Last Journey: A Father and Son in Wartime

Last Journey: A Father and Son in Wartime

by Darrell Griffin Sr., Darrell "Skip" Griffin Jr.
     
 

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The wartime reflections of a staff sergeant killed in Iraq are memorialized by his father in this harrowing true story.

Staff Sergeant Darrell "Skip" Griffin Jr. was killed in action on March 21, 2007, during his second tour of duty in Iraq. Prior to his death, Skip was writing a book tentatively titled The Great Conversation, an attempt to

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Overview

The wartime reflections of a staff sergeant killed in Iraq are memorialized by his father in this harrowing true story.

Staff Sergeant Darrell "Skip" Griffin Jr. was killed in action on March 21, 2007, during his second tour of duty in Iraq. Prior to his death, Skip was writing a book tentatively titled The Great Conversation, an attempt to rationalize the destruction he had seen in Iraq. His father, Darrell Griffin Sr., was going to help him finish writing it when Skip returned home in July.
After losing his son, Darrell Sr. vowed to finish the book himself and traveled to Iraq, witnessing the war close up and meeting his son's comrades. Last Journey is their shared account of everyday life for soldiers in Iraq; it is also an intimate portrait of a lost son, a meditation on faith, and a tribute to the lively philosophical debates in which the Griffins used to engage.

Passionate and inspiring, Last Journey serves as a tragic reminder of the human cost of war.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times - Dwight Garner
“The most honest and gripping accounts of the Iraq war have come from low-ranking soldiers, not from generals. Last Journey joins that small shelf of serious books.”
Dwight Garner
Two soldiers in dress greens knocked on the door, came inside to deliver their news and then walked back out. It's an all-too-common scene, but it arrives at the beginning of an uncommon book, one in which a mourning father has scooped up a dead son's e-mail messages, blog posts and journal entries and combined them with his own observations. He’s made something that is, at worst, ungainly, but at best raw and true and unvarnished and strange, its own kind of outsider art.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

The conflicted, ultimately tragic experience of an American soldier in Iraq is explored in this moving homage. U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Skip Griffin saw heavy fighting during several tours in Iraq before he was killed by a sniper in Baghdad in 2007. His father's memoir portrays Skip as a thoughtful man (he read Plato at age 13) imbued with a skeptical patriotism; despite his deep misgivings about the war, he volunteered to cut short a yearlong break to return to Iraq. Skip's own perceptions emerge through extensive excerpts from his e-mails, blog and other writings. In these he criticized the Bush administration's reasons for the war, deplored the failings of American counterinsurgency strategy and the woeful performance of the Iraqi armed forces, and evinced a growing weariness, edging toward despondency, at the carnage around him. Darrell Sr. overquotes his son's grandiose and not always cogent ideas about religion, philosophy and politics. But when the book sticks to Skip's everyday impressions of the conflict, it presents a harrowing, unsanitized vision of the war and the toll it takes on our soldiers. Photos. (June 29)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781934633922
Publisher:
Atlas
Publication date:
09/27/2010
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
4.70(w) x 6.80(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Darrell Griffin, Sr., a C.P.A. (ret.), divides his time as a consultant to small businesses and as a writer. He lives with his wife and two children in Southern California. He has four grown children.

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