Synopses & Reviews
From the Introduction:
"Look around," the drill sergeant said. "In a few years, or even a few months, several of you will be dead. Some of you will be severely wounded or so badly mutilated that your own mother can't stand the sight of you. And for the real unlucky ones, you will come home so emotionally disfigured that you wish you had died over there."
It was Week 7 of Basic Training . . . 18 years old and I was preparing myself to die.
They say the Army makes a man out of you — but for 18-year-old SPC Michael Anthony, that fabled rite of passage proved a very dark journey. After soliciting his parents' approval to enlist at only 17, Anthony began his journey with an unshakeable faith in the military born of his family's long tradition of service. But when thrust into a medical unit of misfits as lost as he was, SPC Anthony not only witnessed the unspeakable horror of warabut the undeniable misconduct of the military — firsthand. Everything he ever believed in dissolved, forcing Anthony to rethink his loyalties, and ultimately risk his career and his freedom & mdash; to challenge the military he had so firmly believed in.
This searing memoir chronicles the iconic experiences that changed one young soldier forever. A seasoned veteran before the age of twenty-one, he faced the truth about the war — and himself — in this shocking and unprecedented eyewitness account.
"When SPC Anthony joined the Army at 18, he went in with high hopes and sterling ideals; coming from a family with a proud military background, Anthony expected to meet mentors, heroes and lifelong friends while earning money for college and becoming a man. What he discovered was a disenchanting web of mundane corruption and self-serving lies. Unlike accounts exposing the military's most shameful iniquities, Anthony's memoir focuses on an endless parade of petty offenses-the cowardice, drug addiction, thievery, adultery and rampant hypocrisy-he found while working in a base hospital. Relentlessly honest and reflective, Anthony's record communicates perfectly the stranglehold of sadness, fear and disappointment that came with his lost innocence; just as worse is his eventual acceptance of the pointless, dysfunctional bureaucracy maintaining the status quo. Avoiding the intensity of the battlefield and the OR itself, Anthony's frustrations resonate with the feelings of any young man learning about the nature of authority and his helplessness before it. Readers curious about the human side of the ongoing Iraqi conflict will be struck by Anthony's strong voice, direct storytelling and stark honesty." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
This searing memoir chronicles the iconic experiences that changes one young soldier forever. A seasoned army veteran before the age of 21, Anthony faces the truth about the war--and himself--in this shocking and unprecedented eyewitness account.