ISBN 10: 0760323941 / ISBN 13: 9780760323946
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This Book is in Good Condition. Clean Copy With Light Amount of Wear. 100% Guaranteed. Summary: Part I. Bonds July 2003 Synergy Manpower Plus Bruns The First Good-byes Texas Light Infantry on Wheels Strains of Command Finishing School One More Last Good-bye Part II. Road Warriors The Cardboard Coffins Muslim Brownshirts The Elephants The Jed Clampetts Go to War Serial Five Waiting: The Other Agony First Days of Work The 91st Psalm The Rockets of Taji The Fine Art of Command Part III. Contact Right Seat into RPGs Dumped in Baghdad A Glimpse of What Could Be Operation Oscar The Edge of Sadr City The First Heroes Sixty Years of Shattered Peace Toby Keith Interlude Justice: Swift and Righteous The Images at Home The One Who Had to Die Aftermath Shaykh Majeid Trolling for Terrorists The Knee-high Sniper Command Decision The Gray-haired Mystery Man The Hell Houndsrs" Last Ride Part IV. The Al Sadr Smackdown Moqtada Reprise The Charge of the Modoc Warrior The Battle for Jamelia Power Station The Fight on the Perimeter Kilometer-long Kill Zone The Face of the Enemy The Private War of Sergeant Hellman Zonr 22 Rodeos Budweiser Bridge Part V. The Battle of Najaf The Cover of Stars and Stripes Captain Glassrs" Finest Hour Kris Haneyrs"s Chunk of History Zero to Crusty in No Time Flat Five Thousand New Martyrs The Day of Donkey Death The Apache Hilton Eldredrs"s Fist of God The Tuttle Chapter 18th and Christies Of Bras and Wedding Gowns The Piranha Kittens The Deal Part VI. The Last Heroes Where Do the Wounded Go? Through Hardships . . . to Things of Honor Mushada Market Fallujah The Woman on the Roof The Ink-stained Finger. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: Citizen soldiers have played a unique role in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - and their extended deployment and role in the wars battles have changed the towns, cities, and states they hail from as well. The Devil's Sandbox - a nickname for Iraq - is the story of the 2nd Battalion of Oregon's 162nd Infantry Regiment (2/162), and provides readers an intimate look at the reality of National Guardsmen at war. Follow the 2/162 from their call-up in the summer of 2003 to their return home in the spring of 2005.

Witness some of the fiercest fighting of the Iraq War and some of the most rewarding and forward-looking civil affairs projects aimed at rebuilding the broken nation of Iraq. Read how the town in Oregon struggles to do without the people - the accountants, lawyers, mechanics, et. al. - who went to serve in the war.

The Devil's Sandbox
offers a rare insight into what this war means for the citizen-soldier at home and abroad, and chronicles a battalion that earned the respect of the regular Army soldiers who fought alongside them in some of the toughest battles in the Iraq war.

From the Author:

Author’s Note

 

Hello, and welcome! Come on in, we’ve got meat on the grill and enough beer to last us all night. Don’t be shy; have a seat out back. The view of our valley is fabulous. All our guests remark on it. We’ve got every shade of green you can imagine. The lush grass, the tall firs stippling the hills . . . well, nothing beats it in my book.

            You’ve got to know up front that our valley isn’t the Silicon Valley. We don’t drive Beamers and Benzes to work. We’re an SUV and pick-up kind of place—the bigger the better. Out here, we’ve got the bedrock types who built this country and made it great. We are Middle America, the heartland in our chunk of Oregon. We’re old school. We don’t judge by job or vehicle. We look into each other’s eyes and measure the man by the content of his character.

 Relax—kick your shoes off. I’ve got much to tell you, but first I need to introduce you to my neighbors. Sure, you’ve probably seen them before. Vinni Jacques was on CNN. So was Pete Wood. Chris Bailey made the front page of the New York Times. Sean Davis and Ray Byrne were interviewed on 60 Minutes. Luke Wilson made the cover of Field and Stream in November ’05. Matt Zedwick has his own action figure now. Jim MacMillan’s photo of Shad Thomas won the Pulitzer Prize. In one memorable issue, Pete Salerno’s narrow mug graced the cover of the National Enquirer. You can’t buy that kind of love.

 If you’ve been watching the news a lot, you probably saw some of my neighbors die.

            Yes, I’m sure you’ve seen them before, but now I want you to really get to know them. Tonight, I’m going to fill you in on a bunch of guys, and one woman, who happened to be the most ribald, feral, loyal, and dedicated humans I’ve ever encountered. I love them like I love my own kin. Don’t ask me to talk trash about them; don’t ask me to get into politics. Neither mean much to them, so they mean nothing to me.

            They’re a deceptive bunch. Head into the Wal-Mart, or one of the mills around here and you’ll find them hard at work. Drop by the HP printer factory a ways down the road in Corvallis. You’ll find a handful of them there in button-down shirts stuffed away in cubical land. They look like any other nine-to-five Joe just trying to make ends meet. They don’t stand out, not at first glance, anyway. They pass through their days in average obscurity, raising their families and doing the best they can in this crazy world.

            Truth be told, they are a different breed of cat. Once a month and two weeks out of every summer, they strap on their gear and go learn how to kill people. My neighbors, you see, are citizen-soldiers. They call themselves “Joes” or “Pot-bellied steely-eyed killers.” They say the latter half in jest. While some of them are a bit saggy around the midsection, most could make any Bowflex ad look good. They are the infantrymen—Joes—of the 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry, Oregon National Guard.

            Fate threw them into the middle of the most important battles in the Iraq War during 2004–05, a period the army refers to as Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Part II. Now, as we sit on this porch, the army’s up to its fifth sequel and some of my pals are heading back into the fight. You see, they are a committed bunch. They love this country. They’ve seen our enemies firsthand and know the ruthless evil that resides in their cause. They know that should we falter in Iraq, the War on Terror will surely be lost.

During OIF II, the Iraq War morphed into something greater than itself. It became a titanic test of wills between America and the forces of Islamic fascism. The battlefields in Iraq became our generation’s Guadalcanal and Stalingrad. Both sides have invested everything they’ve got. Now, the battle has outgrown its strategic significance into something larger: a crucible of resolve.

            My neighbors saw this transformation firsthand. And, if you’ll pardon the bragging, they helped shape it during their time in the Sandbox. These average work-a-day stiffs helped beat down the two Al Sadr uprisings. They fought the Battle of Najaf. They fought the Battle of Fallujah. They called the Sunni Triangle home.

            When they returned to a hero’s welcome here in Oregon, they discovered the marines had hogged their glory. Every book, every documentary on the History Channel failed to recognize their achievements. They even got dissed by the local politicos, who during their demobilization ceremony extolled their service without a clue of their accomplishments.

            You’re on my back porch tonight to fix all that. Please, sit back and take this in. I’ll tell you about their goofy humor and ridiculous pranks. I can’t help that; I’ve been victimized by their devious plots. You’ve got to watch these neighbors of mine. They’ll tie you to your cot quicker than you can say, “Buddy Fucker.”

We’ll have some fun, and I’ll use foul language. It is their language, and to discard it for propriety’s sake does them an injustice. I want you to get to know them, not some sanitized image the feint of heart can handle. Friend, if you can’t handle the f-bomb, then my porch is not for you tonight. If you can, stick around; we’re going to have a hell of a ride.

Just don’t let the goofy stuff take your eye off the ball. There is a larger, more poignant story beneath their antics that you’ll hear in my tale tonight. That aspect of these men (and one woman) deserves your attention. They earned that with the blood they spilled and the brothers they buried.

In many ways, the National Guard has eaten a shit sandwich since the Battle of Bunker Hill. The Continental soldiers looked down their noses at the Minutemen and their militia brethren. They remarked on all of their defeats and celebrated none of their victories. But who has fought and won America’s wars? Our citizen-soldiers.

Take the Civil War. The regular army was too small and too fractured to win that war on its own. No, the regulars didn’t win it, the farm boys and city folk who flocked to Lincoln’s call for militia levies won that one. And when the flood of volunteers dried up after the bloodbaths of Antietam and Gettysburg, the draftees finished the job in the Wilderness, Atlanta, and Petersburg.

            What’s that? Okay, sure, that’s just one example, but the militia gave birth to the National Guard. The Guard units formed the cornerstone of America’s war effort in World War I. In World War II, Guard divisions fought side-by-side with the regular divisions. These weekend warriors had their moments of glory: Tennessee’s 30th Division became the elite infantry outfit in western Europe. The “Blue and Gray” Division from Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., stormed Omaha Beach. Oregon’s Sunsetters served as MacArthur’s mailed fist for his island-hopping campaign back to the Philippines.

            The National Guard has always been there in the thick of the fight. At key moments, they’ve changed the course of history. They’ve protected all that we find of value in our two-hundred-year experiment in freedom and democracy.

            Nobody remembers that. Instead, they remember the slip-shod units, the elected officers, the weekends of drill that were little more than an excuse to binge drink with the boys. Kent State? Yeah, that’s remembered. But who recalls Biak or Palawan or the Crossing of the Roer? Since its inception, the Guard has been stigmatized as “Big Army’s”...

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