A suspense-filled, heart-pounding narrative that succeeds in painting a picture of what it is really like to serve on the frontlines of the US armed forces ... Patterson and Matt Eversmann takes an authentic look at what its really like to be a member of the US military. It is told through the words of military veterans of varying backgrounds and expertise. Written in clear and matter-of-fact style that keeps the reader engaged the narratives take an evenhanded look at individual military service experiences in an honest and frank manner. It avoids unnecessary analysis and description while succeeding in assembling an absorbing and truthful picture of what war was really like for those who have served. Although the true strength of the book lies in its contrasting experiences, which allow the reader to interpret each unique and individual story for themselves on its merits.
A vivid and authentic portrait of life in the modern military ... Recurring themes include the shock of entering a war zone, the experience of losing a friend, and battles with alcohol, drugs, and PTSD. Though the loose structure and lack of transitions from one soldier’s story to the next can be disorienting, the overall effect is powerful. This edifying collection captures the highs and lows of the military experience.
Patterson and Mooney team with retired Army Sgt. Eversmann to bring together poignant stories of American veterans from all branches of the service ... In this wide-ranging, consistently absorbing collection, the authors cover the entire spectrum of American military action during the last 50 years, from Vietnam to the ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. There are some truly striking experiences here ... Narrated in the present tense, the text is urgent and full of suspense, and while there is some repetition of experiences, the stories are different enough to keep the pages turning. The clear, matter-of-fact tone only adds to the gravity of life-and-death events that these courageous Americans have endured.