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47 Reviews
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If he's lying...
I was trapped in a DC airport this week for 12 hours. While I was wondering aimlessly through airport shops, I saw this book. The Author's name gave me a quick chuckle so I picked it up.

First, I am a college educated, U.S. Marine, who enlisted at 26 much like Rico with a desire to do something great for my country after 911. Whether it is Marines or Army, the...
Published on August 6, 2007 by W. P. Elliott

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
I stopped after about fifty pages I couldn't take the Authors ego.
Published 1 month ago by DevilDog3/7


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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If he's lying..., August 6, 2007
By 
W. P. Elliott (Stafford, VA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Blood Makes the Grass Grow Green: A Year in the Desert with Team America (Paperback)
I was trapped in a DC airport this week for 12 hours. While I was wondering aimlessly through airport shops, I saw this book. The Author's name gave me a quick chuckle so I picked it up.

First, I am a college educated, U.S. Marine, who enlisted at 26 much like Rico with a desire to do something great for my country after 911. Whether it is Marines or Army, the experience is the same.

But, with 4 months to go on my contract before I return to my old life I can attest to the accuracy and humor in this book. I laughed out loud at the description of his time overseas. Anyone who says this dishonors our men in uniform has never served or is completely delusional. This is dead on...

If he's lying then it is the most truthful lie I have ever read.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Catch-22" for the modern day soldier, April 27, 2007
This review is from: Blood Makes the Grass Grow Green: A Year in the Desert with Team America (Paperback)
"God must have hated 2nd Platoon. And we would all be wise to keep our distance from the 2nd Platoon soldiers, who might taint us with their bad luck." With nothing kept sacred, Johnny explores his own thoughts on God, spirituality, and superstitions as his "cursed" comrades are being blown up, contemplating whether or not he believed in this non-sense, admitting "I kept my Virgin Mary bubble-gum trading cards."

Johnny tells of America's insatiable appetite of making each dead soldier into a war hero, no matter what the truth. This is the type of dishonest propaganda put out by the Army that Johnny detests.

His defiance through his interpretation of characters is refreshingly honest and quite accurate. From subtle nuances to thought-provoking discussions of stepping on land mines to ensure unborn children their right to a good education at the state's expense, each character brings to life the reality of being deployed to Afghanistan in the Army as an infantry soldier.

It's hard not to agree with Johnny's frustrations and elations echoing through pages that flow effortlessly, rich with descriptions such as that of the night sky in the desert, where "the stars are so bright you can taste them."

I challenge you to find a character in this book that you haven't met somewhere in the recesses of your own life or mind.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Johnny wrote the book I was too lazy to write, May 12, 2007
By 
Amazon Customer (Waiting to be deployed again - VA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Blood Makes the Grass Grow Green: A Year in the Desert with Team America (Paperback)
Rico captured it all... as one of the National Guard soldiers that relieved Johnny and his collection of working class mis-fits from Ghazni, I can testify to the insane-ness written so well.

I can't wait for the movie
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars they owned the night..., July 12, 2007
This review is from: Blood Makes the Grass Grow Green: A Year in the Desert with Team America (Paperback)
anything I say which could be derogatory is actually, I think, a necessary part of the book and experience which the author is trying to relate.

I have- and would- recommend it. Especially to other folks in the military- especially infantry.

enough said, I think....

(except, perhaps... former bobcat and still in 25th...)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars And I'M the pogue?, July 6, 2007
This review is from: Blood Makes the Grass Grow Green: A Year in the Desert with Team America (Paperback)
Yeah, about the pictures...although this guy basically sat around guarding a radio for a year, it doesn't diminish the valid critiques he has of how inefficient the US Army is (I'm also a veteran...anyone who has served and who is honest can relate to how recruiters are the biggest bold-faced liers...including Satan). It's a worthy read, regardless of your political background, because it is an indictment of military inefficiency.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A window into the mind of a soldier, August 26, 2007
This review is from: Blood Makes the Grass Grow Green: A Year in the Desert with Team America (Paperback)
My boyfriend who is a Sgt in th USMC bought the book about a month ago and after reading it begged me to read it so I could have a better understanding of what his tour in Iraq had been like. I have to say I'm not a fan of military themed books, but this book was amazing. As a civilian it gave been better perspective of war, the action and the duldrums.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't just look at the pictures, READ the book next time!, November 1, 2007
By 
This review is from: Blood Makes the Grass Grow Green: A Year in the Desert with Team America (Paperback)
Well Mr. Hanner....it might have helped if you had actually "read" the book, instead of just looking at the shiny pictures. Rico acknowledges time and time again that he is in fact NOT a natural born killer. He goes into detail to explain that he did not take his military training as seriously as he should have, was NOT adequately trained to do his "military" job and in fact doesn't know what the hell he is doing half the time.

As far as the "tough guy" on the cover....it's IRONY...ever heard of IRONY? Just in case you don't know what that means, here's the definition:

a technique of indicating, as through character or plot development, an intention or attitude opposite to that which is actually or ostensibly stated.

Read the book, then write a review about it. It's a great raw read. Very well written.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blunt Narrative on the Bureacracy in the US military, November 15, 2010
By 
David S (CALIFORNIA, US) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Blood Makes the Grass Grow Green: A Year in the Desert with Team America (Paperback)
Johnny Rico (his chosen name, not his given name, nor an alias) writes this first-person narrative with a type of candor and insight that those who've served can identify. While I disagree with his politics and other ideology, I do recognize and agree with his criticisms of the bureacracy that runs the military. Having Taliban released because the paperwork on their capture was filled out incorrectly, being denied permission to return fire, and eventually denied ammunition, because it looks bad when a province declared secure suddenly has flare-ups of Anti-Coalition Forces are all things I believe can and do happen in the military. A supply unit that cannot provide a forward base with things like pens, radio batteries, and spare parts for Humvees... Having an O-5 chew out a unit because they chose to use body armor that better suits their needs than the standard issue gear....

Rico does not glamorize nor glorify uniformed service. He genuinely admires the selflessness of some of his junior NCOs, and bristles against the mind-numbing rants of his senior NCOs. Rico recognizes that not all West Point graduates are Pattons and Eisenhowers in the making.

He was in fact instructed to tell the Army story, and rather than propagandize his experience, he tells it like it is. In the early days of GWOT, the average 11B probably did want to deploy just to waste some Hajjis. Since then cultural sensitivity training and increased efforts at educating and training our forces have lead to a more cooperative role for our servicemen and -women. I don't believe his account should be criticized just because it is not in-line with DoD public affairs policy or because it may or may not mesh with another serviceman's account. Afghanistan is a large nation, as is Iraq, and each of the hundreds of thousands of troops deployed to the Middle East has their own perspective on their experience.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This guy is most definitely one of us..., November 3, 2009
By 
Travis Vanburen "SGT_VB" (Some obscure military installation somewhere in the world) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Blood Makes the Grass Grow Green: A Year in the Desert with Team America (Paperback)
If anyone ever wanted to know what combat is REALLY like, they should read this book. After four tours to the Middle East and 11 years in the US Army, I can attest that I have never read an account of experience on the front lines more true than this one. Where many books try to either glamorize combat or trash it, this book tells it like it really is. The author's sense of humor is the same as just about every "Joe Snuffy" I've ever met, including those from foreign militaries. Based on what I've read, I have no doubt that this Joe is doing his best to maintain accuracy. Great book, I'd buy it again and have been recommending it to all of my guys.

My Brigade commander walked by my desk a couple days ago and opened the book. Withing seconds, he was glued to it. A few minutes later, he was almost in tears laughing so hard. Way to go, SPC Rico.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yahoo! Tell It Like It Is!, November 15, 2007
By 
C. A. Hoyer "Dr H" (Newport News, VA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Blood Makes the Grass Grow Green: A Year in the Desert with Team America (Paperback)
This is one of the greatest books I have read about soldiering in a war. I got this book at my local library and immediately started to read it and couldn't put it down. Being a psychologist with experience working with the military and returning soldiers I am glad someone had the guts to write this account! It was funny, sad and sometimes made you mad- but it's the military thru and thru.

I love the parts in the beginning about lying of recruiters and how the military loves the paperwork and all the passive aggressiveness.

I'm looking for more from this author and hope a movie of it comes out.
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Blood Makes the Grass Grow Green: A Year in the Desert with Team America
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