This is a series of eighteen stories -- non-fiction, despite what some apparently are claiming -- about John Crawford's tour of duty in Iraq during this current war. In no uncertain terms, it's an amazing book, but short enough to read in a day or two. The stories are raw, sometimes heartbreaking and sometimes funny. Crawford left for the war three weeks after getting married, and though he doesn't ever write a story specifically about the strains that put on his new marriage, the point comes across crystal clear. It's not all about the doom and gloom of war, but suffice it to say this is not going to be on the Army's Recommended Reading List.
This isn't exactly the most indicative quote of what the entire book is like, but the writing is so crisp I felt it worth sharing.
Third Infantry Division used us for a while, until their time for parades and heroism came during the summer. Now we were stuck with First Armored Division, and still we sat in a city that seethed around us. Warriors were replaced by occupiers, peacekeepers, while we slept every night in the dragon's den, stirred by its fiery breath. We were riding a crest of hatred two thousand years old in a storm that no one who hasn't experienced it can understand. We knew what an AK-47 bullet sounds like when it zips unseen by our heads. We had heard the deafening blast of 155-millimeter rounds exploding near us. We knew the screams of the wounded and dying, and had seen the tears of men, of soldiers. I watched as we de-evolved into animals, and all this time there was a sinking feeling that we were changing from hunter to hunted.