Synopses & Reviews
The trauma of hostile fire, roadside bombs, mines, and the ab- duction and death of comrades is told in vivid, unforgettable detail.
"The fundamental and essential purpose of the United Nations is to keep the peace. Everything which does not further that goal, either directly or indirectly, is at best superfluous."
- Henry Cabot Lodge, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations
From the 1950s to the present day, Canadian peacekeepers have been employed as a stabilizing force and an instrument of peace in every corner of the globe.
In this first-hand account, Terry "Stoney" Burke paints a graphic picture of a peacekeeper's life in one of the most tumultuous and dangerous regions of the world. From the war-torn island of Cyprus, through his later missions in Israel, Lebanon, and Syria, we follow him as he weaves an intriguing narrative of life as a Canadian peacekeeper.
"Burke (Cold War Soldier) takes readers on a multi-sensory peacekeeping tour that will leave them alternately laughing and crying. He narrates his military service as a Canadian U.N. peacekeeper in Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria and Israel, sparing no details, whether it's of the carnage wrought by a Cypriot minefield or a weeks' worth of greasy food at an observation post in southern Lebanon. With candor and more than a touch of self-deprecation, Burke supplies an insider's perspective of U.N. peacekeeping missions. Readers go from the 'Green Line' in Cyprus, complete with a nightly check of his sleeping bag for rodents, snakes, and spiders; back to Canada, where the FLQ Crisis is in full swing; on to Cyprus again, this time to clear minefields; and then back over the Atlantic, before taking on a troubled trio of countries Israel, Syria and Lebanon. Ornery commanding officers, bookish marines and unassuming sadists make this a colorful tour. Burke's descriptions of the interactions between the peacekeepers are fascinating and give a personal feel to the massive operation that is the U.N. This is a real, humbling, hilarious and poignant memoir by a veteran, giving readers a minute idea of what soldiers sacrifice to promote peace and stability. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Burke's descriptions of the interactions between the peacekeepers are fascinating and give a personal feel to the massive operation that is the U.N. This is a real, humbling, hilarious and poignant memoir by a veteran, giving readers a minute idea of what soldiers sacrifice to promote peace and stability." Publisher's Weekly
"In this autobiographical accounting of his active participation to uphold [the United Nations' mandate to 'keep the peace'], author Terry "Stoney" Burke provides an insightful, and -despite the "peacekeeping" nature of that work - all too often harrowing on-the-ground view of what exactly it entails." Ontario Historical Society Bulletin
From inexperienced soldier to seasoned veteran of nine U.N. missions in Cyprus, Israel, Lebanon, and Syria, Terry Burke gives us a detailed account of a peacekeeper's life in the ever-turbulent Middle East.
About the Author
Terry "Stoney" Burke joined the Canadian army in 1964 and was posted to Germany with the Royal Canadian Regiment. He has done nine U.N. tours of duty in Cyprus, Lebanon, Israel, and Syria, was active in Ottawa-Hull during the FLQ crisis, and is the author of Cold War Soldier. He lives in London, Ontario.
Table of Contents
Part One: The Cyprus Years
1 Meat for the Sausage Machine
2 Knowing Enough to Be Dangerous
3 Life on the Green Line
4 Returning Home to Chaos
5 The End of a Stalemate
6 The Man in the Tree
7 The Crack and Thump of Christmas
8 Welcome to Broken-Down Airways
9 One Egg Per Man — Per Day — Perhaps
10 The Slow and Rocky Road Home
11 One Final Swan Song
Aftermath: The United Nations Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) Casualties and Statistics
Part Two: The Middle East Years
12 Life in the Part-Time Army
13 Trial and Tribulation on the Echo Road
14 A Week of Looking and Cooking
15 The Best of Times
16 The Worst of Times
17 Mayday — Mayday — Mayday
18 The Magical Mystery Tour
Epilogue: The Search for Peace of Mind