The Greatest Beer Run Ever: A Memoir of Friendship, Loyalty, and War by John “Chick” Donoghue and J.T. Molloy/ Blog Tour@ RandomThingsTours @AnneCater


“Hey, Collins!” I shouted up. “Tommy!” Tommy peered down into the
boat and did a double take. “Chickie?!” He scurried down the ladder
and grabbed me by the arms as if to see if I was real.
He looked bigger and stronger than when I’d seen him last, and he was
full of questions. “Chickie! Are you kidding me? How did you get here?
Are you nuts? What the hell are you doing here?!”
I pulled a beer out of my pack and handed it to him. “This is from the
Colonel and me and all the guys in Doc Fiddler’s,” I told him. “We all
talked about it, and we decided that somebody ought to come over
here and buy you guys a drink in appreciation for what you are doing.
Well, here I am! John ‘Chickie’ Donohue

THE GREATEST BEER RUN EVER: A Crazy Adventure in a Crazy War is the amazing
true story of a young man going to take his buddies a few cans of beer – in the heat of
the Vietnam war. In 1967 – having seen students protesting against the Vietnam war, some
New York City bar friends decided that someone should hop over to Vietnam to buy their
various neighbourhood army buddies a beer, to show them that SOMEONE appreciates
what they’re doing over there. One man was up for the challenge: John “Chickie” Donohue.
A U. S. Marine Corps veteran turned merchant mariner, Chickie decided he wasn’t about
to desert his buddies on the front lines when they needed him most.
Chickie set off on an adventure that changed his life forever. Armed with Irish luck and
a backpack full of alcohol, he made his way to Qui Nho’n, tracking down his disbelieving
friends one by one. But Chickie saw more of the war than he ever bargained for, unexpectedly getting caught up for a night on the front line in the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone), and for weeks in Saigon during the Tet Offensive. In the process of undertaking this well-intentioned but ill thought-through adventure, Chickie learnt a lot about himself and most importantly, changed his view on the Vietnam War, having seen first-hand the craziness of the whole endeavour and ultimately realising that the American government was lying to the American people.


This was a book that if you had no information about it you would think it too far fetched , even to be a work of fiction, but it isn’t it’s true. Basically Chickie takes it upon himself to be the bearing of good news from home and also BEER!

Without letting you know the complete story, it is suffice to say that Chickie is very patriotic and his government is in the right and the protesters against the Vietnam war are wrong und in his opinion traitors to the USA.

This is a short book that is written simply and is well written and finds you travelling a road well trodden with Chickie. The prose is simple and as you read on you find yourself agreeing and disagreeing with the books {hero}? as he discovers the country and its people and how his views might be subject to change.

In his own words:

Gradually, I began to see that the protesters, however disrespectfully, were at least
trying to stop this madness. They weren’t acknowledging that so many young men
were doing what they truly believed was their duty—to their country, their family, their
neighbourhood. They weren’t acknowledging that the soldiers were patriots, that they
were heroes. We, in turn, didn’t see at the time that the protesters loved our country,
too. What they didn’t like was our leadership. They were trying to stop more boys from
being killed for somebody else’s legacy. After what I’d witnessed on my journey, I could
definitely agree with that.

A book I think you would enjoy and one I would recommend.


John “Chickie” Donohue joined the United States Marine Corps at the age of
seventeen and spent several years as a Merchant Mariner after his discharge. His
work took him to numerous foreign ports, including Saigon during the Vietnam War.
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, a post in which he served for over three decades. Donohue is a
graduate of the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government where he
received his Master of Public Administration degree. He is happily married to Theresa
“Terri” O’Neil and spends his time between New York, Florida, and West Cork, Ireland.

2 thoughts on “The Greatest Beer Run Ever: A Memoir of Friendship, Loyalty, and War by John “Chick” Donoghue and J.T. Molloy/ Blog Tour@ RandomThingsTours @AnneCater

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