26 May 2014

WAR: Review by SSG Prax

In 2008-2009 I deployed to Iraq as a public affairs specialist with the U.S. Army.

During my year there I spent a lot of time out with the infantry doing patrols and searching for IEDs. I stayed at their FOBs with them for weeks at a time and got to know some of them fairly well. They always treated me with respect (much more then the guys in office jobs), and they even let me in on a lot of their jokes.

But I was never one of them.  There was a bond they had that I just didn’t know exactly how to describe. I often wanted to write about it and in fact attempted; yet I just couldn’t express my thoughts and observations on paper the way it I felt and saw them.

Sebastian Junger described the bond better than I could have ever done so. He adds so many details and facts about what it is that makes the Army or any military service a brotherhood. In fact, it seems to be one of the enduring themes from his experience—brotherhood. He really brings to life what these guys go through day after day and why they end up who they are.

WAR is one of the better books I’ve read and goes into so much more detail than his documentary, Restrepo. While reading itI highlighted a lot of portions that really affected me.

This short reflection would probably contain such portions, but I already gave my book away. You see, after talking about it for two weeks with Stowell and Houston, other members of our unit became very regretful that they didn’t participate in our book club. They were very eager to get their hands on the book so they could be involved in our conversations.

Hopefully by the time they finish we will be reading and talking about our next book, Man's Search for Meaning. That will show them.

Then they can be a part of the brotherhood.

(The Photo of SSG Prax was taken during her deployment to Iraq, when she was a PV2 who went by the last name Dransfield)

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