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Impressive.Another example of where the film is not even close to how good the book is, this narrative is gripping and very powerful.I had an Army friend who was there in Mogadishu at the time and said that the book was good journalism whereas the film was ridiculous From my perspective, the Captain Steele from the book was Colonel Steele, commander of the 101st Airborne Rakkasans between 2004 and 2006, while I was in Iraq Professional tough guy, former University of Georgia bulldog under Vinc Impressive.Another example of where the film is not even close to how good the book is, this narrative is gripping and very powerful.I had an Army friend who was there in Mogadishu at the time and said that the book was good journalism whereas the film was ridiculous From my perspective, the Captain Steele from the book was Colonel Steele, commander of the 101st Airborne Rakkasans between 2004 and 2006, while I was in Iraq Professional tough guy, former University of Georgia bulldog under Vince Dooley.This is, of course, a journalistic novel by Mark Bowden about the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993 Gritty, intense and yet, I think, objective, Bowden s prose is vibrant and descriptive Bowden avoids sensationalism while still capturing the ugliness of an operation gone very wrong and the human costs associated on both sides I am giving the book a rating of 4.5 I have played the computer game, watched the movie at least a couple of times, and finally got the chance to read the book Trust me, the book is so much better This is not just a booklover speaking the movie was really good, but the book does a much better job of bringing out the human elements, insights into the Somali perspective and the aftermath of the mission.The African nation of Somalia had been ravaged by civil war and a famine had broken out The I am giving the book a rating of 4.5 I have played the computer game, watched the movie at least a couple of times, and finally got the chance to read the book Trust me, the book is so much better This is not just a booklover speaking the movie was really good, but the book does a much better job of bringing out the human elements, insights into the Somali perspective and the aftermath of the mission.The African nation of Somalia had been ravaged by civil war and a famine had broken out The United Nations had intervened and peacekeeping troops had been deployed to ensure a secure environment to carry out humanitarian operations There were quite a few Somali factions and very powerful among them was the war lord, Mohamed Farrah Aidid, the head of the Habr Gidr clan.The book tells the story of the American mission to capture some Habr Gidr clan members in city of Mogadishu US Army Rangers and the elite Delta Force operatives were sent for this grab and snatch operation which was thought to be pretty simple and expected to be finished within one hour But, the unthinkable happened Two Black Hawk Helicopters were shot down by RPGs and the situation escalated into thelongest sustained firefight involving American troops since the Vietnam War The American soldiers found themselves fighting with thousands of armed Somalis, trapped in a city where everyone is potential threat Reinforcements and rescue were late, and the Americans had to survive on their own America lost eighteen of her soldiers while the Somali death toll was in hundreds.The book is a non fiction account of a military operation, yet it reads like a war fiction The writing is so engrossing that I felt I was transported to Somalia and witnessing the events The author wrote a gripping account and did not try to sensationalize it In between describing the fighting, the author would provide the back stories of the US soldiers, the political climate of Somalia, and the experiences of a few Somalis The narration keeps shifting back and forth between the experiences of many characters What I liked best was the inclusion of the Somali perspective, some insights into why the Americans were the enemy to so many Somalis, what was the aftermath of this mission.I appreciate the honesty and sincerity of the author he has unequivocally acknowledged that he is no expert on military matters Yet, this book is in the curriculum of army schools, and the author had been invited to talk in military seminars It shows what good a job he has done in writing this book.I understand that this book is not meant for everybody It shows war and violence in its naked ruthlessness The blood that had been split was real, and the people who died were real If you like reading military non fiction books, then I would strongly urge you to give this one a try T here was an explosion overhead Specialist John Waddell looked up to see a Black Hawk twisting oddly as it flew Hey, that bird s going down shouted one of the men across the street Specialist Shawn Nelson screamed, A bird s been hit A bird s been hit Nelson had seen the whole thing He had seen the flash of the RPG launcher and had followed the smoke trail of the grenade as it rose up at the tail of Black Hawk Super Six One, which was directly overhead They all heard the thunder T here was an explosion overhead Specialist John Waddell looked up to see a Black Hawk twisting oddly as it flew Hey, that bird s going down shouted one of the men across the street Specialist Shawn Nelson screamed, A bird s been hit A bird s been hit Nelson had seen the whole thing He had seen the flash of the RPG launcher and had followed the smoke trail of the grenade as it rose up at the tail of Black Hawk Super Six One, which was directly overhead They all heard the thunderclap The tail boom of the bird cracked in the flash and its rotor stopped spinning with a horrible grinding sound, followed by a coughing chug chug chug The chopper kept moving forward but shuddered and started to spin First slowly, then picking up speed Mark Bowden, Black Hawk Down A Story of Modern War The Minstrel Boy to the war is gone, In the ranks of death you ll find him His father s sword he has girded on, And his wild harp slung behind him Land of song said the warrior bard, Tho all the world betrays thee, One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard, One faithful harp shall praise thee Thomas Moore, The Minstrel Boy Mark Bowden s Black Hawk Down is the best book about war I have ever read It attempts, with great success, to get as close to the experience of battle that is possible with the mere written word To acknowledge that this is still light years away from the actuality of a real firefight is not to slight Bowden in the least He has mined the psyches of dozens of participants to create a chaotic mosaic of sounds, smells, and images, and to trace the reactions of men many extremely young pushed to the limits No other book, nonfiction or novel, has ever captured combat quite this way Black Hawk Down tells the story of the Battle of Mogadishu Bowden refers to it as the Battle of the Black Sea , fought on October 3 4, 1993 The battle began as a snatch and grab mission, meant to capture two top lieutenants of the Somali warlord Mohammed Farrah Aidid, who was disrupting United Nations efforts to end a famine caused by Somalia s civil war The plan called for Special Forces operators from the top secret, elite of elite Delta Force, with U.S Rangers providing security, to drop into Aidid s neighborhood in broad daylight, quickly detain their targets, and get out Speed was essential, for the raid would be taking place near the Bakara Market, a gathering place of Aidid s Habr Gidr clan The mission of course was supposed to take one hour.Things went wrong from the start A Ranger missed his fast rope and fell from his helicopter, suffering severe injuries The soldiers started taking fire from a heavily armed populace Then a Black Hawk helicopter was downed by a rocket propelled grenade Hewing to the ethos that no man would be left behind, a combat search and rescue team dropped onto the crash site Rangers and Delta also made their way to the downed helicopter, drawn like a magnet In the warren like streets of Mogadishu, receiving directions that arrived woefully short of real time, men became disoriented, lost A convoy of Humvees, rapidly filling with wounded, drove around in circles, unable to find the Black Hawk With things spiraling, a second helicopter went down No troops were available to help, so two Delta snipers volunteered to form a perimeter by themselves Later, their families received the Medals of Honor they had earned Night fell on approximately 100 American soldiers, trapped in a hostile city, surrounded by thousands of AK 47 wielding foes Later, bodies would be dragged through streets, and the president would withdraw the troops, and the Somalis would celebrate the Day of the Ranger Where everyone saw defeat, indignity, and shame, however, Mark Bowden saw an epic clash of arms Books of this type often frontload a lot of information There is a chapter or two setting the geopolitical context, and perhaps another chapter introducing us to all the men we will be following in battle Bowden does not do this The first page, the first line At liftoff, Matt Eversman said a Hail Mary puts us in a chopper seat along with the assault force, roaring like Valkyries towards the Olympic Hotel Only later, in scenes that cut away from the intense action, does Bowden explain how the Rangers and Delta got to this place Only later, does he give the backstories of the men It is a remarkably effective structure At the cost of a little initial confusion, Bowden is able to modulate tempo and rhythm, and give the reader what the soldiers involved were denied a break in the nonstop fighting The battle scenes contained in Black Hawk Down equal anything you can read, anywhere else The novelistic detail is testament to Bowden s probing research, which consisted mainly of in depth interviews with the participants Sergeant First Class Paul Howe popped an earplug and listened The voices were speaking Somali They must have been half deaf like everybody else from all the explosions, and didn t realize how loud they were talking As three Somalis rounded the corner, one of the D boys from across the street shone a white light on the first in line His eyes looked wide as a racoon s startled in a garbage can With his rifle resting on a doorjamb, Howe placed his tritium sight post on the second man and began shooting on full automatic, sweeping his fire in a smooth motion over the third man All three Somalis went down hard Two of the men struggled to their feet and dragged the third man up and around the corner Howe and the other operators let them go They didn t want to expose their firing positions withmuzzle flashes Howe was disgusted again with this 5.56 ammo When he put people down he wanted them to stay down This isn t warfare as depicted in a typical history book, viewed from thirty thousand feet, the blood and noise and violence muted, replaced with cold statistics and tactical conclusions This is warfare filtered through the eyes of warriors I have a good friend from high school who went to Notre Dame I still have the email from him when he told me he was joining ROTC This was in August 1999 By the time he graduated, the world especially for those wearing a uniform had changed He went to flight school, SERE training, and off to Iraq, where he flew combat missions in an attack helicopter When his eight years ended, he rejoined civilian life, the same person as far as I could tell he d always been Some years ago, we hiked the Three Sisters in the Cascades along with some other guys He hung back with me as I dawdled in the rear I started telling him about a book, Karl Marlantes s What It Is Like To Go To War He just laughed at the title You can t answer that question, he said Then he walked up the trail without another word One of the difficulties of conveying combat stems from the endlessly unique perceptions of those who experience it Bowden recognizes this, and gives us a number of different voices There are men who are scared, and find it hard to function there are men who, in the thick of the fighting, kill noncombatants there are men who feel guilty there are men who are cool and professional, dropping their enemies with brisk, emotionless efficiency there are men like Specialist Nelson, who describe a kind of super awareness, an intense experience of existing only in this single moment, a state he likened to being inside the tube of a big wave while surfing In 1943, a Life photojournalist named George Strock took a picture of three dead Americans on the beach of Buna Gona No faces are visible no blood The most striking image is of a man partially submerged in sand It became the first photo of deceased Americans released to the public during the war The power of such pictures cannot be understated when you are dealing with a democracy at war In 1993, the world watched as cable news endlessly replayed the bodies of Americans being hauled through the streets by jubilant Somalis Soon thereafter, the White House ended the mission It was an act of looking away I thought of the dead at Buna Gona as I read Black Hawk Down Bowden is unflinching in his depictions of the violence, the wounds, the death all around He graphically recounts the final moments of men such as Jamie Smith, whose suffered a nicked artery which retreated up into his pelvis Despite the desperate efforts of a Delta medic, Smith slowly bled to death The understandable tendency is to avert your eyes, to give privacy to the dying Bowden who met with Smith s father does not blink You cannot separate war and politics That is especially true when as here there is not massive popular support for the military action in question For long stretches of Black Hawk Down, the narrative is stripped to its essentials, barely acknowledging, much less answering, questions such as Why are we hereand What are we doingUltimately, in the epilogue, Bowden gets around to these thorny issues Based on the quality of what comes before, I shouldn t have been surprised that he brings a deft touch to the controversial decisions to insert Task Force Ranger in the first place, and later to pull them out Bowden allows his subjects to have their say, which often involves them teeing off on the Clinton administration He gives voice to Jamie Smith s father, whose white hot anger brings to mind that of Cindy Sheehan who, a decade after Smith s death, would turn the loss of her son in Sadr City into a sustained antiwar movement Bowden also intervenes, however, to ensure that facts don t get lost in emotion He discusses, in a methodical manner, the process of the decision making, not simply whether the decisions were right in hindsight In doing so, he operates from the premise lacking today that Americans, regardless of their political party, typically don t act with the intent of getting their fellow Americans killed in foreign cities Black Hawk Down defies easy labels It is definitely not an antiwar book There is too much virtue on display sacrifice loyalty heroism More than that, Bowden does not neglect the kinetic allure of warfare It is hard not to be thrilled by the hyper competence of the Delta operators, masters of a lethal form of art With that said, Black Hawk Down is definitely not a prowar book, either It is too realistic, too honest in its depiction of consequences You can t read about the agonizing deaths, the blood and viscera and brain matter, and then turn around and say Gee, war seems great Black Hawk Down does not take a moral stance on war it tries to distill it It also has a lot in common with the epitaphs of Simonides of Ceos It has been twenty one years since Black Hawk Down was first published Nonetheless, it is difficult to think of a better book, before or since, on the near incommunicable fact of battle In the afterword, Bowden speaks movingly of his intent to honor the men he met, and the families of those men who died He thought, at the time, that the Battle of Mogadishu might be forgotten, an epic to rival Thermopylae lost in the wake of a nose punched country rushing to forget the incident ever occurred That has not happened Now, it will never happen Bowden has assured their place in the annals of men at arms Achilles had Homer to sing his song Task Force Ranger had Mark Bowden and Black Hawk Down Black Hawk Down A Story of Modern War gives readers an impressively comprehensive look at the deplorably mismanaged U.S military raid in Mogadishu, Somalia on 3 October 1993 99 American troops, a force comprised predominately of Army Rangers and Delta Force operators, descended on the Bakara Market in order to capture two of Mohamed Farrah Aidid s valued lieutenants Aidid, a former Somali general, was head of the formidable Habr Gidr clan, then in control of the city To the U.S., as well as Black Hawk Down A Story of Modern War gives readers an impressively comprehensive look at the deplorably mismanaged U.S military raid in Mogadishu, Somalia on 3 October 1993 99 American troops, a force comprised predominately of Army Rangers and Delta Force operators, descended on the Bakara Market in order to capture two of Mohamed Farrah Aidid s valued lieutenants Aidid, a former Somali general, was head of the formidable Habr Gidr clan, then in control of the city To the U.S., as well as various other nations, Aidid was nothingthan a brutal warlord, a man effectively responsible for starving much of the population to death in his merciless bid for power This snatch and grab mission, expected to take less than an hour, resulted in the ferocious 15 hour Battle of Mogadishu, thelongest sustained firefight involving American troops since the Vietnam WarThe soldiers fought off thousands of armed Somalis, confronted by one unanticipated snafu after another, including but certainly not limited to the well coordinated RPG attacks that successfully took down multiple U.S military helicopters Over the course of the fighting, 18 American troops and an indeterminate number of Somali citizens were killed Estimates for Somali fatalities vary widely depending on the source, and range from hundreds to possibly even thousands of people.Bowden presented this engrossing story to readers in what initially felt like a dizzyingly chaotic manner, rapidly shifting back and forth between numerous different eyewitness perspectives Although you do hear from a fair few Somali teenagers, civilians, and even Habr Gidr clansmen, you primarily witness the event through the eyes of the Rangers, Delta soldiers and helicopter pilots From ranking officers to lowly privates, dozens of their personal stories were included.Heightening this sense of disorienting fragmentation, the author frequently interrupted the main narrative to discuss what was, by and large, rather essential background information During these recurrent asides, readers are apprised of the sociopolitical climate in Somalia, America s involvement in the region, the backstories of many of the soldiers, what Ranger training entails, the task force s procedures, tactics, and weapons specifications, and much, muchAs the story proceeded, these often indispensable details were inserted piecemeal, in a fractured, at times seemingly haphazard fashion So basically, in addition to the aforementioned ever shifting POV of the narrative, readers must also contend with a slew of overwhelming, though immensely illuminating, tangents At first, I found all this jarring and distracting whenever the action was put on hold, I felt irritated and impatient, eager to get back to the story and find out what happened next However, I got used to this approach and even grew to appreciate it relatively quickly While it appeared blurry and bewildering at first, what emerged over time was an assiduously detailed, essentially kaleidoscopic study, replete with a wealth of fascinating, significant facts To give one example of the kind of details I m talking about, here s a helpful tidbit concerning the rifle and ammunition that were used by many of the menHis weapon was the most sophisticated infantry rifle in the world, a customized CAR 15, and he was shooting the army s new 5.56 mm green tip round The green tip had a tungsten carbide penetrator at the tip, and would punch holes in metal, but that very penetrating power meant his rounds were passing right through his targets The bullet made a small, clean hole, and unless it happened to hit the heart or spine, it wasn t enough to stop a man in his tracks Howe felt like he had to hit a guy five or six times just to get his attention They used to kid Randy Shughart because he shunned the modern rifle and ammunition and carried a Vietnam era M 14, which shot a 7.62 round without the penetrating qualities of the new green tip It occurred to Howe as he saw those Sammies keep on running that Randy was the smartest soldier in the unit His rifle may have been heavier and comparatively awkward and delivered a mean recoil, but it damn sure knocked a man down with one bullet, and in combat, one shot was often all you got You shoot a guy, you want to see him go down you don t want to be guessing for the next five hours whether you hit him, or whether he s still waiting for you in the weedsOverall, even though the author had no military experience or expertise, he really did his homework for this book, and it showed And, as he pointed out in the epilogue, the battle is an important case study, both in terms of Special Forces missions specifically, and also with respect to American foreign policy in general Bowden s in depth, meticulous depiction was on the whole both absorbing and informative and, as such, was well worth reading ( Read ) ♣ Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War ♇ On October about a hundred US soldiers were dropped by helicopter into a teeming market in the heart of Mogadishu, Somalia, to abduct two top lieutenants of a Somali warlord The action was supposed to take an hour Instead, they spent a long and terrible night fighting thousands of armed Somalis By morning, eighteen Americans were dead, and than seventy badly injured Mark Bowden s gripping narrative is one of the most exciting accounts of modern war ever written a riveting story that captures the heroism, courage and brutality of battle If Black Hawk Down was a war novel, it would definitely have a place among the very best of that genre Written with such intensity, this military history volume by journalist Mark Bowden, brilliantly captures every minute moments from one of the longest modern day infantry engagements When American soldiers were dropped by helicopter into the Bakara market right in the heart of Mogadishu, Somalia on October 3 1993 for a supposedly easy in and out abduction mission they had no idea that they If Black Hawk Down was a war novel, it would definitely have a place among the very best of that genre Written with such intensity, this military history volume by journalist Mark Bowden, brilliantly captures every minute moments from one of the longest modern day infantry engagements When American soldiers were dropped by helicopter into the Bakara market right in the heart of Mogadishu, Somalia on October 3 1993 for a supposedly easy in and out abduction mission they had no idea that they were going to be part of one of the most terrible, long and sustained close combat firefights since Vietnam war The mission was straightforward abduct two top brass lieutenants of the self proclaimed president to be Mohamed Farrah Aidid from a building in Bakara Market After careful planning and recon the mission was given to a joint group of soldiers consisting of the U.S Army Rangers from Bravo Company, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment Delta and Air Force men and helicopters from 1st Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment But the dynamics of engagement changed right from the start of the mission as the fluidity and unpredictability of battlefield took over and blew away best laid operational plans resulting in a mission which was thought of as a cake walk turn horribly wrong with two UH 60 Black Hawk helicopters shot down and the troops pinned down with heavy armed resistance from Somali militiamen loyal to Aidid A mission, that was believed to be over in a couple hours turned into a long and bloody night battle right in the middle of an urban market teeming with thousands of armed Somalis and civilians The trapped raiding party finally had to be rescued by a relief convoy made up of elements from Task Force 2 14 Infantry and 10th Mountain Division, accompanied by Malaysian and Pakistani U.N forces When the battle was over the causalities among the Somalis where over 2000 with a lot of civilians among them and of the initial raiding force 18 American soldiers were dead, withthan 70 badly injured and one of the Black Hawk pilots captured by Aidid s men Of the rescue forces one Pakistani soldier and one Malaysian soldier got killed in the action The fallout from this engagement was far reaching as this incident forced the Clinton administration to totally withdraw American troops from Somalia The book by Bowden is a result of inspecting and studying mountains of official reports, investigation snapshots and even transcripts of communications between combat troops and conducting hundreds of exhaustive interviews with the participants from both side this adds to the level of detailing that is placed into the narrative and it s authenticity Black Hawk Down tells the realistic tale of this modern day infantry combat with such vigor and brutally shocking honesty It also will give the reader insights into the local international politics surrounding the events, which led to the engagement at Bakara Market and how a supposed peacekeeping mission by UN in Somalia escalated into an armed conflict If you have already seen the Black Hawk Down movie, even then give this book a try and you will be amazed with the power of written words as Bowden captures each and every moment of the engagement happening in both air and ground with such vividness For me the book made a lotpowerful impact than the movie Okay, first of all, I am not usually the person that likes war type books But, I have wanted to read this book for awhile I remember when this actually happened, but being a freshman in high school, I had bigger things going on Throughout this book, I kept asking myself who are these guys It amazes me what wonderful guys are serving my country I had to giggle when a group of men were holed up in a shack with many of the Somalians closing in on them, blood was seeping everywhere from Okay, first of all, I am not usually the person that likes war type books But, I have wanted to read this book for awhile I remember when this actually happened, but being a freshman in high school, I had bigger things going on Throughout this book, I kept asking myself who are these guys It amazes me what wonderful guys are serving my country I had to giggle when a group of men were holed up in a shack with many of the Somalians closing in on them, blood was seeping everywhere from everyone Stebbins who s foot has a golf ball size piece of metal in it is given a pain killer and a gun to protect out the window Medic says Here s a gun, you can guard this window okay says Stebbins But as your health care professional, I feel I should warn you that narcotics and fire arms don t mix I did cry get choked up throughout this book, either because of what was going on at the time and or hearing first hand accounts Then at the end, when the author is talking about how people quickly forgot what had happend there and brushed it under the carpet with a new andexciting news cycle, This book is written for them I actual cried Their bravery and selflessness of our military is outstanding, and I can t tell you how proud I am of each and everyone of them First an apology I ve accidentally reviewed this book with two stars two years ago Not sure why I got confused Anyway, I ve done unjustice to a really excellent work of history and military biography, and now it is time to correct this.So please disregard any comments and thoughts on my behalf before Oct 2, 2017.Now, the actual review A fantastic book.Spectacular narrative, lots of personal touches, and we learn about the soldiers who fought, their fears and frustrations, their ideas and ide First an apology I ve accidentally reviewed this book with two stars two years ago Not sure why I got confused Anyway, I ve done unjustice to a really excellent work of history and military biography, and now it is time to correct this.So please disregard any comments and thoughts on my behalf before Oct 2, 2017.Now, the actual review A fantastic book.Spectacular narrative, lots of personal touches, and we learn about the soldiers who fought, their fears and frustrations, their ideas and ideology, their creed, their friends, how they felt through the battle Situations go from ridiculous jacking escapades including parachute harnesses and walking the dawg to introspective how Delta Force soldiers felt about the situation, and how Howe hated everything, from Capt Steer to his armor piercing ammunition to the casual attitude of the Rangers toward the general situations to dreadful the deaths of Smith and Pella and Joyce The combat feels dirty and exhausting, as it should be The situation is hectic and chaotic The officers are obstinate and confused The soldiers are happy, mad or frightened.It is also a thousand times better than the movie After all, the movie is a Hollywood production, so it must cater to the masses Drama but not too much drama as to deject and depress the audience The cinematic spin actually takes away from some of the heroism and deep personal dilemmas that the Rangers and Delta Force operatives fighting in Mogadishu faced that day.The book also shows us the other side of this coin not just the raw battle The Somali perspective, the thoughts and the anguish of the families and the widows back in the US, the political fiasco behind the involvement, Mike Durrant s ordeal in captivity It s not just gung ho shooting and blasting heavy guns.All in all, this is one of thepleasing combat narratives I ve read It s sad, poignant, impressive, silly, and most importantly, extremely well written You enjoy the story, and you care for the protagonists, politics and all that nonsense notwithstanding A soldiers tale.Highly recommended.Igor This is one of those great books that you can t put down it reads like a novel, a fast paced narrative that can sometimes make you forget that it s a true life drama where real people die I enjoyed reading this book and it s nice to see an honest appraisal of a stuffed up mission, which was no fault of the men on the ground This is a well presented account of the men of the US Army Rangers and Delta Force troops involved in a mission to capture a pair of high ranking deputies to warlord Moham This is one of those great books that you can t put down it reads like a novel, a fast paced narrative that can sometimes make you forget that it s a true life drama where real people die I enjoyed reading this book and it s nice to see an honest appraisal of a stuffed up mission, which was no fault of the men on the ground This is a well presented account of the men of the US Army Rangers and Delta Force troops involved in a mission to capture a pair of high ranking deputies to warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid In the end a number of their MH 60 Black Hawk helicopters had been shot down and they were surrounded in a hostile city on the verge of being overrun This is the sort of book that all soldiers and politicians should read for different reasons Well done to the author and the men involved The movie is a gore fest, but the book chronicles all the background intricacies that you can t find in a movie of course One highlight for me When I finished reading the book, my son, who was in Iraq at the time, told me he had met one of the men who survived this incident However, he also told me he met this man as he was being flown out for a cancer checkup This man who had escaped this brutal attack had cancer two years later After surviving that, he went on to go back into the Army a The movie is a gore fest, but the book chronicles all the background intricacies that you can t find in a movie of course One highlight for me When I finished reading the book, my son, who was in Iraq at the time, told me he had met one of the men who survived this incident However, he also told me he met this man as he was being flown out for a cancer checkup This man who had escaped this brutal attack had cancer two years later After surviving that, he went on to go back into the Army and was a leader in the early days of the Iraq Occupation One sad note He was killed when the Medivac helicopter taking him to his cancer checkup in Baghdad was shot down in November 2003 My son was the last person to see him alive on the groundhe helped to load him into the helicopter This book will always be a memorial to him