James E. Parker was one of the first American soldiers into Vietnam, and he was the last to leave in 1975. In between he married, graduated UNC and joined the CIA. His first CIA assignment was upcountry Laos where he led Hmong hillstribe guerrillas against two divisions of North Vietnamese soldiers. After para-military work in Laos/Vietnam, Parker went on to serve undercover in the CIA's Directorate of Operations, retiring in 1992. His books included Last Man Out: A Personal Account of the Vietnam War, and Covert Ops: The CIA's Secret War in Laos. James spent years researching the battle of Skyline Ridge and working on this book, he sadly died while it was in production.