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Into Helmand with the Walking Dead

The Marines of First Battalion, Ninth Marines earned their macabre moniker 'The Walking Dead' in the Vietnam War. _Into Helmand with the Walking Dead_ follows the experiences of two Marine infantrymen from 1/9 fighting in Afghanistan. Following the 11 September attacks in 2001, Operation Enduring Freedom catalysed the longest war in United States history. The lives of thousands of Afghans, Americans, and many others were forever altered due to the ensuing war. The book is a brutally honest portrayal of life and death in the Marine infantry both at war in Afghanistan and upon returning to the home front, where issues of reintegration and suicide become a reality. This is the tale of the young Americans who became infantrymen and conducted America's foreign policy in its most ruthless and straight-forward manner. But war, in and of itself, is only playing a small part. The culture and environment from which they re-entered civil society would leave them uncertain, and confused as to the cataclysm they had just left. This book is a testimony to their experience and the legacy of war on their generation.

Now I am going to do two things that I don't believe that I have done before when reviewing books on ARRSE.

The first it to review a book before I 've read it all the way through.

The second is to EAT my words from my last review when I stated that a book was bound to be rubbish because it was on Kindle. I'm pleased to eat my words and will be more careful in the future. As you might have guessed this story IS on Amazon Kindle!

walking dead.jpg

Now back to the plot, a story of a soldier's service in Afghanistan written with the help of a professional writer. Miles Vinning and Kevin Schranz have produce a totally empathic story of service in the US Marine Corps and opend my eyes to a few things. I have read three quarters of the book and will complete it tonight I'm sure.

Honestly I'm not too keen on the military books that take you through the training process; I feel that there much of a sameness, inspection, kit out of the window, get drunk on a 24 hour pass and so forth. Think again and I highly recommend this section of the book. I got a big surprise when the marines got their first posting on ship, unlike the British Army the discipline was worse than back in boot camp, yes lance corporal this and yes Corporal that, which only relaxed when they were actually on the front line. I realy felt sorry for young Marine VINNING as he tried to integrate into his new unit, felt for him when he made the odd mistake and was punished "in Squad". Felt chuffed for him when he meet a young lady and spent his first 96 hour pass sleeping with her in various marine like positions and then receiving the banter on returning to unit.

When he was out on patrol I could almost feel the weight he was carrying with extra load of the Electronic Disruption anti EID device he had to lug around. His fears and worries in action that he might might let the side down and cause an injury to one of his comrades. This tale covers two tours. I am totally immersed in this story and couldn't wait to spread the good news. Get it in your Christmas stocking if you can, the hardback is very reasonably priced and I bet you'll read it over and over again.

Five well earned mushroom heads.

 
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sirbhp

LE
Book Reviewer
well I,ve completed this book and i would give it 5.5 mushrooms if I could. They story ends sadly and it does touch the heart. I wont give it away but this is going to be my best book of 2020.
 

JINGO

War Hero
Book Reviewer
You’ve sold it...... I’ll get the Kindle one though. Big fan.....
 
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