The Iraq war is being fought by an all-volunteer army recruited from working-class America, ordinary citizens in uniform. Volunteers sign up with the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy as active duty, Reserve or National Guard, serving when as young as 18 and as old as 60. They enlist for a number of reasons: to pay for college, to earn extra income, to have an adventure, to defeat the enemy, to defend their country, to please their families and to find themselves.
These men and women are the stars of Tripp's powerfully moving book about our war and our warriors in Iraq. Surviving Iraq: Soldiers' Stories is the result of a close collaboration between the author and thirty veterans who volunteered to tell their stories of the invasion, occupation, and ongoing insurgency in Iraq. Readers learn what the soldiers' lives were like in and out of combat in Iraq and Kuwait and how they view the war. To help the reader follow the narratives, Tripp provides a chronology, maps, and a glossary of military terms.
These thirty in-depth narratives belong to the national dialogue on the war and also to a people's history of the war. We find unvarnished views of the war's conduct and its rationales, as well as of its commander in chief and his administration. Soldiers' individual experiences range from the harrowing to the hilarious--all the indelible human detail of war. As fighters, soldiers must face urban warfare against an unidentifiable enemy; as women they must guard against assault from their male comrades; as military personnel they live on bases that have modern movie theaters, gyms, the internet and phones, Burger Kings and Pizza Huts, all in the midst of a dangerous conflict. Almost a half a million soldiers have served in the four years of this war, but each story is unique, telling us what it is like to serve in war, and to survive it.