Wednesday, November 25, 2009

On My Nightstand: The Good Soldiers

My latest read is The Good Soldiers by David Finkel. It's a gripping tale of the soldiers of the 2-16 Batallion, who deployed from Fort Riley, Kansas to participate in the surge.

It is told in chronological fashion, and recounts the mission and the disillusionment that some of those soldiers faced when seeing their efforts undone and unmatched by the Iraqis that they were there to help.

Finkel also recounts the encounters with those soldiers who were seriously injured while facing combat, or more often succumbing to the effects of IEDs and EFPs, which ripped apart man and vehicle with the greatest of ease.

What is astonishing is that so many of these most horribly injured were saved by the heroic measures of the medical staff and their fellow soldiers, but the visible effects of those injuries are just a part of the tale. The mental anguish by those injured, and those who had to live knowing that they were lucky enough not to have been injured is one of the lesser told stories.

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