News Update - 02/08/2016
Texas A&M University Press will release
Lanning’s Texas Aggies in Vietnam:
War Stories this fall.
The following is from the book’s Introducton:
For more than 150 years
Texas Aggies have answered their country’s call in time of war. From
the Spanish American War of 1898 to the current conflicts in Iraq and
Afgananstan, Aggies have stepped forward.
Vietnam was no different.
Wars topple thrones, replace
leaders, change borders, and leave death and havoc in their wake. The results of warfare have been
instrumental in forming the future and their outcomes have been the single
greatest factor in choices available to all peoples. Religion, politics, academia, and
philosophy have certainly contributed to the twist and turns of history,
but these cultural and political factors have only been able to exert their
influence when tribes, kingdoms, or nations united behind a strong military
force to win battles to ensure their freedom and way of life.
However, with the passage of time sworn
and hated enemies often become stauch allies and valuable trading
partners. For those who fight the
wars and make the sacrifices, the passage of time does not necessaily
greatly change their opinions of those they faced on the battlefield. Warriors may forgive, but they never
forget. Their stories are memories
that do not fade.
Ultimately, history is generally written by
gray-bearded academics and scholors.
Their classroom education and teaching experience may be impressive,
but few have actually experienced the exillaration and smells of ground
combat, or felt the adrenline rush of taking evasive measures to keep a
telephone size SAM rocket from knocking you out of the sky. These academic historians may accurately
relate the poitical, economic, and social background to warfare, but they
rarely, if ever capture the fear, misery, hardship, and viseral reactions
of those who actually fight the wars.
This book is not an
overall history of the war in Southest Asia, but it does reveal the inner
truths of Texas Aggies who served in
Vietnam. Their words echo the pride,
passion, fear, fatigue, and frustration
that only veterans can share.
Many of these stories are those shared by veterans when they get
together at reunions or over a cold drink in their homes. Others have been left unsaid now for near
a half century. These stories may
not detail the story of the entire war—but they do chronicle the thoughts
of those who fought. Rather these stories are the war as actually seen
through the eyes and recorded from the memories of the grunts, cannon
cockers, jet-jockies, peter pilots, REMFs, and other service and support
It is really no surprise that few of these
Aggie war stories highlight great victories, huge body counts, or near
aniliation of the enemy. Instead
they are the stories that remain in the far reaches of our minds—about
wounds suffered, friends lost, hardships endured, and often just a great
wonderment on how we survived.
Some Aggies answered the
call for service in Vietnam with enthusiasm and vigor and as army and
marine cadets volunteered for the infantry and airborne and ranger
training. Aggressive air force
cadets sought to join the ranks of fighter pilots. Some cadets were not so enthusiastic to endure the hardships of direct combat
and the dangers of fighting in the air and on the ground. Still, they stepped forward to do their
duty in rear and support positions.
There are no exact figures
on just how many Aggies, graduates and non-graduates, served in Vietnam or
in other duties during the war.
Between 1962 and 1973 the Corps of Cadets commissioned nearly 4,000
officers. Considering the fact that
some of these officers did not go to Vietnam and that other Aggies who were
not in the Corps ended up on active duty through the draft or as
volunteers, that number is 4,000 is a good estimate of those who actually
served in Southeast Asia.
Those fortunate enough to
survive the war came home to babies born, children a year older, wives not
seen for a year, church pews left vacant, hunting seasons missed (deer,
upland birds, waterfoul, but not men), and sports events not attended. Those who did not remain in uniform as a
career, returned to civilian life and the work force to find that they were
two years or more behind their contempories who had avoided sevice for one
reason or another.
In recent years a much
overused statement about Vietnam veterans says, “All gave some, some gave
all.” When it comes to support the
war lent my America’s highest institutes of learning, it might be added
that “some gave much more than others.”
One hundred and ten Aggies fell in Vietnam or its surrounding countries
and waterways. Another 100 others
died of training or other accidents, disease, or additional dangers during
the long conflict. The only
institutions to exceed those number in losses are the U.S. Miltary Academy
that lost 273, the U.S. Air Force Academy with 205, and the U.S. Naval
Academy with 130.
military schools across the country also made sacrifices. The Citadel suffered 76 deaths, Virginia
Military Institute 43, North Georgia 27, Virginia Polytechnial 26, and
This service and loss
suffered by these few institutions did not extend across the country or
even Texas. Universities were more
incubators and centers for desent and protest than for support of the war
and its warriors. The pretegious
eastern universities of Harvard, Princeton, and MIT lost a combined total
of 20 graduates. Closer to home, the
major institutions of higher education in Texas lost few of its graduates
to the war. Most have no records of
who served or died. Extended
requests to university communications directors and public relations
personnel reveal that Texas Tech University and Texas Christian Univesity
lost about seven graduates each. The
University of Texas at Austin states in its history of its ROTC department
that four Longhorn graduates fell in Vietnam.
For those who returned
home on their feet rather than in a metal casket or left behind with
their bones in unmarked graves as
MIAs, Aggie Vietnamn veterans moved on to become local, state, and national leaders.
It has been noted that
there is really only one story to come out the Vietnam War—we all just tell
it differently. The following are
News Update -
following, written by Mike Beggs, appeared in the
January, 2016 edition of the Texas
A&M University Class of ’68 Newsletter.
“The Class of 1968 contains many notable men, including
several distinguished military officers, some of whom became generals in
various services; successful businessmen; politicians and public servants;
and authors. Our classmate Michael Lee Lanning, known to most of us
simply as “Lee”, fits into two of those categories; distinguished military
officer and author. After a career of over 20 years in the Army, Lee
went on to publish 20 books of military history, some of which have become
primary reference sources for historical military operations in
Vietnam. Lee has been a primary speaker at national level historical
conferences as well at conferences on military film in Washington D.C. and
Boston. He has appeared on the History Channel, NPR, and on CBS. His
books have been or are on the Commandant’s Reading List at the Infantry
Center, Armor School, Command and General Staff College, War College, Coast
Guard Academy, U.S. Military Academy, and the U.S. Marine Corps, as well as
being on the reading lists for college courses throughout the country.
Lee continues to write, with a book entitled Texas Aggies
in Vietnam: War Stories currently in the process of
publication. Recognizing that he, along with the rest of us in the
Class of ‘68, graduated from college almost 50 years ago, Lee felt that the
time was right for him to donate the various research materials,
memorabilia, and other source material that he has used in his writings to
the collections at Cushing Memorial Library at A&M. He did so on
November 20, 2015, donating 17 boxes of various books, materials,
artifacts, and documents to the library as the Michael Lee Lanning
Collection, for use by any future writers or researchers interested
in the military history genre, particularly Vietnam. The presentation
ceremony was held at Cushing, with quite a few of Lee’s classmates,
particularly his “Spider D” pals, in attendance. Following the
presentation, Lee hosted a lunch at a local restaurant, where we were able
to chat and catch up on one another. Congratulations to Lee, and
thanks for your service and your contributions to our research database at
News Update - 01/04/2015
signing of Tony Buzbee: Defining Moments
2421 Bissonnet St
7-9 pm February 13, 2015
317 23d Street
2-4 pm February 21, 2015
News Update - 01/03/2015
Lanning is currently
under contract with the Texas A&M University Press for a book
Texas Aggies in Vietnam: War Stories.
News Update - 12/12/2014
John Hardy Publishing/Iron Mountain
Press has released Tony Buzbee:
From the Amazon.com
listing: A portrait of Anthony Buzbee, "one of the most successful trial lawyers
in the country. Profane, flamboyant, and fragrantly aggressive, he's
something of a throwback to an earlier generation of trial lawyers whose
favorite place in the world was on their feet in court wearing out some
Barnesandnoble.com, “Not since flamboyant, fringed-sleeved Gerry Spence has
the courtroom seen anyone who can compare to Tony Buzbee.
His fame and reputation increases with each successive judgment—including
multi-million dollar victories against mega corporations, such as BP and
the Ford Motor Company, and government entities such as FEMA and the Texas
Windstorm Insurance Association. Tony Buzbee—a
product of a small-town upbringing in East Texas, an education at Texas
A&M, the training of the United States Marine Corps, and the experience
at the University of Houston Law School—is driven to succeed. He has
created the reputation and the reality of a man not to be crossed in the
courtroom or elsewhere by working extremely hard to be the best prepared
lawyer in any trial and at every settlement discussion. He is a loyal
friend and a ferocious enemy. He cares about what is right; his goal is
doing the right thing.‘In his mid-40s now, Buzbee is still a young man—especially among the ranks
of highly lauded trial lawyers. Still Buzbee
seems almost obsessed with continuing to be one who represents the
unrepresented and who gives hope to the hopeless in the legal arena. He is
totally immersed in and exhilarated by the contests that he sees as David
v. Goliath, poor v. rich, small v. big, the haves nots
v. the haves, and good v. evil.”
News Update - 02/17/2014
June 2014, Stackpole Books, America’s oldest publisher of military
books, will release my Tours of Duty: Vietnam War Stories.
These are the stories Vietnam vets tell each other at reunions and
over beers. It includes episodes of valor, hardship, humor, and
everything in between from more than forty veterans of the Vietnam
War and covers all branches of service and all areas of operation in
Southeast Asia. It is available for pre-orders from Stackpole, Amazon,
or other internet stores. I am currently under contract by the John
Hardy/Iron Mountain press for a bio of a major, and controversial,
Houston attorney. Details to follow.
News Update - 01/25/2014
the past two years I have had some additional health problems but
with the help of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and
my continued raw vegan, no fruit, green diet that includes wheat
grass, juicing, avoidance of sugar, oxygen treatments and
exercise I am feeling well and continue to write. My wife, Linda,
and I have recently released our story of fighting cancer. The
book’s promo follows: At War With Cancer: One Couple's Strategic
Battles for Survival Using Both Traditional and Alternative
Treatments by Michael Lee Lanning (Author) , Linda Moore-Lanning
When diagnosed with Stage IV kidney cancer, LTC (Ret) Michael
Lee Lanning faced a new and fearsome enemy that the doctors said
would kill him in 6-18 months. Instead of accepting this as his
fate, Lanning, with the help of his wife Linda, pursued
strategies--both conventional and alternative--to battle his
disease and fight for his life. This book tracks the Lannings' war with cancer from diagnosis to
survival, from exploring traditional treatments at M. D. Anderson
Cancer Center to transitioning to a raw vegan lifestyle learned
at Hippocrates Health Institute, from enduring the depths of
despair to embracing the heights of hope. Their experiences and
insights shared here is the information they sought for
themselves when Lanning was first diagnosed.
News Update - 02/01/2012
Double T Double Cross rolled out to an
enthusiastic reception in November 2011
The initial book signing at Lubbock’s Barnes& Noble
had a line of more than 300 customers. Subsequent signings in
Amarillo, San Antonio, Austin, College Station, and anther
back in Lubbock also drew crowds. Several athletic directors
of major universities contacted the publisher for copies.
Sources have told me that DTDC may have played a role in the
job offers Mike Leach received. Leach was hired as the head
football coach at Washington State University a short time
News Update - 11/02/2011
Lee's newest book entitled "Double
T - Double Cross" will be available for
purchase beginning November 10. By clicking
here, you can access Scottsdale Book Publishing's
website to pre-order your copy today.
News Update - 06/10/2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Scottsdale Book Publishing Announces Author of
"Double T - Double Cross"
"Double T - Double Cross",
the anticipated book from Scottsdale Book about the
firing of former Texas Tech football coach Mike
Leach, has a captain and crew.
Michael Lee Lanning is the author of the book, and
he is working with a team of researchers to examine
every detail and major event surrounding Texas Tech
University’s decision to fire the most successful
football coach in school history.
“Michael Lee Lanning's writing style provides an
impartial insight of the facts and his ability to let
the reader decide why Texas Tech would fire the man
who brought victory and fame to their University,”
said Scottsdale Book Publishing owner Dean Wegner.
Lanning and his research team are poring over an
array of court documents and depositions, conducting
interviews, and attempting to get reactions from key
players in the firing.
“I have never been a big sports fan,” Lanning
said. “But this fascinates me. There is depth to this
story that will interest not only football fans, but
people who value intrigue and what happens behind the
scenes – especially when you consider all of this was
happening at a university that gets taxpayer
His research team includes legal analysts,
professional researchers and a sports journalist
whose main responsibility is to get responses from
key participants in the firing, including Texas Tech
officials, the James family and companies who they
contracted to shape public opinion about Coach Leach.
Leach has already declined comment on the book and is
not participating in its publication.
Lanning’s goal is to make "Double T -
Double Cross" the definitive source that
ties all of the complicated facets of the Leach
firing into one publication.
"Double T - Double Cross"
is just one more jewel in Lanning’s writing resume.
He is the author of over 18 non-fiction books on
military history, selling over a million copies in 15
countries. His work has been translated into 11
The New York Times called his book, Vietnam
1969-1970: A Company Commander’s Journal“,
"One of the most honest and horrifying accounts
of a combat soldier’s life to come out of the Vietnam
He has also appeared on major television networks
and The History Channel as an expert on the
individual soldier and addressing the real life
involvement of war.
Before becoming an author, Lanning served more
than 20 years in the U.S. Army, retiring as a Lt.
The projected release date for "Double
T - Double Cross" is early fall of 2011.
Scottsdale Book Publishing is taking pre-orders at doubletdoublecross.com.
It will also be available at popular websites,
News Update - 06/01/2011
In 2003 I had my right kidney removed due to a
cancerous tumor. For the next three years I had
tests every six months to check to see if the
cancer had returned. All my tests were negative
until June 2006 when the doctors found new
tumors. This weekend marks five years since I was
diagnosed with Stage 4 kidney cancer (renal cell
carcinoma) and given 6-18 months to live. After
some very negative reactions to conventional
medication, I began a wheat grass, green juice,
raw vegan, no fruit diet with supplemental oxygen
twice a day and daily exercise. The principles of
the diet are simple. Sugar feeds cancer, oxygen
fights cancer, let the body heal itself through
good nutrition, exercise so the body knows you
want to stay alive.
The green regime proved very effective with no
new tumors or tumor growth for about two years. At
that time the tumor in my right bronchial tube
began to grow and block my air way collapsing my
right lung and leading to pneumonia. Doctors in
Phoenix gave me 2-4 months and said that I
“already lived longer than I should have” with my
disease. We went back to MD Anderson in Houston
for a second opinion. A rigid bronchospopy
(they put me under, go down my throat with a
camera and laser and clean it out) cleared the
airway—at least for a while. Over the next year
and a half we returned to Houston for nine
additional rigid bronchs.
It worked—at least for a while.
Number 9 in early May 2010, with the addition
of a stent, lasted less than a month before my
lung again collapsed inducing pneumonia.
After bronch number
10, my doctor said the tumor would only continue
to grow and that any more similar procedures
would be extremely dangerous. He referred me to a
thoracic surgeon who operated on June 30 to
remove the lower and middle lobes of my right
lung—and more importantly, the tumor as well. A
month later and in another operation they removed
my right adrenal gland. This was supposed to have
eliminated all the threatening tumors but within
days I became ill. I began to lose my sense of
balance, hearing and sense of taste. Still
another operation, a gamma knife laser, removed a
tumor in brain in October. The first thing the
doctor told me upon completion of the procedure
was “you will write again.” After a lengthy
recovery, I am doing well—and indeed writing
We are extremely happy with these advancements.
The general policy for Stage 4 kidney cancer
patients is to not to approve such surgeries
because of the lack of confidence in the
viability of the patient.
Despite the recent setbacks, I have had a
mostly normal life over these past five years—a
very good life with no regrets or apologies. If I
have learned anything, it is: 1. Always seek out
the best for treatment. 2. Only have them remove
one of what you have two of. 3. You only get to
give up once.
During this time we have also returned to the
Bolivar Peninsula on the Texas Gulf Coast. Our
home there was destroyed by Hurricane Ike in
September of 2008. We have rebuilt and are happy
to be back on the beach. Life is good.
News Update - 11/30/2010
During the months since the last update, Lee
has spent far more time in the hospital and
healing than at the computer. Several major
surgeries and many “minor” procedures to
fight his cancer have extremely limited any
writing—but he is feeling much better now and
is improving daily. He continues to work on
his “cancer book” as well as several other
Lee was notified in August that Hobby
and Work Publishing Company has
translated and published his “The
Military 100” in Italian. His Italian
grandmother would have been proud. This is
the twelfth foreign printing and the eleventh
translation of the book.
Page last updated 01-05-15
2015, DM Promotions & Michael Lee
Lanning, all rights reserved.