top of page

Randy Elliott's Moonscape: Thoughts of War

Moonscape: Thoughts of War is a must-read for all national politicians as well as everyone/anyone with a social conscience. It is not your typical war book at all ̶ you won't find statistics about weaponry, logistics, or shoot-em-up scenes. Instead, it is a probing, thoughtful, insightful reflection of a soldier who fought in the infantry in Vietnam, survived being almost mortally wounded, and ultimately went on to acquire a Ph.D. and retire from the army as a Brigadier General.

The author, Randy Elliott, highlights that "War has to be worth it." Lives are lost, shattered, and damaged forever. No one in combat is ever the same again. Such an incredible commitment like war cannot be done via capricious political decisions; only national interests can underlie and demand such actions, and even then, it has to be well managed and worth it.

"Moonscape: Thoughts of War, captures the reality of young soldiers sent to war. It is a haunting memoir that brings to life the terrors of combat and the psychological impact of being in life and death situations where sadly, the choice is that either one must kill or be killed. In this scenario, there is no room for politicians to merely say, "let's send in the troops." The US still has VA hospitals full of wounded soldiers needing care, and many others participated that are not in hospitals but carry the invisible wounds of war.

This powerful account illustrates some key issues of war: War is incredibly costly and must be done when our national interests are at stake, and there is no alternative. War is not a political plaything or something politicians can use at their whim. When war is undertaken, it has to be worth the lives of our sons and daughters, and if not, other options must be found and executed.

Two chapters in the book stand out as illustrative for the theme: Chapter 4, 'Diminutive men, Lion-sized hearts,' and Chapter 25, 'A line of Sweating Infantrymen.' They capture the feelings and experiences of soldiers' day-to-day experiences. One feels like s/he is in a combat zone and bears the same burden as an infantryman.

Randy Elliott authored this book based on his experiences as a combat commander in Vietnam. Just like as it is in a combat zone, the process of writing was not easy. It took him years to complete it and reach the conclusions he did.

Elliott is a native of Florida, graduated from Stetson University, where he was the honor graduate in his ROTC class. After a brief tour in Germany, he volunteered for the 101 "Airborne Division, then alerted for duty in Vietnam. He was assigned as a company commander and fought for 17 months, including the TET Offensive and seven other major engagements. He was wounded twice and awarded numerous medals for heroism. At present, he lives in Boca Raton, Florida, with his wife, Dr. Roberta Palestine.

Grab a copy of Elliott's book 'Moonscape: Thoughts of War,' available at

43 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page