About a month or so ago a good friend of mine sent me a book. Now honestly, I did a lot more reading on my first tour than I do now. Blame this on the internet as well as my trusty PSP. But whenever I am on missions and I have a break in between leaving for whatever FOB is our destination I have been know to crack a book to pass the time. And although it took me a few I finally finished it the other night while waiting to leave for another mission.
The book in question, The Sandbox from Doonesbury.com. It is a collection of dispatches and blogs from troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. With an introduction by Gary Trudeau the the author of the comic strip Doonesbury. I must say I enjoyed this book immensely and not only do I recommend it, but think anyone who wants to truly understand what life is like in "the Sandbox" should read it. The stories are all actually very well written. The writers are Enlisted, NCO's (non commissioned officers), officers, and even some from spouses of military members serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
The stories are very personal and give the reader an inside view of the experiences of soldiers as well as families. From the daily grind of missions to the boredom of time in between. The loneliness and funk they feel during the holidays. From sniper attacks to sniper missions. It gives the average civilian an idea of a lot of the sights, sounds, and feeling those of us serving have everyday. One of the better aspects for me is a lot of the FOB's and routes they speak of are the same we use today so it helps me visualize the area better. Not to mention, a lot of what they are going through I have dealt with and this helps to make things easier knowing that others have felt the same way. I can also think of on more than a few occasions the stories hitting close to home and having to stop reading for a few.
Finally the bottom line of the book is this it is a must reads for anyone interested in getting a better more honest understanding of what the troops go through while serving in the Middle East. Also with a glossary of military terms in the back most civilians can pick it up and read it with little problem. Not to mention these terms can help when watching your favorite war movies. So if you enjoy my writing and want an even better idea of our life here and Afghanistan then pick up a copy, I am sure you won't be disappointed.
I want to lastly than Scott Butki for sending the book. I appreciate it brother. I will be sure to pass it around to all my friends here, I am sure they will enjoy it as much as I did.