Top positive review
26 people found this helpful
on November 20, 2016
Excellent perspective from one who served. Seldom do I condemn other reviewers in their stance, but this is the rare exception. To all those who thought or think this is American propaganda, then you either did not read the book, your mind was made up before you started or you have not read any other memoirs from any other conflicts in the world.
This is the insight of a man who was on the ground and answered the call of his country and performed to exemplary levels of honor, bravery and comradeship. You will find the same type of writing in “Last Dead Hero”- Robert Lamon, “Blood Red Snow”- Gunther K. Koschorrek, “The Forgotten Soldier” Guy Sajer “Patton” Ladislas Farago and a host of others. These men fought for their country and sought to defeat and destroy the enemy. Plain and simple, waris about killing people to win. It’s not a walk in the park and handled through diplomacy where everyone holds hands and smiles. War is ugly, destructive and dehumanizing. Ask the Russians how many they lost during World War Two. Ask the British if they had, as Neville Chamberlain proclaimed, “Peace in our time.” You win by killing your enemy!
Chris gives the reader a frontline look at how the battle in Iraq was fought. Does he come across as inhumane? Perhaps. But as a sniper, his job isn’t to sit back and observe, it’s to protect his fellow soldiers in harms way. And he does this by killing the enemy.
I have talked, not interviewed, many men who served in WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq/Afghanistan. The common thread all of these men and women hold is, they are fighting for the man/woman by their side. Politics and grand strategies are the farthest thing from their minds. Protecting their fellow soldiers is front and foremost.
His insight to his commanders is a common theme you’ll find in most biographies-incompetent. His description of one of these, “0% casualties, 100% effectiveness.” galled him. How do you go out in the field to ambush or become a target for your foe and not expect to incur casualties? I’m sure those were the words Eisenhower, Bradley, Montgomery, Patton, Truscott, Roosevelt, King, Schwarzkof and Franks told their men as they were going into the frey. No!
The other side of this tribute is his family life. Was it all rose gardens and happy-go-lucky? Far from it. His wife Taya had her own battles to fight. She was responsible for raising their two children while he was off fighting. Her insights to their fiery, troubled relationship are well timed and placed through this work. She does not hold back how much she despises the military but also understands that her husband is bound and determined to keep the bad guys from coming to the states and making sure he does everything in his ability to make that happen. For her, it is a Catch-22. She loves her husband and is proud of his service, but sooner or later, he’s going to have to make family number two on the list. When Chris realizes that he’s not immortal during his last deployment and reenlistment is coming up, he will have to decide if he wants to continue his service which could result in him losing his family. He chooses the later. This alone is an excellent testament of two people not taking the easy road. They overcame their differences and remembered why they fell in love in the first place.
I recommend this warrior’s story to anyone who wants a glimpse into the day to day life of a man who is dedicated to his God, Country and Family.