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“Chickie takes us thousands of miles on a hilarious quest laced with sorrow, but never dull. You will laugh and cry, but you will not be sorry that you read this rollicking story.”—Malachy McCourt
Soon to be a major motion picture written and directed by Peter Farrelly, who won two Academy Awards for Green Book—a wildly entertaining, feel-good memoir of an Irish-American New Yorker and former U.S. marine who embarked on a courageous, hare-brained scheme to deliver beer to his pals serving Vietnam in the late 1960s.
One night in 1967, twenty-six-year-old John Donohue—known as Chick—was out with friends, drinking in a New York City bar. The friends gathered there had lost loved ones in Vietnam. Now, they watched as anti-war protesters turned on the troops themselves.
One neighborhood patriot came up with an inspired—some would call it insane—idea. Someone should sneak into Vietnam, track down their buddies there, give them messages of support from back home, and share a few laughs over a can of beer.
It would be the Greatest Beer Run Ever.
But who’d be crazy enough to do it?
One man was up for the challenge—a U. S. Marine Corps veteran turned merchant mariner who wasn’t about to desert his buddies on the front lines when they needed him.
A day later, he was on a cargo ship headed to Vietnam, armed with Irish luck and a backpack full of alcohol. Landing in Qui Nho’n, Chick set off on an adventure that would change his life forever—an odyssey that took him through a series of hilarious escapades and harrowing close calls, including the Tet Offensive. But none of that mattered if he could bring some cheer to his pals and show them how much the folks back home appreciated them.
This is the story of that epic beer run, told in Chick’s own words and those of the men he visited in Vietnam.
John “Chick” Donohue joined the United States Marine Corps at the age of seventeen, then became a Merchant Mariner after his discharge. After the war, he became a Sandhog, or tunnel builder, and eventually became the Legislative and Political Director of Sandhogs, Local 147, Laborers International Union of North America., and graduated from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government He is married to Theresa “Terri” O’Neil.
J.T. Molloy was a staff reporter and columnist at the NY Daily News, the NY Post, and New York magazine. She has written for Politico, Esquire, and Interview. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son.