Spare Parts: From Campus to Combat: A Marine Reservist's Journey from Campus to Combat in 38 Days [NOOK Book]

Overview

A compelling look into the world of reservists--more than just the "spare parts" of our nation's military--as seen through one manís transformation from weekend warrior to combat marine In 1989, Buzz Williams walked into a marine recruiting office to follow in the footsteps of the deceased older brother he grew up idolizing by signing up to join the Marine Reserves. Over the course of the next year, he would earn money to pay his college tuition by devoting one weekend a month and two full weeks in the summer to ...
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Spare Parts: From Campus to Combat: A Marine Reservist's Journey from Campus to Combat in 38 Days

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Overview

A compelling look into the world of reservists--more than just the "spare parts" of our nation's military--as seen through one manís transformation from weekend warrior to combat marine In 1989, Buzz Williams walked into a marine recruiting office to follow in the footsteps of the deceased older brother he grew up idolizing by signing up to join the Marine Reserves. Over the course of the next year, he would earn money to pay his college tuition by devoting one weekend a month and two full weeks in the summer to the grueling and often dangerous rigors of military training, while enduring the jarring readjustment that occurred each time he returned to civilian life.

But Williams had no idea that even the newest reservists could find themselves on the frontlines of a battlefield in a matter of weeks. On August 2, 1990--the day that he graduated from Light Armored Vehicle School--Saddam Hussein's forces invaded Kuwait, and Williams' life would change forever.

Spare Parts tells the story of Williams' harrowing deployment to the Persian Gulf, where he would be thrust into battle only 38 days after being called up. Enduring both the condescension of full-time Marines and the danger of his limited training, he managed to form a core group that the struggles to gain respect from a military machine that viewed them as mere "spare parts." In gripping, you-are-there detail, Williams brings to life the physical and emotional trials he would face on the killing fields of Kuwait--where some of the woefully underprepared Marines are able to rise to the challenge and others are broken by the horrors of battle.

A powerful portrait of one man's experience in battle--and of the reservists who stand ready to leave civilian life to defend our nation at a moment's notice--Spare Parts adds a moving new perspective to the literature of war.



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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101218310
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 3/8/2004
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 1
  • File size: 811 KB

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2004

    Very disappointing

    I spent a long time in the Marine Corps and this book didn't hit the nail on the head but missed and dented the wood. Sorry - would love to have someone write a book that really got it straight but this one didn't. Williams was a young inexperienced PFC who makes a hero out of himself and a Marine who falls asleep on duty! I half expected Williams to get the Navy Cross at the end of the book. His time in the Gulf and then in the rear doesn¿t speak of him being in charge of Marines. Anyone can talk the talk but I never read that he walked the walk. I don¿t think that a Marine who never led Marines can really comment on Marine leadership because he wasn¿t one. I don't think it was an honest account. I think he had a problem with those in charge of him and when he couldn't address it with them he wrote a book about how he wished it really would have happened. I was not surprised to read that he wrote the book in a year. I agree with the other review that it seems he is just trying to capitalize on the war. I saw combat in the Gulf and I never hit my wife or picture Iraqis sneaking up on me. I think he may have read too many books about Charlie or had been predisposed to that sort of thing. I think it says a lot about him when he froze on the rifle range and then blamed it on the Iraqis. What kind of Marine would freeze like that? I wouldn¿t want him beside me in combat. My 1st Sgt had been wounded in Nam and he didn¿t freeze. I was also surprised to read that he only checked his perspective with a few Marines (some that were not even with him in the Gulf). There are a lot more Marines in a unit than that - why didn't he check with them? I might have been more convinced if he had spoken to a few more than he did. He checked with five or six and one of his sources even disagreed with his views. I would not recommend this book to anyone thinking of joining the Marines. I think Williams missed what it meant to be a Marine. I think he wrote the book to sell a book and nothing more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2012

    Spare parts tells the story of the young man Buzz Williams, who

    Spare parts tells the story of the young man Buzz Williams, who was sent to fight the war in the Persian gulf. In the story Buzz joins the marine corps to fallow the footsteps of his dead older brother that he idolized. Little did Buzz know that even the newest recruit could be sent in to battle in a matter of weeks. You don't have to go to war to feel what it is like, this book describes it for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2006

    interesting

    I'm not a service man or from a family that was but this book kept me interested. You didn't have to be there to enjoy this book. Highly recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2006

    Don't let the 'RESERVE' part throw you off

    Being a former Sergeant on active duty in the Marine Corps I was extremely hesitant to pick up a book by a reservist who seemingly spent more time being a college kid than he did on the front lines, or in the rear for that matter. To my dismay this book goes not into what it's like being a weekend warrior, as they're often termed, but to what it's like being a quasi-stellar Marine and living the dream of which only a few of us are privileged. From MCRD and SOI to Operations Desert Shield/Storm, this book will have you at times laughing out loud, cringing your teeth in disgust, dropping your jaw in awe, reminiscing and flashing back to a part of the world at which the current time most of us are all too familiar with, and ultimately leave any former Marine questioning, ¿How far to the nearest recruiter?¿. It¿s the author¿s thought process, his personality, and his honesty, whether positive or negative towards the Corps, which makes this book worth the read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2006

    Lifelike detail

    Unless you are a Marine, you have no idea how real this detail is. Open your heart and your mind as you read with amazement the grueling life of a Marine. This author knows how to express the truth and those who've never experienced this training and it's aftermath will possibly doubt the reality. To this author, I salute you. SEMPER FIDELIS!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2004

    Reveals the Untold Story

    Buzz Williams does a great job in describing the psychological roller coaster that all Marine Reservists ride when constantly alternating between two entirely different worlds. I know because I was there myself from 1983-1988. It is so true that you feel somewhat separated and alone when functioning in the civilian world as an active Marine Reservist, and then when in uniform, you're viewed as 'not a real Marine' by active duty counterparts. Williams also provides some of the most accurate descriptions of Recruit Training and the Drill Instructors of Parris Island. My only complaint is that I wish he had written more about the negative attitudes and comments he had to put up with in the civilian classroom, especially from his professors. Williams touches on confronting this 'problem' when he returns from Iraq. A definite read for anyone considering the Marine Corps Reserve. All in all, it's still a great way to serve and an experience unlike any in the civilian world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2004

    I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!!!!!

    The author gives a clear and revealing account of his experiences from the recruiters office all the way through boot camp and combat.This is a very intimate look inside the life of a Marine reservist.EXCELLENT!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2004

    A father's perspective

    I just finished reading ¿Spare Parts¿ and highly recommend it to anyone who knows someone in the Marine Corps Reserves, knows someone thinking of joining, or just wants a better appreciation of what our service men and women go through. ¿Spare Parts¿ provides two views of the Marine Corps: the more well-known comradery side (i.e., ¿once a Marine, always a Marine,¿) and toughness of the Corps, as well as the less glamorous side (i.e., training, drilling, and combat). Further, it provides an interesting perspective on the unique mental aspects of reserve service. As a father with a son in the Marine Corps Reserves, this book really hit home. After graduating from Parris Island and subsequent training at Camp Legune, NC, and Twentynine Palms, CA, my son returned home to go back to school, attend monthly drills, and await his call-up to active duty. While as gung-ho as John Wayne after leaving Parris Island (the more common view of a Marine), he has since also become aware of the other, less heralded side of military reserve life such as the lack of resources, inefficiency, etc. While specific instances of these conditions are detailed in ¿Spare Parts,¿ Mr. Williams doesn¿t stop there but also continues to describe how he overcame many of the human (i.e., personalities and attitudes) and resource (i.e., training and equipment) impediments that he and others routinely experience; invaluable lessons for any Marine. Finally, this book helped me to appreciate the monthly mental roller coaster that Marine Reservists go through. The difficult transition in ¿mind set¿ from a civilian to a Marine back to a civilian each month is something that I really didn¿t have an appreciation for; however, since reading the book, I can recognize as a reality in my son. As the father of a young Marine that has a better-than-average chance of being called to active duty during his enlistment, many of the experiences described in this book scared the hell out of me, but it also provided a much needed perspective that I, and others, need to understand, especially if one is considering joining the Marine Corps Reserves. In conclusion, to all those individuals who have made and lived that commitment to ¿Corps and country,¿ all I can say is thank you and Semper Fi.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2004

    Spare Parts: A Marine Reservist's Journey from Campus to Combat in 38 Days

    The ability to tell your story and subject yourself to the critics. Many have said that this Marine Reservist never led troops, How would he know what it was all about. I say that these are the Marines who have forgotten what it was like to be a young influenced Marine, with the expectations of Greatness only to find how screwed up it really is at times. Marines in supervisory postions who dont give a darn about Mission accomplishment and could careless about the welfare of the troops. The individuals have lied cheated and done whatever it has taken to earn the next stripe!!! This book has opened the eyes of many and made them realize at least the author has the Balls to tell it like it was for him and his experience!!!! Truth be told there are many many things from boot camp that were not revealed and things that happen out in the fleet that make you realize the Most feared fighting force in the World is at times the most unorgainized too!!! YES there are true leaders and Men who have served and died for the cause and God Bless them. Lets be true to one another and ask that young marine in his first year out in the fleet or reserve what its like to be under payed, under appreciated and lied to on a daily basis. About life liberty and the pursuit of the enemy!!! Once a Marine Always a Marine, these comments are meant for the people out there who are trying to gun the author down for having the balls to tell the truth!!! No disrespect was intended but the truth does hurt!!!! Semper Fi and God Speed J.L. Marquez United States Marine Corps 1988-1992

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2004

    Spare Parts: A Marine Reservist's Journey from Campus to Combat in 38 Days

    It reads like it is!!!!! J. L. Marquez USMC 1988-1992 Semper Fi

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2004

    A must read for anyone old enough to remember Desert Storm

    I am not usually someone who enjoys war stories, but I could not put this book down. Mr. Willams puts a human perspective on some dramatic events. His humble and brutally honest outlook shows the very human conflicts that happen to soldiers both in peace and war.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2004

    'This is how it is!'

    My review of buzz's book is on the book jacket, see E C Bigley, Lt Col.....what i would like everyone to understand about the book is this is an honest man's honest telling of the reserve component leading up to battle and in battle. a truly great book, tells is just the way it is. ecb.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2004

    Superior reading.

    Most enjoyable book I have read in many years. The author places the reader square in his shoes. I felt like I went through the whole experience. Once I started reading I found I could not put it down. This book is absolutely a must read. It is so informative and gives an accurate account of what it was like to go from campus to combat in 38 days. Great job by the author. Can't wait to see the movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2004

    Helped me understand the life of a Reservist

    Buzz Williams did an excellent job of helping me understand that the life of a Marine Reservist is much more taxing than I would have ever thought. Many of us think that a reservist, even one that is a Marine, is more about cleaning equipment than actually participating in war. We hear about it in the current Gulf war, but in this case Mr. Williams helped me 'see it'. I especiall liked the chapters which explained how reservist are often talk down to.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2004

    A must read book that is exciting and hard to put down

    My first reading session of this book lasted 5 hours -- late into the evening. The book is so exciting that you don't want to put it down. As you're reading it, you feel that you're in Williams' shoes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2004

    Excellent account of the Marine reserve experience!

    I enjoy this book for the way it describes the vital contribution our reserves make in keeping up and maintaining the Corps. It is in the class of Stephen Ambrose' Citizen Soldier. An excellent tool for the classroom. I do not think the one detractor ( and only one) who reviewed the book actually read it. I look forward with great anticipation to Mr Williams next book. He has made an outstanding contribution to the Marine Corps and U.S. society at large.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2004

    Finally, someone telling our story.

    I commend Buzz Williams for telling his story and the story of Marine reservist past and present. There are many of us experiencing what his book discribes so well every day. This will mean a lot to many of us, it's our story too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2004

    These Boots are Made for Walken!

    Great book I really enjoyed it and I do recommend it, It causes you think about the real role of the modern reservist¿s. It¿s not all about college tuition money anymore. With Dedication and Service to the Corp, Semper Fi! .-. ...--

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2004

    SPARE PARTS OFFERS INSIGHTS INTO WHAT IT IS LIKE TO SERVE IN THE RESERVES IN PEACETIME AND WARTIME

    Buzz Williams hits a nerve on what type of commitment reserves make to our Nation in Peacetime and Wartime. It is a commmitment that not many Americans, I think, fully realized. They work their 'day job' during the week and then go off and work exceedingly hard on weekends. And then they go back to their 'day job' during the week. This makes for 12 straight work days every month. They also give up valueable free time on the weekends that they could use for themselves and their families. Why do they do this? Well it is quite simply put: To serve our great Nation. They believe in Democratic ideals ourt great Nation was founded upon--freedom, liberty, representative government. They perform in most cases as good or better than their active duty counterparts. They are lawyers, doctors, pilots, teachers, students, business owners, IT professionals, etc. It is such an extraordinary group that serves with so much distinction. Some have in the past and more will in the future pay the ultimate sacrifice protecting our cherished freedoms that so many Americans take for granted. Our Nation owes them a debt of gratitude. Spare Parts brings all I mentioned into vivid detail. It may be the best book written up-to-date on Reservists' contributions to the First Gulf War.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2004

    My teenage son is devouring this book!

    I thought the book was very interesting and well written. Buzz Williams is a master communicator and creates vision through description and personal experiences. My teenage son is totally engrossed and carries it everywhere, hoping to find time to read a few pages. How refreshing for his role model to be a Marine, teacher, administrator, and author. This book needs to be in our schools as well as our homes. Thank you Mr. Williams!

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