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With a Foreword by Bill O’Reilly, here is the incredible memoir of a former Marine who returns to combat in Iraq and Afghanistan three decades after leaving the Corps. Terry McGowan had been a beat cop, a Marine captain, and a Special Agent for the FBI before retiring at the age of fifty. But when tragedy struck the United States on September 11th, 2001, Terry felt an undiminished sense of duty to protect and serve his country. Six years later, he was in Iraq as a member of a team of high ranking retired and active duty military working for the highest level of Marine military intelligence. His success in Iraq led to a position as a Law Enforcement Professional with the Marines in Afghanistan. There he found himself the oldest member of a platoon on the front line; a platoon that was understrength and under fire. While an eighteen year old Marine can't look at a crowd of Afghans and pick out the guilty party, with his years of experience in law enforcement, Terry had developed an eye for the "felony look". His training as a Marine Officer combined with his experience as an FBI Agent made him a unique asset as he struggled to keep up with young Marines while they humped over the mountains. In The Silence of War, Terry recounts the many trials of his life of service, providing an intimate glimpse into the horrible realities of modern military conflict. INCLUDES PHOTOS From the Hardcover edition.
"The Iliad of the Iraq war" (Tim Weiner)--a gut-wrenching, beautiful memoir of the consequences of war on the psyche of a young man. Eat the Apple is a daring, twisted, and darkly hilarious story of American youth and masculinity in an age of continuous war. Matt Young joined the Marine Corps at age eighteen after a drunken night culminating in wrapping his car around a fire hydrant. The teenage wasteland he fled followed him to the training bases charged with making him a Marine. Matt survived the training and then not one, not two, but three deployments to Iraq, where the testosterone, danger, and stakes for him and his fellow grunts were dialed up a dozen decibels. With its kaleidoscopic array of literary forms, from interior dialogues to infographics to prose passages that read like poetry, Young's narrative powerfully mirrors the multifaceted nature of his experience. Visceral, ironic, self-lacerating, and ultimately redemptive, Young's story drops us unarmed into Marine Corps culture and lays bare the absurdism of 21st-century war, the manned-up vulnerability of those on the front lines, and the true, if often misguided, motivations that drove a young man to a life at war. Searing in its honesty, tender in its vulnerability, and brilliantly written, Eat the Apple is a modern war classic in the making and a powerful coming-of-age story that maps the insane geography of our times.
In the evening of June 28, 1967, 150 young Americans were sworn into the Marine Corps as part of the pre-game ceremonies of a Minnesota Twins baseball game. Before the end of the fourth inning these volunteers were being hustled on to buses, on their way to boot camp. It was a journey that would take them from a boyhood of baseball in the American heartland to manhood on the killing fields of Vietnam. Christy Sauro was one of the Twins Platoon, and in this book he tells what it was like—from the pomp and ceremony of induction to the all-too-real initiation by fire that would shortly follow: in mere months, he and most of the Twins Platoon were on the ground in Vietnam and promptly faced with some of the toughest fighting of the war, the Siege of Khe Sanh and the Tet Offensive, including the brutal Battle for Hue. From baseball to boot camp to brutal combat, his is a firsthand story of American life being lived at the limits—and changed forever.
San Francisco Chronicle reporter and marine veteran Koopman was embedded in the Third Battalion, Fourth Marines, during the most recent war in Iraq. He enjoyed a close working relationship with the CO, the battalion sergeant major, and several other members of the battalion. This didn't destroy his ability to distance himself from aspects of the military that he never liked, or from political judgments on the war. The combination of embedding and prior service did give him a rare perspective on the gritty (literally, when a sandstorm blew up) details of ground combat in Iraq and how the modern American marine relates to his buddies, his enemies, and his family back home. The conclusion of the book offers equally rare material on the nation-building efforts that continue, with sympathy for both the U.S. military and most shades of Iraqi opinion.—ALA Booklist
This is a story of the Vietnam War and four young Marines. It's about fighting and killing. Compassion and love, however, are defining parts of the story. The story personalizes what war does to those who fight it and what they do to survive it. Enduring and caring relationships forged in combat are as much a part of their survival, maybe more, as their combat skills. While the book is fiction, the majority is based on actual battles and personal experiences. Vietnam was a challenging war for those on the battlefield to fight as well as those on the home front to support. The conflict was a limited war and the complex nature of such war was confusing and contentious to many. The combatants' frustrations with the war's limitations and the miseries they endured are captured in the actions and thoughts of the Marines. Their story is about living and dying in combat. But it's also about the love and loyalty they share in a truly unique relationship. It's a story that testifies to the human spirit and will as well as the belief that love and friendship conquer all...even the hatreds and animosities of war. The Marines share with you their hopes and dreams as they struggle with the despairs and nightmares of Vietnam. They take you into their battles and bunkers. They acquaint you with combat's horror and humor. The story is the universal infantryman's story for most all who have fought in war-the challenge of defying death daily while fighting to survive till tomorrow. This is also, however, America's story. In the aftermath of Vietnam the consensus was that the war's true legacy would be the lessons learned from it. Vietnam was insidious as well as instructive. Today, the war on terror and the dysfunction of various states and the ideological rivalries in the international community pose serious threats to the stability and security of our world. Then, as well as now, the conflicts of our time and the future present us with challenges similar to Vietnam. We must understand them to protect our freedoms and nation and peace.
"A majestic book." --Bessel van der Kolk, MD, author of The Body Keeps the Score A unique joint memoir by a U.S. Marine and a conflict photographer whose unlikely friendship helped both heal their war-wounded bodies and souls "The dueling-piano spirit of SHOOTING GHOSTS works because its authors are so committed to transparency, admitting readers into the dark crevices of their isolation." Wall St Journal War tears people apart, but it can also bring them together. Through the unpredictability of war and its aftermath, a decorated Marine sergeant and a world-trotting war photographer became friends, their bond forged as they patrolled together through the dusty alleyways of Helmand province and camped side by side in the desert. It deepened after Sergeant T. J. Brennan was injured during a Taliban ambush, and both returned home. Brennan began to suffer from the effects of his injury and from the fallout of his tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. But war correspondents experience similar rates of posttraumatic stress as combat veterans. The causes can be different, but guilt plays a prominent role in both. For Brennan, it’s the things he’s done, or didn’t do, that haunt him. Finbarr O’Reilly’s conscience is nagged by the task of photographing people at their most vulnerable while being able to do little to help, and his survival guilt as colleagues die on the job. Their friendship offered them both a shot at redemption. As we enter the fifteenth year of continuous war, it is increasingly urgent not just to document the experiences of the battlefield but also to probe the reverberations that last long after combatants and civilians have returned home, and to understand the many faces trauma takes. Shooting Ghosts looks at the horrors of war directly, but then turns to a journey that draws on our growing understanding of what recovery takes. Their story, told in alternating first-person narratives, is about the things they saw and did, the ways they have been affected, and how they have navigated the psychological aftershocks of war and wrestled with reforming their own identities and moral centers. While war never really ends for those who’ve lived through it, this book charts the ways two survivors have found to calm the ghosts and reclaim a measure of peace.
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