serve…all I received was praise for joining, which
culminated in the swearing in ceremony at Met Stadium.
When I returned in 1969 something was different. People were more
subdued in their reaction to my being in the military. The growing
division over our presence in Vietnam became increasingly apparent”. 
Sauro said his goal was to write a book …everybody could read and
could place themselves right in the same spot as the characters.
“I wanted it not to be dry”,  he explained.
He struggled with a first-person point of view and then decided a third
person narrative was the only way to do this book. “I tried it first person
and it just didn’t feel right,” Sauro said. “The book isn’t about me ‘s
about the group.

”The Twins Platoon” reads something like a journal, a little like a
military log and there’s plenty of dialogue. Black and white photos are
inside, some taken while in the service and others from later in the lives
of the platoon. The bookcover art is a Newsweek photograph with a
member of the platoon in the foreground.
Sauro said he did not keep a journal in Vietnam but he did rely on a
packet of letters he’d written which his mother saved. He re-read those
to jog his memory and he contacted platoon members or relatives of
platoon members. He also delved into the “bigger picture militarily.” He
wanted to set the platoon movements into the context of the military
strategy in the region. The prestigious endorsements the book has
received are testament to the accuracy and reliability of Sauro’s
This detail also adds dimension to the story that not even combatants
were typically aware of, he mentioned.
Sauro met no resistence in developing his book. He contacted platoon
members relatives and they spoke with him. He requested documents
and he got them.
It was as if he was supposed to do this book, Sauro concluded.
As the book came together he sought out the opinion of Vietnam War
chronicler Keith William Nolan, and Nolan read Twins Platoon and said
he really liked it. Nolan referred Sauro to a literary agent and the agent
introduced Sauro to editors and a publishing house with a
specialization in military stories.
“I am very optimistic, he said of those who will read “The Twins
Platoon” and talk about it; hopefully opening up communications with
those who served.
“There are people living in Minnesota from South Vietnam, Laos and
Cambodia who strongly supported the U.S. presence in Vietnam. On
the other hand there are some people in Vietnam who favored
communism and believed the United States was a foriegn nation
invading their country and trying to forcefully impose our form of
government on them.”
He added, “There will always be conflicting views. Unfortunately views
don’t always reflect the facts or the truth of the matter.
The majority view at one time was that the world was flat. The real
challenge for all of us is to continually seek the truth.”
Sauro, who lives in North Branch, will be book-signing and
participating in a group discussion about the book, Saturday, March 18
from 1 to 4 p.m. at Morgan & Company, 25 North Lake Street in Forest
He also has an event April 19 at Har Mar Mall Barnes and Noble and
he’s scheduled to be at the Anoka Historical Society in Anoka, April 22.
The book can be ordered directly through



2 responses to “Twins Platoon story finally told (by Denise Martin of the Chisago County Press)”

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