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Title:  Blood Stripes – The Grunts View Of The War In Iraq

Author:  David J. Danelo

Publisher: Stackpole Books

Reviewer: W. H. McDonald, Jr. – AAA Founder

An Inside look at the War in Iraq by USMC Grunts

There are emerging a slew of books coming about the war experiences in Iraq but most miss the unique view that is presented in “Blood Stripes – The Grunts View Of The War In Iraq.” The author, who was a Marine officer in Iraq, writes brilliantly about how the war is actually being fought daily by those closest to the action—his NCOs. He allows us to see the action through the experiences of several young corporals and sergeants from infantry companies Bravo 1/5, Lima 3/7, Fox 3/7 and Kilo 3/4 along with a headquarters company unit.

This book will take you to the action on the deserts and into the urban streets. The book follows these young NCOs from February through September 2004 where they were deployed in Al Anbar (Which is Iraq’s largest province). They deal with the area known as the Sunni Triangle (That includes the city of Fallujah). Theirs is a chaotic and volatile world. They never know what they will be greeted with moment to moment from the local people or from the environment.

Fighting a war against an insurgency that borders on civil war, takes its toll on the men both physically and mentally. They are never sure if they will be facing an ambush or snipers as they move through the towns or the countryside. These men face the real dangers of world politics and yet continue to do their duty faithfully.

There is a toll on their souls as they witness friends and comrades killed or wounded. This book is at times drenched in adrenaline and fear yet heroes do emerge and duty and honor are achieved. These young marines wear their “blood stripes” well and carry on the fine tradition of the Marines. (Only Marines ranked corporal and above wear the storied blood stripes on their uniform pants in memory of the Marines who fell at Chapultepec, Mexico, in 1847.)

This is a must read book for those looking for some understanding of what is going on in Iraq with our troops. The book is well written and riveting. It is a page turner!

 


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