Download McCoy's Marines: Darkside to Baghdad by John Koopman PDF

By John Koopman

San Francisco Chronicle reporter and marine veteran Koopman used to be embedded within the 3rd Battalion, Fourth Marines, through the latest conflict in Iraq. He loved an in depth operating courting with the CO, the battalion sergeant significant, and several participants of the battalion. This did not spoil his skill to distance himself from features of the army that he by no means cherished, or from political judgments at the struggle. the mix of embedding and earlier carrier did supply him a unprecedented standpoint at the gritty (literally, whilst a sandstorm blew up) info of flooring strive against in Iraq and the way the fashionable American marine pertains to his neighbors, his enemies, and his family members again domestic. the belief of the publication bargains both infrequent fabric at the nation-building efforts that proceed, with sympathy for either the U.S. army and such a lot colors of Iraqi opinion.—ALA Booklist

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I grew up in a small Nebraska town called Howells. It’s in the northeast part of the state, nor far from where Johnny Carson grew up. Memorable for absolutely nothing. The landscape was rolling hills of corn and alfalfa. The people were good folk. Salt of the earth. But nothing really inspirational there, either. Modesty is the greatest virtue in the hinterland of Nebraska, and I had plenty of it. So there I am, an aimless high school student in the middle of nowhere. What do you do with your life?

But they knew what they wanted to study. They were smart and focused. I was neither. My dad—also John Koopman—drove a truck. He taught me how to drive an 18-wheeler when I was 16. But that life didn’t appeal to me. Dad was gone all week, driving all over the country. It’s not a bad job, but how would I ever get laid if I was gone all the time? My mom, Greta, was a nurse. And you can just forget about that. First, Nebraska boys don’t nurse anyone. Second, I can’t stand the sight of blood. Or needles.

And God help the young recruit who scratched. Then run, pushups, pull-ups, obstacle courses, drill, classes, more drill. The days were full. There was not a moment to sit and think, or reflect. You ate fast, and everything on your tray. And it was never enough. We burned calories like hot coals in a stove. Things slowed only a bit in the evening. We had one hour of free time. And we spent it polishing boots, shining brass, cleaning rifles, and writing letters home. Sometimes, a drill instructor would use that time to counsel a recruit, or just fuck with them.

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