A Marine's Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles

Book - 2004
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When the U.S. Marines -- or "jarheads" -- were sent to Saudi Arabia in 1990 for the first Gulf War, Anthony Swofford was there. He lived in sand for six months; he was punished by boredom and fear; he considered suicide, pulled a gun on a fellow marine, and was targeted by both enemy and friendly fire. As engagement with the Iraqis drew near, he was forced to consider what it means to be an American, a soldier, a son of a soldier, and a man.
Publisher: New York :, Scribner,, [2004]
Edition: First Scribner trade paperback edition
Copyright Date: ©2003
ISBN: 9780743244916
Branch Call Number: 956.70442 SWO
Characteristics: 260 pages ; 22 cm


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Sep 17, 2015

Anthony Swofford's celebrated memoir of his time as a marine in the first Gulf War. It was praised for its rawness and unsentimental view of combat, but few pointed out that the Gulf War was hardly a major conflict for America and involved minimal fighting and few casualties. So it is interesting in the sense that it's about the build up to the war and the boredom that the men experience waiting around for combat. Yet this becomes somewhat tedious after a while and you can sense Swofford trying to make it more interesting, but you can't help but think, "This was hardly Tet or Omaha Beach." Worth reading for a look at an oft forgotten conflict, but not exactly a classic. A decent film version came out in 2005.

JCLHelenH Mar 05, 2013

I heard Swofford speak at the 2012 Disabled American Veterans Winter Sports Clinic, where he shared that re-adjusting to civilian life was very difficult. He writes beautifully about ugly and confusing things.

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