Greetings from Afghanistan, Send More Ammo: Dispatches from Taliban Country

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Overview

Captain Benjamin Tupper spent a year in Afghanistan in an Embedded Training Team, tasked with training, leading in combat, and mentoring the Afghan Army to victory against the brutal Taliban. Writing and recording from a remote outpost, Tupper's dispatches were posted on the blog The Sandbox and broadcast on NPR, bringing vivid snapshots of America's longest ongoing war to a wide audience back home.

Here, he takes us inside the intricacies of the war, opening up a unique and ...

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Greetings From Afghanistan, Send More Ammo: Dispatches from Taliban Country

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Overview

Captain Benjamin Tupper spent a year in Afghanistan in an Embedded Training Team, tasked with training, leading in combat, and mentoring the Afghan Army to victory against the brutal Taliban. Writing and recording from a remote outpost, Tupper's dispatches were posted on the blog The Sandbox and broadcast on NPR, bringing vivid snapshots of America's longest ongoing war to a wide audience back home.

Here, he takes us inside the intricacies of the war, opening up a unique and multifaceted view of both Afghan culture and the daily life of an American soldier. From the rush of gunfire to surreal, euphoric moments of cross-cultural understanding, this emotional and thought-provoking narrative is rich with humor, eloquence, and contradiction. Deeply personal and darkly funny, Tupper illuminates the challenges of the war, vividly bringing to life both the mundane and the extraordinary and seeking a way forward.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Tupper is a true grunt. He has that crazy, infectious sense of humor based on the absurd...and tells the [listener] straight up how it is to be a grunt adviser in the zany land of Afghanistan." —-Bing West, author of The Village
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400117758
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/22/2010
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged CD
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 5.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Benjamin Tupper received the Bronze Star and Combat Infantrymen Badge for his service in Afghanistan. He currently lives with his wife and four children in Syracuse, New York. Johnny Heller has won two prestigious Audie Awards and has earned numerous Audie nominations. He has been praised for his adult, personal development, history, comedy, and children's book narrations. Named a Best Voice of 2008 and 2009, as well as one of the Top 50 Narrators of the Twentieth Century by AudioFile magazine, Johnny has earned almost twenty Golden Earphones Awards. Two of Johnny's audiobooks have been picked by AudioFile as Best Audiobook the Year, and he has won two Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Awards.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: ETTs: The Tip of the Counterinsurgency Spear 1

Section 1 War Stories 5

Embrace the Suck 7

ETTs: The Taliban's High-Value Target 13

The Flip-Flop Army 16

Donkeys and Grenades: First Combat 21

26 June: Surrounded 25

27 June: A Clear Shot 35

Decency 42

Mines 46

Pink Mist 51

Night Letters 56

The Weapon with No Bullets 58

A Cut Throat 61

Rockets 63

Chance 66

An Orange-Bearded Man 69

The Garden of Eden Massacre (Almost) 72

Operation Iron Rage 81

Section 2 Laughter is Our Best Defense 85

Training for Iraq 87

The Range 90

Self-Preservation vs. Combat Street Cred 93

Of "POO" and Pop-Tarts 96

This Nickname Has a Nice Ring to It 102

The "Monkey and the Typewriter" Allegory 105

How to Win the War 107

Fobbits Part 1: An Introduction 110

Fobbits Part 2: Creature Comforts 113

Fobbits Part 3: Manufacturing Danger 115

Missing in Action: Jack, Bud, and Jim 118

When Disobeying an Order Is Just Common Sense 120

Section 3 Culture Shock 125

Inshallah 127

Dial a Date 129

A Summer Road Trip 132

We Have All the Watches, They Have All the Time 135

Informational Detritus from the War Zone 139

A World Without Women 142

Afghan Porn 144

Women of Kyrgyzstan 149

Arab Vacation Day 153

Dogs of War 158

Welcome to Paktika 161

The Sun Never Shines on Paktika 163

Poem 165

A Warm-Blooded and Solar-Powered Enemy 168

My Holiday Appeal 172

Winter Paralysis 175

Midnight Winter Visitors 178

Jitters 181

Section 4 Farewell, Fallen Comrades 183

Death of a War Eagle 185

Fading Away 188

Exhale 190

A Shrug and a Smile 192

September 11 Coma 195

R.I.P. SSG Phaneuf 197

Pieces in the Snow 199

Ski Goes Home 204

Alive in Your Mind's Eye 206

Fayez 211

Fallen Comrade Ceremony 214

Section 5 Home 217

The "New Normal" 219

The Heat in Dreams 222

Not the Reunion I Was Hoping For 227

Vandy 231

Operation Iron Rage Revisited 234

PTSD: A Blog as Therapy 238

My Alive Day 241

Bronze Stars for Broken Souls 243

The End 247

Epilogue: Big Brother Is Watching, and He Seems to Be Enjoying It 249

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Customer Reviews

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( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 1, 2010

    I STILL don't like war stories and I don't read blogs, but.....

    I was already hooked on Captain Benjamin Tupper's personal story of war, his self-published "Welcome to Afghanistan." "Greetings from Afghanistan, Send More Ammo," a significantly expanded version of his story, snagged me--I read it from cover to cover and liked it even more than the first version.

    Written during and after Captain Tupper's year long deployment to Afghanistan in 2006-2007, it's the story of his experiences as a member of an Embedded Training Team working with a hundred man unit of the Afghan National Army. A compilation of his blogs, some of which he narrated on National Public Radio's Morning Edition, this expanded version is seasoned with even more photographs capturing some of the people and places he encountered.

    My disclaimer is that I belong to that unenviable group of people who waited at home for a loved one who had gone off to war. When my son was deployed in Afghanistan as an ETT, training, living, and fighting with Afghan soldiers, I had no understanding of what his days and nights were really like; I was reduced to imagining only the worst. Most news stories were two dimensional, flat, and yet capable of striking fear in a mother's heart. A morning news hour without an Afghanistan report made for a good day.

    Tupper's book is not a war analyzed, it is a war lived. His blogs fill in the blanks. He captures the faces and heart of the people he fought with and against. My imagination goes on hiatus as he reveals a few American soldiers and the Afghan soldiers charged with seeking and fighting the Taliban. Lives in this inhospitable landscape frequently hung in a balance easily tipped by ramshackle machinery, pride, military policy, goof-ups, and the hidden loyalties of natives torn between competing tribal, family, and cultural allegiances.

    This lively and deeply personal offering is divided into five sections: War Stories; Laughter Is Our Best Defense; Culture Shock; Farewell Fallen Comrades; and Home. There are moments filled with fear, sweat, levity, and shrapnel, hours colored with compassion, self-deprecation, and blood. Tupper fleshes out the days with humor, tactical maneuvers and blunders, brotherhood where you might least expect to find it, and wrenching loss.

    Sadly, the ending of his story hasn't been played out yet, certainly not today, not in Afghanistan or in the lives of the people the war brought together. Tupper reflects upon whether such a war can ever be won and characterizes the future for some of the soldiers returning from the war as painfully uncertain and often frightening. There are cruel ironies in country and at home.

    This book made me laugh out loud and shed tears; I muttered a few cuss words, too. But mostly I wanted to touch the shoulder of each of these very real warriors, American and Afghan, alive and gone, and whisper, "Thank you."

    "Greetings from Afghanistan" shines a light on our humanity and makes the days my son was away more real. He came home whole and mostly healthy. I am grateful that Tupper chose to share even more of his experiences in this expanded book. They bring me closer to my son.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2013

    Couldent finish the book. Too fragmented with no real plot

    Couldent finish the book. Too fragmented with no real plot

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