This book deals strictly with Marine Aviation during the invasion of Irak from March until late April 2003. Basically it presents different flying and fighting stories from all different Marine Aviation elements, with a natural emphasis on Hornets and Cobras. These stories are presented in a chronological order, with some interesting additional information about the war and the Marine's role in it as it developed, thus enabling the reader to understand the general context in which those operations were happening.
The writing style is easy to follow, if at times a little detached from the action and feelings of the Marines involved, but overall this is an engaging reading experience, particularly considering the many actual engagements described. A little surprising (at least for me), there is also a lot of humanity that shines through the stories and the soldiers, never forgetting that they are shooting and killing someone's father/son/daughter. As the author clearly states in the last one-page chapter, war is ugly and a very sad affair, leaving always a trail of grieving, suffering and destruction.
The accompanying photos are a good and interesting selection, I would just love to see them printed in a bigger format, and naturally in color, but I guess you get what you pay for! Unfortunately, each of the stories at times are a little short and some could use a bit more details to better put them in context, but I guess that the format chosen (of a collection of stories) probably precludes a deeper knowledge of the people and the characters. Also some more information about the more general context of the war, the Marine tactics and the different weapon systems would have clearly benefited the book - still a recommended read.
Awesome book that recounts the history of this war from those who were actually there. It reminds me of how blessed we are to have a strong military to protect us & others around the world when evil rears its head. Thank you to all the men & women who serve so selflessly & valiantly. Semper Fi!