Reviews for Walk In My Combat Boots

by James Patterson and Matt Eversmann with Chris Mooney

Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Patterson and Mooney team with retired Army Sgt. Eversmann to bring together poignant stories of American veterans from all branches of the service. In this wide-ranging, consistently absorbing collection, the authors cover the entire spectrum of American military action during the last 50 years, from Vietnam to the ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. There are some truly striking experiences here—e.g., Gen. Ron Silverman, a dentist, installing a crown on one of Saddam Hussein’s teeth (“He starts talking about the history of the Middle East….It’s not so much a discussion as a lecture”) or Col. Mario Costagliola’s work near ground zero in the aftermath of 9/11. Nearly all of the pieces contain harrowing elements, especially Jeddah Deloria’s account of being wounded in Afghanistan. The “Home Front” section includes stories by veterans facing unemployment or PTSD after leaving the service while “Red,” a human intelligence collector, chronicles his interrogation of Iraqi prisoners. The final section, “Memorial Day,” looks at the heartbreaking impact of soldiers’ deaths on their loved ones. The contributors come from a wide variety of backgrounds, from prep school to poverty, but they all demonstrate incredible pride and determination. One potent example is Lisa Marie Bodenburg, who fought entrenched sexism to become a helicopter gunner in the Marines. Many of the contributors come from military families, and a high percentage offer their personal stories of what they were doing on 9/11 and how those tragic events affected their lives in the following years. Narrated in the present tense, the text is urgent and full of suspense, and while there is some repetition of experiences, the stories are different enough to keep the pages turning. The clear, matter-of-fact tone only adds to the gravity of life-and-death events that these courageous Americans have endured. Even after their service, many of them continue to work with veterans and their families. A gripping account of American military members’ experiences before, during, and after wartime. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Bestseller Patterson (Deadly Cross) and retired U.S. Army Ranger Eversmann gather firsthand accounts from veterans, most of whom served in Iraq or Afghanistan, to deliver a vivid and authentic portrait of life in the modern military. Many of the soldiers profiled are children of career military men and were spurred into action by the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Their specialties range from helicopter door gunner to dentist (Maj. Gen. Ron Silverman fixed Saddam Hussein’s broken tooth after he was captured in 2003). Recurring themes include the shock of entering a war zone, the experience of losing a friend, and battles with alcohol, drugs, and PTSD. Contributors express mixed feelings about their Afghan and Iraqi allies, doubts about the prospects for long-term stability (“Iraqi culture isn’t wired for democracy”), respect for their foes (“The enemy is smart, coming up with ingenious ways to blow us up”), and pride in their service. Some stories make clear that the technologies allowing for easier communications with the home front than in previous wars also bring immediate access to family dysfunctions. Though the loose structure and lack of transitions from one soldier’s story to the next can be disorienting, the overall effect is powerful. This edifying collection captures the highs and lows of the military experience. (Feb.)


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

As anyone with combat veterans in their social circle can tell you, there is usually a story for every occasion. Now every reader can access them. Patterson and retired First Sergeant Eversmann, who served in Somalia and Iraq, conducted open-ended interviews with dozens of marines, air force pilots, sailors, and soldiers to create this oral history collection, with the help of writer Chris Mooney, in which veterans speak frankly about their experiences. The authors did yeoman’s work in recording and categorizing these accounts from so many service members with diverse points of view, including those who served in the infantry, tank divisions, and communications as well as medics and others. The book focuses primarily on the many campaigns that comprise the ongoing war on terror, and it will stand as an excellent primary source for readers and researchers interested in first-person tales told by military personnel. A brief biography is provided for each service member interviewed, and each speaks candidly about the complex realities of combat, pain, trauma, and survival. These are voices that are not heard often enough.


Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Best-selling author Patterson (Deadly Cross) and retired army First Sergeant Matt Eversmann (coeditor, The Battle for Mogadishu), with Chris Mooney (creative writing, Harvard Univ.; Blood World), conducted numerous interviews with veterans of the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for this volume of engaging remembrances. Each interview is approximately four to eight pages, and includes insight into military life and those who chose this path. Several stories include women who, in addition to experiencing basic and advanced training challenges, endured sexual harassment and prejudice. Despite this, the interviews are affirming as the women thrive and become respected noncommissioned and commissioned officers. Throughout, common threads emerge, including always prevalent threats of sudden death from snipers and improvised explosive devices, calls to serve inspired by family members who were veterans, and how 9/11 kindled patriotism. Most of these vets suffer degrees of post-traumatic stress that sometimes destroyed marriages and lives. One interviewee founded Stop Soldier Suicide because more vets were dying by suicide than from enemy killings. Among some of the most poignant interviews are with members of the National Guard who served near Ground Zero on 9/11. VERDICT Readers of military service accounts will be absorbed.—Karl Helicher, formerly with Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Patterson and Mooney team with retired Army Sgt. Eversmann to bring together poignant stories of American veterans from all branches of the service.In this wide-ranging, consistently absorbing collection, the authors cover the entire spectrum of American military action during the last 50 years, from Vietnam to the ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. There are some truly striking experiences heree.g., Gen. Ron Silverman, a dentist, installing a crown on one of Saddam Husseins teeth (He starts talking about the history of the Middle East.Its not so much a discussion as a lecture) or Col. Mario Costagliolas work near ground zero in the aftermath of 9/11. Nearly all of the pieces contain harrowing elements, especially Jeddah Delorias account of being wounded in Afghanistan. The Home Front section includes stories by veterans facing unemployment or PTSD after leaving the service while Red, a human intelligence collector, chronicles his interrogation of Iraqi prisoners. The final section, Memorial Day, looks at the heartbreaking impact of soldiers deaths on their loved ones. The contributors come from a wide variety of backgrounds, from prep school to poverty, but they all demonstrate incredible pride and determination. One potent example is Lisa Marie Bodenburg, who fought entrenched sexism to become a helicopter gunner in the Marines. Many of the contributors come from military families, and a high percentage offer their personal stories of what they were doing on 9/11 and how those tragic events affected their lives in the following years. Narrated in the present tense, the text is urgent and full of suspense, and while there is some repetition of experiences, the stories are different enough to keep the pages turning. The clear, matter-of-fact tone only adds to the gravity of life-and-death events that these courageous Americans have endured. Even after their service, many of them continue to work with veterans and their families.A gripping account of American military members experiences before, during, and after wartime. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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