As You Were: To War and Back with the Black Hawk Battalion of the Virginia National Guard

Overview

A powerful, enraging, tear-jerking reminder of how so few Americans have sacrificed so much during the so-called' war on terror'. the best kind of war book. - Alex Kershaw, author of The Bedford Boys and Escape from the Deep 

"Through the voices and experiences of five very diverse members of the Virginia National Guard, As You Were gives the great majority of Americans who have not been sent to war a sense of the experiences of our citizen-soldiers and the family, ...

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As You Were: To War and Back with the Black Hawk Battalion of the Virginia National Guard

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Overview

A powerful, enraging, tear-jerking reminder of how so few Americans have sacrificed so much during the so-called' war on terror'. the best kind of war book. - Alex Kershaw, author of The Bedford Boys and Escape from the Deep 

"Through the voices and experiences of five very diverse members of the Virginia National Guard, As You Were gives the great majority of Americans who have not been sent to war a sense of the experiences of our citizen-soldiers and the family, employment, and health problems they face reentering American society after experiencing combat." - David R. Segal, Drector, Center for Research on Military Organization, University of Maryland

"A sad, stirring, sometimes maddening story. Christian Davenport writes not so much about combat, but rather the home front-the struggles of the families left behind while their providers go off to war and of the solders themselves as they stagger back to a civilian world that declines to reward, or even betrays, their sacrifice." - Fred Kaplan, "War Stories" columist, Slate; author of Daydream Believers: How a Few Grand Ideas Wrecked American Powe

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
* Following the experiences of five members of 2-224th Aviation Regiment, Virginia Army National Guard, from federal activation through a one-year deployment in Iraq and back again, Washington Post reporter Davenport reveals the heroism and sacrifice of citizen-soldiers across the country. Like thousands across the country, these five find their lives violently shaken by notice of activation, pulled from families, careers and, for Miranda Summers, a senior year at William and Mary. In Iraq, they found a war zone waiting encountering insurgent gunfire flying into Baghdad, Fallujah and Ramadi; on rescue missions; or flying an “angel flight”, the first leg escorting a fallen soldier home. Davenport, embedded with the regiment on their 2005-06 deployment, follows up on his story with accounts of home-side challenges. This book honors well the citizen-soldiers of the National Guard and the Army, Navy and Marine Corps Reserves, while giving readers a vivid sense of life before, during and after engagement in a far-off war. (May) (Publishers Weekly, April 20, 2009)
Publishers Weekly
Following the experiences of five members of 2-224th Aviation Regiment, Virginia Army National Guard, from federal activation through a one-year deployment in Iraq and back again, Washington Post reporter Davenport reveals the heroism and sacrifice of citizen-soldiers across the country. Like thousands across the country, these five find their lives violently shaken by notice of activation, pulled from families, careers and, for Miranda Summers, a senior year at William and Mary. In Iraq, they found a war zone waiting encountering insurgent gunfire flying into Baghdad, Fallujah and Ramadi; on rescue missions; or flying an "angel flight", the first leg escorting a fallen soldier home. Davenport, embedded with the regiment on their 2005-06 deployment, follows up on his story with accounts of home-side challenges. This book honors well the citizen-soldiers of the National Guard and the Army, Navy and Marine Corps Reserves, while giving readers a vivid sense of life before, during and after engagement in a far-off war.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Davenport was an embedded Washington Post reporter in Iraq. He focuses on three men and two women as exemplars of their unit, the Virginia Army National Guard aviation regiment, suddenly called up and deployed in Iraq. He follows their time there as well as their return home, changed by the war. This positive view of citizen-soldiers will find readers.


—Edwin B. Burgess
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470373613
  • Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 5/18/2009
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Christian Davenport is a reporter for the Washington Post. He was embedded with the Virginia Army National Guard's 2-224th, and his work covering the military helped uncover some of the iconic photographs of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments.

Introduction.

PART ONE: MOBILIZATION.

1. Miranda: No One Likes a Sulky Soldier.

2. Ray and Diane: Hurry Up and Wait.

3. Kate: Be All You Can Be.

4. Mark: Sir, I’m a Citizen-Soldier.

PART TWO: IRAQ.

5. Miranda: The Terrorists Ate My Homework.

6. Ray and Diane: Keeping Up Appearances.

7. Kate: Jody’s Got Your Cadillac.

8. Miranda: Graduation Day.

9. Craig: Welcome to Game Time, Lieutenant Lewis.

10. The National Guard: The Nation’s Best Defense Bargain.

PART THREE: HOME.

11. The 2-224th: Don’t Take the War Home with You.

12. Miranda: Learning to Talk about War.

13. Kate: Practicing Normalcy.

14. Mark: Keep Your Boots On.

15. Ray and Diane: Seeing Suffering.

16. Craig: The Two O’Clock Lull.

17. Miranda: The Pedicured, Door-Gunning Ivy League Veteran.

Epilogue: Citizen-Soldiers: The Conscience of a Nation.

Index.

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Holes in Story

    As a member of the National Guard, I purchased this book with much interest an enthusiasm. What started out as an interesting read turned into anti-war/anti-military publication. I am proud and thankful of the service of my fellow VA Guard soldiers. However, we there are holes in their stories. There is not enough space to go into all the details, but suffice it to say you only hear their side of the story. Virginia has an outstanding college payment program, and pays 100% tuition for instate tuition for VA schools. I'm sorry Miranda was not able to complete school at "Brown". However, had Miranda stayed in the VA Guard she probably could of gone to any VA school for free as long as she fulfilled her Guard commitment. Since I've returned from Southwest Asia I've been hounded by the Army at least four times about post deployment physical and psychological care, so I'm not completely buying Kate's story about her having trouble getting care. Laws protect citizen soldiers' civilian employment while deployed. Further, military schools are not like college classes. There are limited classes, slots, and budget considerations. The choice, more often than not is up to the soldier. However, if the soldier is required a school as a qualification for their position, it may reflect negatively upon that soldier's career progression and opportunities.
    Again, thank you for your service, but Mr. Davenport, please leave the "spin" out of soldiering.

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  • Posted August 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Fascinating Insight Into What Our Citizen-Soldiers Experience Before, During, and After War

    Whether you support the war or not, whether you liked Bush or voted for Obama or McCain, this is a book you simply must read.
    You won't find much action, or any gorey scenes (with one possible exception) but what you will gain is an understanding of what kinds of sacrifices our military personnel go through, not just in service overseas, but also here at home. You might be surprised at how they are treated and "rewarded" by the country they volunteered to serve.
    This book also chronocles what their families must go through, as they sit at home dreading every news report of a soldier missing, wounded or killed overseas, and worried that every knock on the door or phone call could be devestating news.
    However, this does have some bright moments as well. A military wife who learns her own brand of courage and strength, a civilian who shows understanding and compassion for the soldier he begins dating after she returns home, and the comaraderie the soldiers depend on to get through the worst of times.
    If you've never served in a warzone, or if you have a loved one who did, you owe it to them and yourself to read this book. You'll be grateful you did.

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  • Posted June 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Thank You!

    I was a "full timer" there at the AASF, from 1988 on, I think I was the second Blackhawk Crewchief/mechanic from active duty to get there, was there when the 2/224th was formed, and that IS, and always will be, my family. God Bless 2/224th Battalion always, and the families. The Battalion has done many things, everyday/night, that people don't realize..When you hear those rotors beating around your house in Central Virginia, that's the 224th, training everyday and all night. The sound of Freedom..Thank you for telling the story, and God Bless LTC Kelley and SSG Booker...you are not forgotten..

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  • Posted June 20, 2009

    What a Telling and Moving Picture ...

    I found myself grappling with several emotions while reading this book. The people, as they are real, are folks you can relate to on many different levels. These aren't fictional characters. These are students, teachers and even a retiree that have signed up and are called up to serve our Country. It was very enlightening to learn about the sacrifices our National Guard troops make, the challenges of one day being a student, a husband or a teacher and the next day facing a whole new challenge of being a part of the war. The war impacts us all but these folks face a different challenge of being a normal citizen and then having to assimilate into the military environment and then coming home and tring to re-establish their lives and careers.

    I loved reading about the people - the writing revealed each person in a very personal manner. Ray and Diane are actually friends and neighbors of mine so I loved reading about their courtship and the struggles Diane faced when Ray was deployed. I found I did not want to put the book down. As a reader, I wanted to fix it and make the world right for each one of these individuals as they had sacrificed so much. I had feelings of anger when reading about Craig and the issues he had with the school where he was teaching. Miranda's story was also very interesting and the disconnect she felt with her sorority sisters ... I can't say enough about the book. It's a wonderful read. The people are real... I would love to meet every one of them and say Thank You for your sacrifice. Words are not enough and cannot express the gratitude ... So Thank You to the men, women and families of the 2-224th and also Thank You to Christian Davenport for sharing this experience and opening my eyes.

    A friend from Richmond Hill, GA

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  • Posted May 11, 2009

    A MUST READ FOR THESE TIMES

    Touching and absorbing, this is a book that needed to be written. The author follows five soldiers as they return to civilian life from a war that we as a country haven't been paying enough attention to, to their lives which are forever changed by their service.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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