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Tucker, Mike. Among Warriors in Iraq: True Grit, Special Ops, and Raiding in Mosul and Fallujah.

TUCKER, Mike. Among warriors in Iraq; true grit, special ops, and raiding in Mosul and Fallujah. Lyon Press. 234p. bibliog. c2005. 1-59228-732-8. $16.95. SA

Any war looks very different depending on where you stand. Civilians see the destruction, the pain, and the frustrations. Generals see maps, troop concentrations, resources, and immense responsibilities. Young officers see tactics. However, it is the foot soldier who sees war at its most basic--the sand, the snipers, and the ominous objects by the side of the road. All of these viewpoints are part of the ultimate truth, but it is the grunt who feels it all the most.

The trouble is, most of these young enlisted warriors are not writers. This is where author Mike Tucker comes in. Tucker is an ex-Marine, a combat veteran, and something of a soldier of fortune. His trade is visiting war zones around the globe, insinuating himself at the "point of the spear," and writing about what he sees. In this case, he somehow managed to become embedded in two different infantry units. In the course of combat strikes in Mosul and Fallujah, Iraq, he and his new comrades endured all of the discomfort, aching monotony, confusion and stark terror that have been the lot of every infantryman since Biblical times.

Tucker is skillful at catching the enormously varied personalities of his soldiers and the bonds that sustain them. This is no infantile shoot-'em-up war book. Like combat anywhere, there is more moving around, waiting, eating, and horseplay than shooting. Tucker deserves credit for carefully keeping the focus away from himself and on the American troops. That's appropriate, because this is a story of the ordinary heroics of ordinary young Americans. Raymond Puffer, Ph.D., Historian, Edwards AFB, Lancaster, CA

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Author:Puffer, Raymond
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Nov 1, 2005
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