John Colone is the type of man that’s described as a larger-than-life character. Today, he lives in Hell, Michigan, a town where he runs multiple businesses and is the unofficial mayor. But that’s not what’s really interesting about Colone. For the story that’s defined his life, we need to go back in time to the days of the Vietnam War.
In 1962 America had some 12,000 military personnel in Vietnam, doing what they could to shore up the government forces of South Vietnam in their conflict with the communist regime of the North. By 1965 the US Army had some 200,000 soldiers fighting on the ground.
American involvement in what increasingly looked like an unwinnable conflict continued to escalate. By 1967, no less than half a million U.S. troops were serving In Vietnam. The efforts of the infantry were coupled with a massive bombing offensive against North Vietnam. US Air Force Chief of Staff Curtis LeMay said, “We’re going to bomb them back into the Stone Age.”