In 2006, 1st Lt. Wesley Gray was deployed as a U.S. Marine Corps military adviser to an Iraqi Army battalion in the Haditha Triad. For 210 days, he lived and fought beside Iraqi soldiers in the most dangerous and austere province of western Iraq. Al-Anbar was filled with an insurgent population traumatized by a recent massacre of twenty-four men, women, and children shot at close range by U.S. Marines in retaliation for the death of one of their comrades in a roadside bombing. Despite the high tensions created by the shootings, Gray was able to form a bond with the Iraqis because he had an edge that very few U.S. service members possess -the ability to communicate in Iraqi Arabic. His language skills and his understanding of the culture led the Iraqi soldiers to call him a brother and fondly name him Jamal. By the end of his tour he was a legend within the Iraqi Army. Gray draws on the brutally honest and detailed record he kept during his tour, including extensive interviews with Iraqi soldiers and citizens. He offers a comprehensive portrait of the struggles of the Iraqi people to make their country a nation once again and includes a compelling report on the status and prospects of the U.S. government's strategy for success in Iraq.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Embedded based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
This was a gripping book that I couldn't put down from the second I bought it. Written by a Soldier who was interrupted from his Ph.D. program to go to Iraq and assist in training the Iraqi Army, it is a brutally honest account of what his deployment was like. Complete with absolutely hilarious snippets and true to military form with the swearing, it was highly entertaining. The honesty regarding the mission he was trying to accomplish and the continued frustrations that often came from differences in cultural understanding and lifestyle was truly enlightening. I highly recommend it and find it to be one of the best contemporary accounts of personal military service in Iraq.