Price: $53.97 FREE for Members
Type: Audio Book
Format: mp3
Language: English

A witty, profane, down-in-the-sand account of the war many only know from CNN, this former  sniper's debut is a worthy addition to the battlefield memoir genre. There isn't a bit of  heroic posturing as Swofford describes the sheer terror of being fired upon by Iraqi  troops; the elite special forces warrior freely admits wetting himself once rockets start  exploding around his unit's encampment. But the adrenaline of battle is fleeting, and  Swofford shows how it's in the waiting that soldiers are really made. With blunt language  and bittersweet humor, he vividly recounts the worrying, drinking, joking, lusting and just  plain sitting around that his troop endured while wondering if they would ever put their  deadly skills to use. As Operation Desert Shield becomes Desert Storm, one of Swofford's  fellow snipers-the most macho of the bunch-solicits a hug from each man. "We are about to  die in combat, so why not get one last hug, one last bit of physical contact," Swofford  writes. "And through the hugs [he] helps make us human again." When they do finally fight,  Swofford questions whether the men are as prepared as their commanders, the American public  and the men themselves think they are. Swofford deftly uses flashbacks to chart his journey  from a wide-eyed adolescent with a family military legacy to a hardened fighter who becomes  consumed with doubt about his chosen role. As young soldiers might just find themselves  deployed to the deserts of Iraq, this book offers them, as well as the casual reader, an  unflinching portrayal of the loneliness and brutality of modern warfare and sophisticated  analyses of-and visceral reactions to-its politics.

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