Growing up in the shadows of the giant B-52 Stratofortresses that thundered away from the nearby Barksdale Air Force Base, Brandon Friedman dreamed of becoming a warrior and defending his country. But dreams of heroism and the realities of war can look very different, and when Brandon joined the army as a second lieutenant in peacetime, he had no way of knowing how his world was about to change.
This is Brandon Friedmans story of coming of age in a world awakening to the horrors made plain on 9/11. With the U. S. Army moving into full-fledged combat operations half a world away against Al Qaeda and their Taliban hosts, Brandon found himself facing an elusive enemy on unfamiliar ground. He tells how, as an infantry platoon leader in the elite 101st Airborne Division, the famed "Screaming Eagles," he and his unit struggled to find their footing in the high valleys of the Hindu Kush while battling radical Islam in operation Anaconda.
A brief respite at their home base in Kentucky, and Friedman and the Screaming Eagles were off to war again, this time in Iraq. In this gripping memoir of a young soldier learning the hardest lessons of combat, we see the terrors and disillusion of war as the insurgency in Iraq spirals out of control. And we see the true valor of character emerging under fire.
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“An insight into to the chaos of combat . . . puts readers onto the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq and straight into the action.”
—Colonel R. Alan King, author,
Twice Armed: An American Soldier’s Battle for Hearts and Minds in Iraq
The “war he always wanted” took him to the front lines of Afghanistan and Iraq as a young infantry officer in the elite 101st Airborne Division. For Lieutenant Brandon Friedman, however, the reality of his war fell far short of his youthful fantasies of combat heroism: he never stormed a beach, he never ducked tracer fire while parachuting onto an enemy-held airfield, and his best buddy didn’t die in Brandon’s arms talking about his mom and the girl back home.
There was nothing Hollywood about it. In a literary style reminiscent of the late Kurt Vonnegut, Friedman helps readers understand the apparent contradiction of soldiers who can reflect upon the worst period in their lives as “a pretty good time.”
From the book: “When the bomb hit, the sound was deafening. It made the air vibrate. For the split second in which the mountainside was alight from the explosion, I could see trees swaying from the shockwave. I could see embers blowing off branches and into the snow. Kneeling, I watched as two more bombs struck the mountain in quick succession, causing the same set of effects. It was then that I noticed Sergeant Collins had moved forward from the back of the column. He was kneeling next to me. When he saw me looking at him through my night vision, he pointed to the mountain. Then he whispered, measuring out each word carefully, ‘A man’s got to know his limitations.’ ”From the Inside Flap:
Growing up in the shadows of the giant B-52 Stratofortresses that thundered away from nearby Barksdale, Louisiana, Air Force Base in defense of the free world, Brandon Friedman imagined growing up to be a warrior, proudly defending his country from enemies who would seek to oppress America. Ultimately, his path led him not to the U.S. Air Force and the life of a pilot, but to the U.S. Army and life as a soldier.
And not just any soldier, as an infantryman, a soldier who gets up close and personal with his foe in the kill or be killed arena that is close combat. Joining the Army in a world more or less at peace as a young officer, the new second lieutenant imagined proving his valor as he earned glory in the crucible of war. Then came 9/11 and the Army moved from a peaceful repose to full-fledged combat operations half a world away against al Qaeda, a new and illusive enemy, and their Taliban hosts.
As an infantry platoon leader in the elite 101st Airborne Division, the famed “Screaming Eagles,” Friedman and his unit soon found themselves in Afghanistan battling radical Islam in the high valleys of the Hindu Kush in Operation Anaconda. After a brief respite at their home base of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Friedman and the Screaming Eagles were off to war again, this time for the invasion and then occupation of Iraq.
In this coming-of-age memoir of a young combat leader, we follow Brandon Friedman as he comes to grips with the illusion of glory in the face of the disillusion caused by the realities war as the situation in Iraq spirals increasingly out of control.
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Book Description Zenith Press 2007-08-15, 2007. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1st. 0760331502 New! Unread publisher overstock copy. Bookseller Inventory # Z0760331502ZN
Book Description Zenith Press, 2007. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0760331502
Book Description Zenith Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0760331502 We guarantee all of our items - customer service and satisfaction are our top priorities. Please allow 4 - 14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. Bookseller Inventory # XM-0760331502
Book Description Zenith Press, 2007. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110760331502
Book Description Zenith Press, Osceola, Wisconsin, U.S.A., 2007. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. 255 pages, b&w photos - This cynical but appealing memoir by a lieutenant in the elite 101st Airborne recounts his unpleasant times fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. After a quick examination of his youth (shy, smart, dreaming of glory), Friedman describes his unit's deployment to Afghanistan after 9/11 to fight the Taliban. Its mission turns out to be guarding an air base, four months of demoralizing boredom followed by urgent orders into battle. The result is an exhausting 11-hour march high into freezing mountains, where the soldiers arrive as the fighting ends. A year later, as American forces invade Iraq in March 2003, Friedman's unit advances almost to Baghdad without encountering resistance but yearning to fight. There follows three months of dull occupation duty until, to everyone's horror, a grenade kills two soldiers on patrol, and the insurgency begins. The author accepts that America needed to fight in Afghanistan, but can't fathom why we invaded Iraq. He does not re-enlist. Given the public's waning support for the war in Iraq, Friedman's voice is likely to be heard by sympathetic ears. Bookseller Inventory # 332191