Sebastian Junger embeds with the Army in Korengal Valley in Afghanistan. He gives us a look at what the American soldiers are doing in the worst area of Afghanistan. It is not pretty but it gives a picture of what happens and what the soldiers think.
This is not the easiest book to read because of the emotions brought up by it. I felt it was an honest look at what was happening to this particular group of men. I came to know these men through Mr. Junger's writing. I hated when any of them died. I hated when they were wounded. I found it interesting how the Army tried to understand and help and bring the villagers onto their side against the Taliban. I never thought about how necessary it is for the native populations to want the Americans there and the help given on both sides. I liked that we discovered what happened to some of the men who went home. Not a pretty picture. Many cannot adjust to civilian life. They have seen and done too much.
In addition to what happens with the soldiers, we are also given rationale behind decisions as well as how things are done. I found it profound that the soldiers saw themselves as part of their group, not as individuals. They would let you know if you stepped out of line whether you were grunt, officer, or journalist. I learned so much about the Army and the soldiers that I have more respect for them. This was an eye-opener for me.