News and Updates

 

News Update - 17/05/17

 

 

Lanning has several books at the publishers or in the process of being written.

Double T Double Cross: The Firing of Coach Mike Leach will be re-released by the John Hardy Press this Fall. It contains a new introduction and an update on what has occurred since its original 2011 release.

The John Hardy Press will also publish Dear Allyanna in the late fall. This is a book of Lanning’s farewell advice, remembrances, and things learned for his granddaughter.

The Texas A&M Press will publish Last Formation, Final Parade: Texas Veterans Cemeteries in the Spring of 2018 as a pictorial narrative.

Lanning is currently working on a book under contract by the Texas A&M University Press for a book on Hispanic American Medal of Honor Recipients.

 

 

 

 

 

 

News Update - 04/15/2017

 

Inside Force Recon will be released on June 1 by Stackpole Books. is due to launch November 2.  This is an updated, reissue of the 1989 edition. It is currently available for preorder on Amazon and B&N as well as other internet sites. 

 

Inside Force Recon

 

 

News Update - 01/11/2016

 

 

The November edition of Texas Monthly has an article titled “Can This Man Cure Cancer” by Eric Benson. The article contains information on the immunotheorpy clinic trial that Lanning has participated in since last year. It contains quotes from Lanning on his thoughts about the program. The article is available on the Texas Monthly website.. 

 

 

 

News Update - 01/10/2016

 

 

History Now 46 ( Fall 2016) included Lanning’s article “African Americans in the Revolutionary War.” It can be found online at www.gilderlehrman.org/history nov/2016/10.  It contains a chapter by Lanning titled African Americans in the American Revolution.

 

 

 

 

 

News Update - 06/06/2016

 

Texas Aggies In Vietnam: War Stories is due to launch November 2.  It is already in the TAMU Press fall catalog and is on Amazon and Barnes and Noble for pre-orders.  The book will likely ship sometime in October.

 

Texas Aggies in Vietnam

 

From its inception, graduates of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, now Texas A&M University, have marched off to fight in every conflict in which the United States has been involved. The Vietnam War was no different. The Corps of Cadets produced more officers for the conflict in Southeast Asia than any institution other than the US service academies. Michael Lee Lanning, Texas A&M University class of 1968, has now gathered over three dozen recollections from those who served.

As Lanning points out, “anytime Aggie Vietnam veterans get together—whether it is two or two hundred of them—war stories begin.” The tales they relate about the paddies, the jungles, the highlands, the waterways, and the airways provide these veterans with an even greater understanding of the war they survived. They also allow glimpses into the frequent dangers of firefights, the camaraderie of patrol, and often humorous responses to inexplicable situations.

These revelations provide insight not only into the realities of war but also speak to the character of the graduates of Texas A&M University. As Lanning concludes, “these war stories are as much a part of service as is that old green duffle bag, a few rows of colorful ribbons, and a pride that does not diminish. In reality, there is only one story about the Vietnam War. We all just tell it differently.” 

 

 

News Update - 06/01/2016

 

 

The Routledge Handbook of the History of Race and the American Military, edited by Geoffrey W. Jensen, has been released by the Routledge Press of the Taylor & Francis Group of New York and London.  It contains a chapter by Lanning titled African Americans in the American Revolution.

 

 

News Update - 05/16/2016

Lanning has signed a contract with the Texas A&M University Press for a history of veterans cemeteries in the state of Texas—title to be determined.  Likely release is late 2017 or early 2018.

 

 

News Update - 05/11/2016

Lanning participated in the MD Anderson Cancer Center’s clinical trial in testing a new immunotherapy procedure last summer.  His most recent tests came back “Stable” with no growth of old tumors or signs of new ones.  Next month will mark the ten year anniversary of Lanning’s diagnosis of Stage 4 Kidney Cancer when he was given 6-18 months to live.  He continues a close relationship with doctors at MD Anderson and remains on his mostly raw vegan; no sugar, fruit, caffeine, alcohol; wheat grass and sprout drinks diet reinforced by exercise and daily oxygen treatments.

 

 

News Update - 05/01/2016

Stackpole Books, the oldest publisher of military history in the United States, has announced that they will release Inside Force Recon: Recon Marines in Vietnam (co-written with Ray W. Stubbe) in March of 2017.  Originally published by Ivy Books/Random House, the book has been out print for several years.

The following is the introduction to the 2017 Edition:

 

            Inside Force Recon: Recon Marines in Vietnam was first released as an Ivy Books imprint of Random House in 1987.   At that time, few outside the United States Marine Corps and the enemies they faced on the battlefield had ever heard of the elite Force Recon units.  As the authors, we are proud that we brought well-deserved recognition to those brave recon marines who fought in Vietnam.  We also look on with pride at the more than a dozen books about Force Recon and its warriors that followed over the next decade.  The most satisfying acknowledgements we received were from the Force Recon marine veterans themselves.  Although some complained about a soldier and a sailor writing their history, they mostly expressed their appreciation for finally having their story told.

            Inside Force Recon remained in print by Random House for nearly 25 years, accumulating sales of more than 106,000 copies—a remarkable record for a book of any type or genre. When the publisher elected to take the book out of print and we received the rights back, we had no trouble convincing Stackpole Books to re-release the book as this 2017 edition.

            While the dedication, courage, determination, and skills of Force Recon have remained the same since our writings, the units’ organization has been ever changing with the needs of the Marine Corps and the increasing threats to the United States. Over the years Force Recon companies were subordinated to various commands, meshed into the Division Reconnaissance Battalions, or disbanded altogether.

Following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the United States deployed elements of the Special Operations Force (SOCOM) into Afghanistan long before sending in conventional units.  The Marine Corps did not play a role within the elite SOCOM and thus were left out of the early operations.  The Corps was embarrassed that it was the only service without boots on the ground in the war zone.

  On February 24, 2006, the Marine Corps Special Operations Command (MARSOC) was organized at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.  MARSOC then joined SOCOM in expanded operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other hot spots around the world. Most of the marines who formed MARSOG came from the two active Force Recon companies.  MARSOG has since grown to three special operations battalions, each with its own support unit.  The three are aligned with Africa, the Asia-Pacific region, and the Middle East.  On August 6, 2014 the Marine Special Operations Battalions were renamed Marine Raider Battalions in honor of their World War II predecessors.

The former Force Recon companies stood down and their members who did not join MARSOC transferred to the Division Recon Battalions.  In October 2008 the D Companies of each Division Recon Battalion was renamed Force Recon companies and assigned to the Marine Expeditionary Forces (MEF) with one each in the I, II, and III MEF.  Two addition companies are in the Marine Corps reserves.

Today the influence and impact of US Marine Force Recon in Vietnam lives on as a part of the Marine Raiders in MARSOC and in their namesake companies in the MEFs.  The missions that Force Recon performed in Vietnam are still implemented today—deep reconnaissance and direct action. They remain elite warriors who bring great credit to their Corps and country.  We are grateful and proud that Stackpole Books has seen fit to continue to publish the story of Force Recon in Vietnam.

 

  

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 personnel.

 

 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.

 

Other traditional military schools across the country also made sacrifices.  The Citadel suffered 76 deaths, Virginia Military Institute 43, North Georgia 27, Virginia Polytechnial 26, and Norwich 19.

 

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 our stories.

 

 

News Update - 01/15/2016

 

 

The 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 Cushing.”

 

 

 

 

 

News Update - 01/04/2015

Book signing of Tony Buzbee: Defining Moments

Brazos Bookstore

2421 Bissonnet St

Houston, TX

7-9 pm February 13, 2015

 

Galveston Bookshop

317 23d Street

Galveston, TX

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 tentatively titled:  Texas Aggies in Vietnam: War Stories.

News Update - 12/12/2014

            John Hardy Publishing/Iron Mountain Press has released Tony Buzbee: Defining Moments.

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 corporate malefactor."

From 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

In 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

During 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 (Contributor)

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 later.

 


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 funding.”

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 languages.

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 War.”

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. Colonel.

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, including Amazon.com.

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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 again.

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.

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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 ideas.

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.

 

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