Your right . It is hard to read. I paused and took deep breaths many times at every twist and painful turn. And yet if a book can be a "must read" about this ongoing war....this is it. Half of the heroes of Charlie Company 1/26th infantry Charley Company were killed in Iraq. Many came home after 15th month broken in body and spirit. PTSD was only one of many problems.
A reporter for the Army Times, author Kelly Kennedy developed the book from Blood Brothers, a series of articles she had written. A former soldier herself , she tells the story of a Charley company's fight against insurgents and terrorists in a Bagdad neighborhood. Somehow it reminded me of a yearlong version of the day long fight for survival in Blackhawk Down. The following link to the final chapter of the Blood Brother series by the author in Army Times will introduce you to some of the men whose stories are told in the book.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention this unit was the only one to mutiny (refuse orders) during the war. Of course, you didn't know that nor did I before reading their story. Soldiers were rotated as units rather than individuals in this war as opposed to Korea and Vietnam. The consequences of this cuts to the heart of this story. You won't be disappointed in finding out why they did what they had to do.
The New Yorker covers: July 2, 1932
26 minutes ago