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Just Another Soldier

A Year on the Ground in Iraq

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This is not your father's war

This is Iraq, where a soldier's first duty is reinforcing his Humvee with sheet metal and sand bags. Or, in the absence of plumbing, burning barrels of human waste. Where any dead dog on the side of the road might be concealing an insurgent's bomb and anyone could be the enemy.

At age 17, Jason Christopher Hartley joined the Army National Guard. Thirteen years later, he is called to active duty, to serve in Iraq. Sent to a town called Ad Dujayl, made notorious by Saddam Hussein's 1982 massacre, Hartley is thrust into the center of America's war against terrorism. This is his story.

"If you are distrustful of the media and want to know exactly what's going on in Iraq, you'll have to pray for divine enlightenment, because only god knows what the hell is going on over here. However, if you want to know how it feels to be a soldier in Iraq, to hear something honest and raw, that I can help you with."

Sometimes profane, often poignant, and always nakedly candid, Just Another Soldier takes the reader past the images seen on CNN and the nightly news, into the day to day reality of life on the ground as an infantryman, attached to the 1st Division, in the first war of the 21st century. From the adrenaline rush of storming a suspected insurgent's house, to the sheer boredom of down time on the base, to the horror of dead civilians, Hartley examines his role as a man, as a soldier and as an American on foreign soil. His quest to discover the balance between his compassionate side and his baser instincts, results in a searing portrait of today's Army and a remarkable personal narrative written in a fresh and exciting new voice. Just Another Soldier is more than a war story; it delivers an intimate look at a generation of young men and women on the front lines of American policy.

Whether you're for or against the war in Iraq, this is essential reading.

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 03, 2005 – It's not that the Army cared he had a blog, surmises Hartley in his candid tell-all about life as a National Guardsman in Iraq, it's that they objected to the blog's content. Had he blogged in vague terms about his battalion's missions, he may never have faced the threat of a court-martial. Instead, Hartley's blog entries are typical of the medium: honest, conversational, self-effacing, critical and loaded with references to pop culture that simultaneously flew over the heads of his commanders while hitting them square in the gut. Philosophical at points and scatological at others, Hartley makes no effort to romanticize soldier culture, or to validate any political viewpoint, and it's this absence of agenda that makes his memoir such an original, if frustrating, work. Readers will naturally look for a directive on what to think about America's ongoing military effort in Iraq, but Hartley offers no trite conclusions, defending Operation Iraqi Freedom almost as much as he mocks it. A soldier in a shapeless war, he elaborates on raids and missions and music and masturbation as though each is an equivalent aspect to the overall infantryman experience. The transition from blog to book is not entirely smooth, however, especially when Hartley describes the drama that unfolds when he and his superiors duke it out over his blog. It's not surprising that his blog landed him in hot water, nor is it as interesting as the acerbic ruminations on day-to-day events that, fortunately, make up the bulk of Hartley's arresting narrative.

Customer Reviews

Must read

I loved this book I couldn't put it down. It's very truthful and will open you eyes as well as make you laugh a little. It doesn't matter about you political views it's just a book about an army solider.

Just Another Soldier
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  • $8.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Politics & Current Events
  • Published: Mar 17, 2009
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books
  • Seller: HarperCollins
  • Print Length: 336 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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