'Once we passed the checkpoint at the border, it hit me. I was like, Holy Shit, this is it, I'm entering a combat zone. Cool!' At twenty-six Colby Buzzell, unemployed and living at home, decided to join the US Army. Within months he was in Iraq, a machine gunner in the controversial Stryker Brigade Combat Team, an army unit on the cutting edge of ...
'Once we passed the checkpoint at the border, it hit me. I was like, Holy Shit, this is it, I'm entering a combat zone. Cool!' At twenty-six Colby Buzzell, unemployed and living at home, decided to join the US Army. Within months he was in Iraq, a machine gunner in the controversial Stryker Brigade Combat Team, an army unit on the cutting edge of combat technology and the first of its kind. Trapped amid 'guerrilla warfare, urban-style' in Mosul, Iraq, Buzzell was struck by the bizarre and often frightening world surrounding him. He began writing a blog describing the war - not as being reported by CNN or official briefings - but as experienced by the soldier on the ground. His story is a brutally honest and hard-hitting account of the absurdities of modern war. These are the real stories of the war: a firefight where the resistance came from 'men in black'; a night spent chain-smoking in the guard tower counting the tracer bullets being fired over the city; and the hesitation of a young soldier who had been passed around from platoon to platoon because he was too afraid to fight. My War is a powerful story of a young man and a war, unlike any you have read before.
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Publishers Weekly, 2005-08-01 With this relentlessly cynical volume, Buzzell converts his widely read 2004 blog into an episodic but captivating memoir about the year he spent serving as an army "trigger puller" in Iraq. Posted to Mosul in late 2003, Buzzell's platoon was ordered "to locate, capture and kill all non compliant forces." Accordingly, his entries describe experiences pursuing elusive guerrillas (aka "men in black"); enduring sniping, rocket and mortar attacks; and witnessing the occasional car bomb. Face-to-face fighting almost never occurs. No matter: though the combat scenes are exciting, this book is actually more engrossing as a portrait of the day-to-day life of a young American soldier who has "read, and re-read, countless times, every single one of [Bukowski's] books." Like Bukowski, Buzzell appears to be a sentimental misanthrope; he pours scorn on everyone from cooks to generals to President Bush. He also despises the media, the antiwar movement and everyone who thinks they understand what's happening in Iraq. That his superiors kept their hands off his blog for several months, however, shows they understood that-despite its foul language, griping, insults directed at higher officers and occasional exposure of dirty linen-Buzzell's work never really wavers in its portrayal of American forces as the good guys in a dirty war. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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