Called to join a reserve Marine unit heading to Iraq, Dr. Thibault was sent to an aid station on the front lines in the most dangerous part of Iraq's volatile Al Anbar province. Suffering more casualties than any battalion in Iraq to date, the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines battled through mined roads, constant mortar barrages, coordinated ambushes, small-arms fire and massive roadside bombs to drive insurgents from numerous Al Anbar cities and finally to conquer and hold the city of Hit. Accomplishing the difficult transition from fighting an unconscionable enemy to winning the hearts and minds of Iraqis, this became the first Marine unit to work side-by-side with Iraqi Army soldiers to conquer and hold enemy territory during Operation Sword in July 2005. This is the journal of the assistant battalion surgeon, as he works to provide for the medical, spiritual, social and psychological needs of a Marine unit in a modern war.
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