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The War I Always Wanted: The Illusion of Glory and the Reality of War: A Screaming Eagle in Afghanistan and Iraqby Brandon Friedman
Synopses & Reviews
Growing up in the shadows of the giant B-52 Stratofortresses that thundered away from nearby Barksdale, Louisiana, Air Force Base in defense of the free world, Brandon Friedman imagined growing up to be a warrior, proudly defending his country from enemies who would seek to oppress America. Ultimately, his path led him not to the U.S. Air Force and the life of a pilot, but to the U.S. Army and life as a soldier.
And not just any soldier, as an infantryman, a soldier who gets up close and personal with his foe in the kill or be killed arena that is close combat. Joining the Army in a world more or less at peace as a young officer, the new second lieutenant imagined proving his valor as he earned glory in the crucible of war. Then came 9/11 and the Army moved from a peaceful repose to full-fledged combat operations half a world away against al Qaeda, a new and illusive enemy, and their Taliban hosts.
As an infantry platoon leader in the elite 101st Airborne Division, the famed “Screaming Eagles,” Friedman and his unit soon found themselves in Afghanistan battling radical Islam in the high valleys of the Hindu Kush in Operation Anaconda. After a brief respite at their home base of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Friedman and the Screaming Eagles were off to war again, this time for the invasion and then occupation of Iraq.
In this coming-of-age memoir of a young combat leader, we follow Brandon Friedman as he comes to grips with the illusion of glory in the face of the disillusion caused by the realities war as the situation in Iraq spirals increasingly out of control.
The memoir of a young infantry officer coming of age in a changing world of war, fighting on the shifting front lines of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Brandon Friedman served as an infantry platoon leader and company executive officer with the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division. He participated in both Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan and in the invasion of Iraq and the subsequent insurgency. He lives in Dallas, Texas.
Growing up in the shadows of the giant B-52 Stratofortresses that thundered away from the nearby Barksdale Air Force Base, Brandon Friedman dreamed of becoming a warrior and defending his country. But dreams of heroism and the realities of war can look very different, and when Brandon joined the army as a second lieutenant in peacetime, he had no way of knowing how his world was about to change.
This is Brandon Friedmans story of coming of age in a world awakening to the horrors made plain on 9/11. With the U. S. Army moving into full-fledged combat operations half a world away against Al Qaeda and their Taliban hosts, Brandon found himself facing an elusive enemy on unfamiliar ground. He tells how, as an infantry platoon leader in the elite 101st Airborne Division, the famed "Screaming Eagles," he and his unit struggled to find their footing in the high valleys of the Hindu Kush while battling radical Islam in operation Anaconda.
A brief respite at their home base in Kentucky, and Friedman and the Screaming Eagles were off to war again, this time in Iraq. In this gripping memoir of a young soldier learning the hardest lessons of combat, we see the terrors and disillusion of war as the insurgency in Iraq spirals out of control. And we see the true valor of character emerging under fire.
Table of Contents
Part One. Fear
1. Western Kuwaiti Desert
2. Fort Campbell, Kentucky
3. Jacobabad, Pakistan
4. Bagram, Afghanistan
5. Shah-e-Kot Valley, Afghanistan
Part Two. Knowledge
6. The Desert
7. Hillah, Iraq
9. Northern Iraq
Part Three. Recovery
11. The Mediterranean
Glossary of Acronyms
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