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The Brave Ones: A Memoir of Hope, Pride and Military Service

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How does the US Army mold a video-game generation with its thumbs on the joystick into a proud fighting force with its fingers on the trigger—and lives on the line—in America’s War on Terror? Michael J. MacLeod, already an accomplished professional photographer and journalist, decided to find out the hard way: by enlisting in the armed forces at age forty-one. What he obse How does the US Army mold a video-game generation with its thumbs on the joystick into a proud fighting force with its fingers on the trigger—and lives on the line—in America’s War on Terror? Michael J. MacLeod, already an accomplished professional photographer and journalist, decided to find out the hard way: by enlisting in the armed forces at age forty-one. What he observed and experienced as an embedded reporter and a serving soldier makes for an unflinching and inspiring portrait of endurance, sacrifice, discipline, and courage.From the trials of basic training on the home front to the ranks of the legendary 82nd Airborne Division to taking fire in the hot zones of Iraq and Afghanistan, MacLeod chronicles the soldier’s evolution as only one who’s been in those boots can. Candid, wise, and powerful, his memoir takes readers on an unforgettable journey through war and allows them to witness bravery firsthand.


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How does the US Army mold a video-game generation with its thumbs on the joystick into a proud fighting force with its fingers on the trigger—and lives on the line—in America’s War on Terror? Michael J. MacLeod, already an accomplished professional photographer and journalist, decided to find out the hard way: by enlisting in the armed forces at age forty-one. What he obse How does the US Army mold a video-game generation with its thumbs on the joystick into a proud fighting force with its fingers on the trigger—and lives on the line—in America’s War on Terror? Michael J. MacLeod, already an accomplished professional photographer and journalist, decided to find out the hard way: by enlisting in the armed forces at age forty-one. What he observed and experienced as an embedded reporter and a serving soldier makes for an unflinching and inspiring portrait of endurance, sacrifice, discipline, and courage.From the trials of basic training on the home front to the ranks of the legendary 82nd Airborne Division to taking fire in the hot zones of Iraq and Afghanistan, MacLeod chronicles the soldier’s evolution as only one who’s been in those boots can. Candid, wise, and powerful, his memoir takes readers on an unforgettable journey through war and allows them to witness bravery firsthand.

30 review for The Brave Ones: A Memoir of Hope, Pride and Military Service

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette

    Excellent memoir. Service beginning at 41 and each stage he experienced from the horse's mouth. Very rare to have such language skill for this level of detail in any real life past experience- let alone the war "eyes" of the last portions of the book. I happened to hit this book the very same month I watched Ken Burns' Vietnam - all 5 multi hour parts shown so far. Surprised myself to do that. Very much. Learned far, far more than I knew although living through that period and losing much because Excellent memoir. Service beginning at 41 and each stage he experienced from the horse's mouth. Very rare to have such language skill for this level of detail in any real life past experience- let alone the war "eyes" of the last portions of the book. I happened to hit this book the very same month I watched Ken Burns' Vietnam - all 5 multi hour parts shown so far. Surprised myself to do that. Very much. Learned far, far more than I knew although living through that period and losing much because of it. Incredible sensibility exists now for returning vets that was not at all there in the past. Thankfully. But adjustments to individual lives are so difficult. It's not only the team "group think" either. This book may help you understand the Afghanistan dilemma.

  2. 5 out of 5

    The Max

    Belongs on the shelf with D-Day by Ambrose Amazon sent an email, one of those we thought you'd like it deals. Based on the cover art thought it was a WWII novel. Grabbed it. Besides it came with free narration, I'm a sucker for that. My only thought at the time was the hope that it wasn't one of those tragic romances where the paratrooper falls for the English girl, jumps into Normandy etc.,etc. Apparently missed the word memoir in the title, i really am brighter than I sometimes appear. MacLeod h Belongs on the shelf with D-Day by Ambrose Amazon sent an email, one of those we thought you'd like it deals. Based on the cover art thought it was a WWII novel. Grabbed it. Besides it came with free narration, I'm a sucker for that. My only thought at the time was the hope that it wasn't one of those tragic romances where the paratrooper falls for the English girl, jumps into Normandy etc.,etc. Apparently missed the word memoir in the title, i really am brighter than I sometimes appear. MacLeod had earned a master's in wildlife biology, taught some colletge, started photography and publishing businesses, and was a home builder. Methinks that last one was integral to his ability to so successfully write about his fellow paratroopers. Knowing, understanding, and appreciating blue collar is special. At age 40 he decides to enlist. Becomes a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne serving as a combat correspondent. Wanting to tell "the soldier's stories". He has done so magnificently. The memoir spans the five years of his enlistment. From basic training to jump school, a tour in Iraq, garrison duty, and a tour in Afghanistan. He had previously mastered the craft of writing. Concise and complete descriptions of places and things, just the right amount of information on Army customs, norms, and mores. His mastery of the art of writing is demonstrated in his conversations with the soldiers, his descriptions of the actions and events, the feelings he and they have. You end up knowing these guys. Who they are and why they do what they do. This is a first person narrative with significant elements of an oral history. Not many could have carried it off as well. The 1st person was a participant, not an observer. I have long thought that Ambrose's D-Day should be required reading in high school. To know and understand what those men did is vital to our own views of ourselves and this country. I would say the same regarding the men and women MacLeod writes about.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Berlinsd

    The Brave Ones is the best war memoir published in at least three decades. I have read the major memoirs published since the 60s and none come close to this. MacLeod does not just tell a story with amazing storytelling and humility - he weaves a tapestry of the of the human geography of Afghanistan, with an intense tactical picture of the conflict, while introducing the reader to the diverse cross-section of society that makes up the less than 1% who serves in America's armed forces. People often The Brave Ones is the best war memoir published in at least three decades. I have read the major memoirs published since the 60s and none come close to this. MacLeod does not just tell a story with amazing storytelling and humility - he weaves a tapestry of the of the human geography of Afghanistan, with an intense tactical picture of the conflict, while introducing the reader to the diverse cross-section of society that makes up the less than 1% who serves in America's armed forces. People often ask what they can do to thank Soldiers for their service. I suggest people become informed concerning world events and be best able to be part of our democratic process. MacLeod's book is a darn good primer to do so. First, this is a story of the modern American Soldier. The book gives the reader glimpses into the diverse makeup of the U.S Army. There are stories of privates through a now-general. You will see Soldiers' lives, loves, and motivations. It is an eye-opening portrayal of individual struggles and triumph. It will make you proud and cry all in a matter of minutes. Second, this is a story of what is happening in Afghanistan at the tactical level. Readers will be better informed on the difficult execution of US policy and why there are no quick solutions. One will also learn about the complex environment that Afghans, and likewise deployed U.S. Soldiers, face while fighting an amorphous enemy. In sum, buy The Brave Ones and read it. Then buy a copy for a retired Soldier, a policy wonk, a teacher, those who want to join the service, or anyone who wants to better understand how to thank a Soldier.

  4. 5 out of 5

    John

    Wow, what a read Wow, I have read a lot of military books both novels and biographies and this has to rank up with the best I have read It was an amazing view of life as a grunt in the 82nd I really enjoyed it Thank you for sharing your memories and those of your friends that you lose Thank you for your service

  5. 4 out of 5

    patrick Lorelli

    The author of this book enlisted at age 41 and now he gives an excellent look into his journey and that of the new generation of young men and women going on to fight terrorists. He starts with the reason why for his decision and also a look at boot camp and the young soldiers he will be with. He is with the 82nd Airborne so you also get a look at their training as well. He gives you a look into the lives of some of the soldier’s, what their home life was like and such and why they enlisted. He The author of this book enlisted at age 41 and now he gives an excellent look into his journey and that of the new generation of young men and women going on to fight terrorists. He starts with the reason why for his decision and also a look at boot camp and the young soldiers he will be with. He is with the 82nd Airborne so you also get a look at their training as well. He gives you a look into the lives of some of the soldier’s, what their home life was like and such and why they enlisted. He also describes some of the problems once deployed as far as when to engage and when not to that part seemed too much for men who are making life and death decisions because someone back in Washington wants it a certain why, but that is a different book. This one is an excellent book to all of the services regardless and was done with care and regard to all. I received this book from Netgalley.com I gave it 5 stars. Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com

  6. 5 out of 5

    Angela Han

    The book was well-written; however, the book was not for me personally. I highly recommend reading this book if you are interested in war topics. Pros: 1. Reader can visually participate in the war in Afghanistan/Iraq. 2. The brave men who fought in the war is honored 3. It raised awareness of what goes on the battlefield! Cons for Me: 1. The information seems repetitive to me. I honestly got tired of seeing the IED. 2. It was dragging read for me, not to mention I'm not too interested in war topics The book was well-written; however, the book was not for me personally. I highly recommend reading this book if you are interested in war topics. Pros: 1. Reader can visually participate in the war in Afghanistan/Iraq. 2. The brave men who fought in the war is honored 3. It raised awareness of what goes on the battlefield! Cons for Me: 1. The information seems repetitive to me. I honestly got tired of seeing the IED. 2. It was dragging read for me, not to mention I'm not too interested in war topics yet.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    MacLeod's memoir on service to country as an older enlistee is superbly enlightening, eloquently gritty, and as authentic a read on war, service, and the limits of leadership could be. His frank, no-nonsense approach to story telling makes this a page turner worth having, especially for those that want to have any understanding about what it really means to serve. MacLeod may not receive the accolades that he should for this book. But readers will not be disappointed. And that's the best any auth MacLeod's memoir on service to country as an older enlistee is superbly enlightening, eloquently gritty, and as authentic a read on war, service, and the limits of leadership could be. His frank, no-nonsense approach to story telling makes this a page turner worth having, especially for those that want to have any understanding about what it really means to serve. MacLeod may not receive the accolades that he should for this book. But readers will not be disappointed. And that's the best any author can hope for.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    An amazing individual writing about our finest, The U.S. Warfighter! Where to begin? I found this fascinating, moving and impossible to put down. I also got a better idea of what the day to day experience would have been if I hadn't ended my tour when I did. Even though I was a "leg" with a different skill, he mentioned enough for me to have a better understanding of what my unit's experiences in the sandbox were like when the unit was there just a few short years after I was ETS. I'm humbled by An amazing individual writing about our finest, The U.S. Warfighter! Where to begin? I found this fascinating, moving and impossible to put down. I also got a better idea of what the day to day experience would have been if I hadn't ended my tour when I did. Even though I was a "leg" with a different skill, he mentioned enough for me to have a better understanding of what my unit's experiences in the sandbox were like when the unit was there just a few short years after I was ETS. I'm humbled by the valor shown by these soldiers, who make up less than 1% of the US population yet went into harm's way over and over again. In fact, all of us now living who've worn the uniform at all make up approximately 0.05% (yes, HALF of 1%!) of the US population. To keep a fighter in the field also takes an average of eleven support people of various types (supply of beans & bullets, medical, pay, etc) and of course this isn't including all of us who continually trained for war but were blessed with peacetime service. As Publius Flavius Vegetius was teaching all the way back in 4th or 5th Century ancient Rome the importance of Se vis Pacem, Para Bellum! So we trained... But I ALWAYS make it clear to people who tell me "Thank you for your service", first I tell them it was my privilege, and an honor to serve my country. I also make certain to point out that it's critical to remember that while all gave some, some gave all. And even the fortunate soldiers who survived combat physically unscathed have scars. My buddy that enlisted in the dark ages with me was in the "sandbox" multiple times, and it isn't all that rare to get that 2AM call when he needs to talk with someone about it... So I make certain to mention that I was lucky & had peacetime service. If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in English, thank a soldier!! "A Veteran - whether active duty, retired, National Guard, or reserve - is someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to The 'United States of America', for an amount of 'up to and including my life' " (Author unknown)

  9. 4 out of 5

    John

    Read it I spent the last 20 minutes trying to figure out what to say. Every citizen of every country should read this. This raised in me the anger at rules of engagement that we faced in Vietnam, GWAT troops have the same problem, the pride I have now in my service, the surprise at similarities between what we faced in Vietnam and what the GWAT troops face. Friend or foe? No place is safe. Trust or die? Kill. Morn. Remember. Welcome home, Mac.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    MacLeod is an ecologist (of the same academic lineage as myself), and I do like how he sneaks it into this book. I think our ecology professor would be proud...actually, I know he was. He recommended I read this book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    gregory c smith

    Outstanding read. The naysayers must have an agenda; I don't, just a heart for soldiers. A very good read. This will give you some appreciation of sacrifices made by soldiers, with a more mature tone than that of a teenage service member. Outstanding read. The naysayers must have an agenda; I don't, just a heart for soldiers. A very good read. This will give you some appreciation of sacrifices made by soldiers, with a more mature tone than that of a teenage service member.

  12. 4 out of 5

    John W. Carlton

    Realistic memoir Rough language but this is the way soldiers talk. Very realistic. Good reading if you like military history. I recommend

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tomomi Landsman

    I received this free eBook through IHG's Free Kindle eBooks benefits. I don't really seek out books about military history (although this is quite contemporary), but I decided to give this a try. Two things stick out: 1) At the beginning of the book, the author states that he used only his memory and did no additional research to write the book. I found this a very interesting choice and made me wonder what he means by "additional" research. Not a criticism by any means, but it also made me take a I received this free eBook through IHG's Free Kindle eBooks benefits. I don't really seek out books about military history (although this is quite contemporary), but I decided to give this a try. Two things stick out: 1) At the beginning of the book, the author states that he used only his memory and did no additional research to write the book. I found this a very interesting choice and made me wonder what he means by "additional" research. Not a criticism by any means, but it also made me take a lot of his anecdotes with a grain of salt. Also interesting that one of the genres listed for this book is "Military Fiction." Hm... 2) My brother-in-law was in the army (hi Danny!), and while I really have no idea how his experiences compare to the ones of MacLeod, reading this book made me feel a little too much like a voyeur for comfort. But I don't think it's a bad thing to feel uncomfortable reading a book like this.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Paul Miller

    Most of us are wired to be extremely respectful and appreciative to those who serve in the military, especially in war zones like Iraq and Afghanistan. This book puts meat on those bones. A 41 year old military photographer enlists in the 82nd Airborne and takes us through the realities of basic training, deployment, and combat. A very authentic treatment - the tedium and bureaucracy, serving w/Afghan soldiers, goofy rules of engagement (you can’t shoot a bad guy if he’s not visibly holding a gu Most of us are wired to be extremely respectful and appreciative to those who serve in the military, especially in war zones like Iraq and Afghanistan. This book puts meat on those bones. A 41 year old military photographer enlists in the 82nd Airborne and takes us through the realities of basic training, deployment, and combat. A very authentic treatment - the tedium and bureaucracy, serving w/Afghan soldiers, goofy rules of engagement (you can’t shoot a bad guy if he’s not visibly holding a gun - wait till he shoots at you), IEDs, death… just the realities of a modern war where it can be extremely difficult to identify friend and foe. The shared values of service, community, and sacrifice rise above all of this noise. Highly readable (once you realize you don’t really need to know the various acronyms that are throughout the military culture, listed in the book). THANKS to all who serve - truly.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Roger L. Perkins

    Fun read but biased First, I'm a professional soldier with 7 years enlisted and 14 years commissioned active duty time. Infantry and Intelligence. Those are my creds. Book was enjoyable for the most part. Brought back some memories and reinforced my pride in service. But... the author presents the typical first term enlisted whines. "Officers dont do anything!" "Sergeants are stupid!" This is what you normally hear from those on their first enlistment who dont get it yet. Ot takes 5 years to BEGIN Fun read but biased First, I'm a professional soldier with 7 years enlisted and 14 years commissioned active duty time. Infantry and Intelligence. Those are my creds. Book was enjoyable for the most part. Brought back some memories and reinforced my pride in service. But... the author presents the typical first term enlisted whines. "Officers dont do anything!" "Sergeants are stupid!" This is what you normally hear from those on their first enlistment who dont get it yet. Ot takes 5 years to BEGIN to grasp the complexities of the profession and the requirements. And thats when his story ends. You see everything he complains about but its usually the exception, not the norm. And he simply doesnt have enough time in to realize it, though he does try hard to present it well and does better than most. I would recommend the book but not as a definitive or accurate work. Just as a snapshot from a biased perspective.

  16. 5 out of 5

    PeppyKC

    I picked this book because it was about the military and life of service members who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. As a military wife of an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran I was hoping this would give me a better understanding of the details. I wasn’t disappointed. Not only did i get immersed in life at war but it also ended up being from an Army, Airborne, and Paratrooper point of view: exactly everything that my husband is. It was funny, emotional, interesting, educational, and gen I picked this book because it was about the military and life of service members who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. As a military wife of an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran I was hoping this would give me a better understanding of the details. I wasn’t disappointed. Not only did i get immersed in life at war but it also ended up being from an Army, Airborne, and Paratrooper point of view: exactly everything that my husband is. It was funny, emotional, interesting, educational, and genuine. I liked it. But even for me it got slightly technical at some parts of the book. I can imagine that for those with no military affiliation in their lives this book may be less interesting, somewhat un-relatable, and hard to keep up with. Especially all the acronyms and abbreviations. The Military LOVES those. Would definitely recommend to army families.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Carroll

    Brave Ones, Indeed Thank you for sharing your stories of your times with 82nd AA. I have to assume it was not an easy thing to do. As a parent of two out of four that served and one that spent two tours, one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, it was always tough knowing they were putting their lives on the line every hour of every day they were there. The book enlightened me on the military training one must go through and believe in the buddy next to him or her. Thank you for your service and for s Brave Ones, Indeed Thank you for sharing your stories of your times with 82nd AA. I have to assume it was not an easy thing to do. As a parent of two out of four that served and one that spent two tours, one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, it was always tough knowing they were putting their lives on the line every hour of every day they were there. The book enlightened me on the military training one must go through and believe in the buddy next to him or her. Thank you for your service and for sharing what you and your “brothers” sacrificed! And thank your family for their sacrifices and understanding.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Gavriel

    Why is this different then other war stories? Because it’s not written for a journalist point of view note a life long warrior point of view. It’s written by a journalist who join the warrior class and then wrote a story. Why does that matter? Because it means he stood fire watch and understands the ass pain of being looked at as a rank and not a person. He isn’t writing from an abstract point of view of a journalist not the altruistic point of view of a warrior. To his credit he goes through the Why is this different then other war stories? Because it’s not written for a journalist point of view note a life long warrior point of view. It’s written by a journalist who join the warrior class and then wrote a story. Why does that matter? Because it means he stood fire watch and understands the ass pain of being looked at as a rank and not a person. He isn’t writing from an abstract point of view of a journalist not the altruistic point of view of a warrior. To his credit he goes through the not so sexy parts and not just the sexy made for Hollywood parts. As a reader of over 100 war biographies, this one stands out as top ten.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bas Kreuger

    Melancholy bravery Great book, one of the few that permits me (a non soldier) to gleam a tiny bit of how it must be under arms. No story’s of absolute heroisme, but for me feels more like a weary kind of melancholy bravery. And the endless, sometimes fruitless patrols in Afghanistan that must wear a man down, reminded me of reading of the operations of bomber crew in WW2, endless missions to Germany with weary men knowing death could come at any time, but flying them anyhow, flying them with and Melancholy bravery Great book, one of the few that permits me (a non soldier) to gleam a tiny bit of how it must be under arms. No story’s of absolute heroisme, but for me feels more like a weary kind of melancholy bravery. And the endless, sometimes fruitless patrols in Afghanistan that must wear a man down, reminded me of reading of the operations of bomber crew in WW2, endless missions to Germany with weary men knowing death could come at any time, but flying them anyhow, flying them with and for their fellow crew members.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    Extremely good insight on the war from a infantry point of view. The writer enlisted at 41 years old as a journalist and he is humble and honest in his writings. His writing puts you on the battle field as he tells the stories of the men who served in Afghanistan. The book doesn’t really encourage one political side or the other, it’s just the raw stories of what life was like on the ground. It also gives you a picture of the battle field, culture, and corruption in Afghanistan during that time Extremely good insight on the war from a infantry point of view. The writer enlisted at 41 years old as a journalist and he is humble and honest in his writings. His writing puts you on the battle field as he tells the stories of the men who served in Afghanistan. The book doesn’t really encourage one political side or the other, it’s just the raw stories of what life was like on the ground. It also gives you a picture of the battle field, culture, and corruption in Afghanistan during that time frame.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Joel M. Gartenberg

    Great read As a combat veteran of Vietnam, I can relate to much of what Michael MacLeod write. He is an excellent writer who relates his experiences very well. His book is also very informative and provided inights I didn't previously have about military operations in Afghanistan. I recommend his book to anyone interested in learning more about military operations in Afghanistan. Great read As a combat veteran of Vietnam, I can relate to much of what Michael MacLeod write. He is an excellent writer who relates his experiences very well. His book is also very informative and provided inights I didn't previously have about military operations in Afghanistan. I recommend his book to anyone interested in learning more about military operations in Afghanistan.

  22. 5 out of 5

    John William

    Best Military Book Ever Having spent 45 plus years in and around US Military, Marine and Civil Service, found this an absolutely spot on analysis of the Officer/Senior NCO/enlistee relationship, as well as the problem of implementing women in combat. Things I've seen, but never had words for. Realistic modest combat stories, by a really special man. This book really should be required reading for every 2nd LT and E-7. Best Military Book Ever Having spent 45 plus years in and around US Military, Marine and Civil Service, found this an absolutely spot on analysis of the Officer/Senior NCO/enlistee relationship, as well as the problem of implementing women in combat. Things I've seen, but never had words for. Realistic modest combat stories, by a really special man. This book really should be required reading for every 2nd LT and E-7.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Hud

    Spectacular account of paratroopers at war in the modern era i have read a lot of god books about our soldiers at war in Afghanistan and Iraq, but had yet to find a good account of my old division the 82nd Airborne.. This was excellent, the author became one of the best to chronicle and write this book about the best. Respect and gratitude to this author and the 1/82 BCT and the 504. PIR as well as the rest of the division. Would enjoy a read like this about the 325 AIR.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Rench

    Any time a book leads off with the F-word, I know the rest of it will be a little too gritty for me. The preface and intro set up the book as one that I really wanted to finish, but as soon as I got into the dialogue, it became apparent that it wasn't going to be a clean or even semi-clean book, so I put it down. I do appreciate the premise of showing the everyday heroics of our military men and women. I filed this in my "Tried, but Nah" bookshelf. Any time a book leads off with the F-word, I know the rest of it will be a little too gritty for me. The preface and intro set up the book as one that I really wanted to finish, but as soon as I got into the dialogue, it became apparent that it wasn't going to be a clean or even semi-clean book, so I put it down. I do appreciate the premise of showing the everyday heroics of our military men and women. I filed this in my "Tried, but Nah" bookshelf.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Martin Milush

    A personal and military true story Too few are doing too much for our country. This true story helped me understand the 'war's in Iraq and Afghanistan. No other war like these are made plain to the reader. Sacrifices of these mostly young volunteers is like the previous war's we as a nation have waged against various forces in that some die, some drastically sounded, some with wounds that can not her seen except in their eyes. A personal and military true story Too few are doing too much for our country. This true story helped me understand the 'war's in Iraq and Afghanistan. No other war like these are made plain to the reader. Sacrifices of these mostly young volunteers is like the previous war's we as a nation have waged against various forces in that some die, some drastically sounded, some with wounds that can not her seen except in their eyes.

  26. 4 out of 5

    ED Anthony

    Excellent book. I chose to read this based on the facts that it was true insight as to what an airborne unit did in action in Afghanistan/Iraq. As an airborne vet of the Vietnam I was truly interested on how many things were similar to what I experience in that era. Many laughs on hearing his experiences in training/ jump school/ and other BS training. Had to chuckle also to his description of the Sgts and some of the officers. As a former enlisted soldier I could tell many of the same stories an Excellent book. I chose to read this based on the facts that it was true insight as to what an airborne unit did in action in Afghanistan/Iraq. As an airborne vet of the Vietnam I was truly interested on how many things were similar to what I experience in that era. Many laughs on hearing his experiences in training/ jump school/ and other BS training. Had to chuckle also to his description of the Sgts and some of the officers. As a former enlisted soldier I could tell many of the same stories and as a retired infantry OCS officer I could also add many more. I was interested to read about the frightening actions he was engaged in. I am super glad that I was done with my service (31 yrs active duty) before we got engaged in that horrible goat rope that still goes on. Thanks for a great read. A big hearty AIRBORNE from the 173rd Airborne Brigade to our 82nd airborne brothers!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

    Very good book. I purchased as audiobook and the narrative was engaging and powerful. The author was respectful and truthful about the service . Various stories of the emotional and physical upheaval of the soldiers brought me from tears to a few times. I am a member of a military family and I thank the author for his insight during this time in our history.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dennie Fugitt

    The meaning of Serving Your Country Outstanding depiction of a soldier's life in today's Army as an 11 Bravo and the bonds forged in the heat of battle. These men and women protect and defend the pursuit of the American Dream . Freedom is NOT free; God Bless men and women such as these who shoulder the burden and pay the cost. The meaning of Serving Your Country Outstanding depiction of a soldier's life in today's Army as an 11 Bravo and the bonds forged in the heat of battle. These men and women protect and defend the pursuit of the American Dream . Freedom is NOT free; God Bless men and women such as these who shoulder the burden and pay the cost.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Patricia L. Daniel

    The reason many vets deserve more than perfunctory "thank you for your service". This is a book devoid of glorious war and full of real courage, sacrifice, and love of brothers in arms. If you want a view into the reality our young warriors face...over and over again...read this book. The reason many vets deserve more than perfunctory "thank you for your service". This is a book devoid of glorious war and full of real courage, sacrifice, and love of brothers in arms. If you want a view into the reality our young warriors face...over and over again...read this book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Adjutant Ali

    This book is the Undercover Boss-Army style. MacLoed’s poignant accuracy unveils the deepest realities of enlisted life during the height of the most current conflict. The last sentiments of the book bust UPenn the lenses of the book to a strategic perspective which burns a lasting image on the hearts of the reader.

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