Rating: 4 stars
Over the last 15 years I have become intrigued by the military and its brotherhood. Although I don’t remember ever wanting to join the military, I was always impressed by those who did. Watching shows like Band of Brothers and Saving Private Ryan made me realize just how truly amazing these men who served really were.
The men and women who fight for our country truly exemplify the meaning of sacrifice and team work; and, as a result, form an impenetrable bond to one another.
When I saw Sebastian Junger’s interview on Real Time with Bill Maher, I knew I had to read his book, War.
Between June 2007 and June 2008, author Sebastian Junger and photojournalist Tim Hetherington took five separate trips to Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley. The Korengal Outpost—or KOP—is one of the most dangerous places in Afghanistan. Junger was an “embedded reporter”, completely immersed in the military lifestyle in regards to food, shelter and transportation. Above all, Junger entrusted his life to Battle Company, his host platoon.
Junger's writing is so descriptive it was almost like being there; his words painting a crystal-clear image; perfectly conveying what these brave men were going through in such a god-awful place.
Junger’s attention to detail was fantastic, as were his explanation of military terms that the average civilian (like me) may not know. The military research, both physical and psychological, were a very welcome addition and extremely useful. Junger brought the men up-close and personal, making them feel like old friends and providing insight into their thoughts and feelings.
Additionally, I appreciated the inclusion of a Korengal Valley map; I found myself referring to it quite often to get a visual of where they were.
If I had one criticism (and it's truly not a big deal, just a personal preference) it was when Junger was in the middle of one story and then would break off into another. For the most part it was necessary, but still a tad bit confusing—but, I am easily confused.
As interesting as the Real Time interview was, until you read War, there’s no way to understand or appreciate the sheer magnitude of what Junger and Hetherington did--not to mention the incredible courage it took to do it.
I enjoyed reading War so much, I recommended it to numerous people—a few of whom were already reading it. So, if you'd like to read about the trials and tribulations of a forward military base on the front line and the men who defend it, War will not disappoint.
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Twelve; 1 edition (May 11, 2010)