Joe Galloway and Hal Moore stayed in touch with each other over the years and in 1976 shook hands on a promise to write a book on the X-Ray Battle. Both men were busy; Moore in the Army and Galloway with UPI – there was little time for research. By 1983, Moore had left the Army and his job at the Crested Butte Ski Area and was ready to do research. Galloway was still working with UPI but soon changed to a job in Washington, DC with U.S. News and World Report.
In April 1983, Moore and Galloway met for 3 days to plan details. They resolved to do three things:
- Write the book in a historiography stay in:
- the words of the Americans who fought in the battle; their stories
- the words of the PAVN commanders who opposed the Americans; their stories
- the words of some of the survivors of men who were killed
- Re-visit the X-Ray battlefield with the PAVN commander
- NO Politics
During this meeting they produced the first research letter. It was sent out in April/May 1983 to the few known addressees. The research built up from there.