From Publishers Weekly
Having joined the National Guard for the tuition benefits, Crawford, like many of his contemporaries, never expected to do any heavy lifting. Early on, he admits his is "the story of a group of college students... who wanted nothing to do with someone else's war." But when his Florida National Guard unit was activated, he was shipped to Kuwait shortly before the invasion of Iraq. Armed with shoddy equipment, led by incompetent officers and finding release in the occasional indulgence in pharmaceuticals, Crawford cared little for the mission and less for the Iraqis. "Mostly we were guarding gas stations and running patrols," he explains. As for Iraqi civilians, "I didn't give a shit what happened to any of them," he confesses after inadvertently saving an Iraqi boy from a mob beating. Crawford's disdain grows with each extension of his tour, and he leaves Iraq broke, rudderless and embittered. Unfortunately, Crawford dresses up his story in strained metaphors and tired clichés such as "truth engulfed me like a storm cloud" and "you can never go back home." Despite its pretensions, Crawford's story is not the classic foot soldier's memoir and should provide enough gristle to please military memoir fans.
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“Potent…Crawford tells tales that bring human dimensions to his situation.” —The New York Times
“A National Guardsman who never expected to see battle writes a shattering account of the war that changed his life.” —People
"Tremendous...An incredibly gripping book, and incredibly well-written. It's a remarkable story...I commend [Crawford] not only for his service, but for the account of it, which is really a wonderful read."—Jon Stewart, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
"Harrowing and exquisite."—Time
"Takes its place among the very best tales of men at war—it rings with the raw emotional energies of truth and anger and sadness."—The New Orleans Times-Picayune
“It's f***ing dynamite… Like Michael Herr in Dispatches, Crawford really has it down. He’s got it nailed.” —Thom Jones, author of The Pugilist at Rest
“Crawford is a wonderfully descriptive writer—and reading this book feels like climbing into a Humvee to patrol Baghdad in 130-degree heat.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune