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Showing 1-10 of 16 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 45 reviews
on August 2, 2014
I don't profess to be an author or a great scholar, however I have read at least one book a week and have read upwards of 50 military novels in my time, many of them being autobiographies or personal accounts from the men who lived to tell the tale through various conflicts spanning several time periods.

Read carefully:
THIS BOOK IS BY FAR THE ABSOLUTE WORST PIECE OF LITERATURE I HAVE EVER READ.

The story jumps all over the place, the author can't keep a point to save his life and worse, it seems this book (if you'd prefer to call it that) was sent straight from Zapata's journal to the press. I very seriously doubt anyone was hired to proof read this work before it was released to the public.

I type this with no intent to disrespect Mr. Zapata and his service to our country. He certainly was probably very good at being part of an ODA and performing his duties as a soldier. This man however, is no author. Some of you may find this harsh and perhaps feel this review is unjustified, especially given all that the author has given up for his country. However, being a former military man myself I feel I can give an honest review without persecution based on patriotism.

Here are some great alternatives to "Desperate Lands"

Great autobiographies similar to (but better than) "Desperate Lands":

"Warrior Soul" by Chuck Pfarrer
"Rogue Warrior" by Richard Marcinko
"Inside Delta Force" by Eric Haney
"The Mission the Men and Me" by Pete Blaber

Another great read is "Fearless" (the story of Adam Brown) by Eric Blehm.

I would recommend any of these books ten times over before I would even mention the book listed above. I was so put off by this work that I wrote my very first review on Amazon. Save your money, go someplace else.
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on July 11, 2010
A review of Desperate Lands by Regulo Zapata Jr.

There have been many books written about the War On Terror focusing on the role of Special Operations Forces. Desperate Lands provide a glimpse into part of the war that is not well publicized. The book tells the story of a National Guard Special Forces Group. The 19th Special Forces Group has played a key role in various parts of the world in support of the War On Terror. Other books may mention the 19th Group but this is an actual personal account. Americans should read the book to gain an understanding of the fact that all parts of the military (be it Active Duty, Reserve or National Guard) are playing a part to defend our nation's freedom. I enjoyed the book for two key reasons. First, the chapters were short and not bogged down with unnecessary detail. Second each part of the book had photos. I hope that this book will encourage other Special Forces members past and present to tell their stories that will enrich our nation's history!! I highly recommend the book! Thank you MSGT Zapata for telling us your story!
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on February 8, 2012
This reads like a grade school field trip. Sure there are some technical terms, names of team members, weight and size of team members, hair color, the apparent race of the team members and the orders concerning who is riding which vehicle but that does not really make this a document of value. See the loading ramp being lowered, see the equipment being loaded, see the loading ramp being raised. Look there are some gypsies with camels. The camels are carrying supplies. The camels are carrying tent poles. Camels are being used to carry small children. Camels are used to carry small camels (well, OK that was kind of interesting).

This book took me less than two hours to read and I looked closely at every picture. We are charged $9.99 for this? Someone with a higher pay grade needs to take Amazon to task for this. Make this a "single" and charge appropriately.
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on July 20, 2011
This book reads much more like a unit history, detailing who went where, how they got there, etc. For research purposes, or official documentation purposes, this type of information is invaluable. However for recreational reading, the load out order of the vehicles in a convoy is not particularly gripping. The author's writing style is normally very formal, and most "dialogue" is written with out contraction, slang, etc. The overall content of the conversations I'm sure is the same as what actually occurred, but they feel very artificial. The overall actions taken bu the authors unit in Afghanistan were critical, however there is little actual information related regarding them. The training of Afghanistan soldiers was a critical task, and one that took up a large portion of the authors time. However there is little description of the training, the soldiers trained, or any other details that might be of interest.

If you're looking for historical reference sources, this might be a good choice. Otherwise there a better books detailing the actions of US Special Forces in Afghanistan in the same time frame.
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on January 12, 2015
I enjoyed this book allot. It is written from an NCO's perspective which provides a personal insight to the life of the Solider in the field.
As a former Marine I was able to revisit the daily life experiences that make up a deployment and a tour of duty.
I strongly recommend this book for someone considering enlisting in the Service of Our Country. Semper Fi
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on March 3, 2011
Having served with MSG Zapata, either on the same team or side by side in the same company for almost 15 years, I know this book to be the whole truth and nothing but the truth. As I read each page, knowing Reggie as I do, it was as if he was sitting down next to me with a Tecate and telling me the story himself, it is written how he speaks.
This read is plain fact(s) and is a must read for anyone wanting to know what it's really like, not only in a war zone, but 28 years in the Army. Thanks Reggie!
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on March 31, 2012
This is a story about a special forces A team that basically does....nothing. It's written by a staff officer who basically wondered around and told people how to fix fences in Djibouti. Then he hung out in Afghanistan and according to the story, which I might add took alot of reading about staff officer boring crap his team finally went and did something. As it goes his team went in and captured some weapons. He didn't really mention any more on the subject so I assume the Afghans turned over the weapons and said "come and take them" in exchange for some aid. Which is common. I get it. Not everything in war is exciting, glamorous, brutal, life and death struggles. But don't write a book about it and try and make it interesting when your deployment was basically hanging out in a toc. I'll write a story about me driving to work, buying some coffee, and then....i spilled my coffee! I almost hit a cat! Print and publish.
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on November 14, 2012
A most outstanding read. As a 12 year Army Veteran myself brought back many memories of how situations can change from mundane and repetitious to chaotic and heart thumping within seconds. Very well told and descriptive I was locked in from the start. I salute MSGT Zapata and all Special Forces soldiers for all their endeavors; bravery and professionalism.
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on December 11, 2009
MSgt Zapata's book is a great addition to the professional's tactical library and a great read for the general public as well. It gives an inside look at the workings of Special Forces in hostile territory through the eyes of a senior SF NCO. The book is a fast read. The prose is compact and to the point and the text is well illustrated with excellent photos.
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on September 19, 2012
I was expecting a tad more of this short story and felt it may have been intentionally sanitised.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed the content which I rate as reasonable and far from nail biting!
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