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This is an incredible book, the story of Marine 1st Lieutenant Jane Blair and her work during the Iraqi War on the front lines, in a "wing" unit that provided aerial scouting capabilities. She's got an interesting perspective as she first was an enlistee and then went to officer's school. Another interesting tidbit is that, when the war started, she was a newlywed, having just married a fellow Marine lieutenant who was in a nearby artillery unit so, not only was she worried for herself, but also for her close-by husband.
Never have I understood so vividly what it's like to go to war, what the anticipation, terror, nervousness, and everything else is like, mixed in with long stretches of boredom.
Another thing I liked is that Blair is a curious person. She researched Shi'Ites and their religion. During the lull, after hostilities were basically over, she led a group of 50 Marines to basically sightsee Babylon. She's an interesting person.
She also addresses the post-war psychological problems she faced, though I wished she would've delved into this in more detail. She greatly resented military personnel who were in the area but didn't face the front lines of battle or lack for facilities or food, as she and her fellow Marines did. I think she went a month without a shower and was lucky to get one MRE per day (she lost about 15% of her body weight over a fairly short period). She seemed to have a tough time readjusting to life in the U.S. but was pretty mum about that.
Despite this relatively minor problem I had with the book, I thought it was outstanding.
This was an excellent book from the technical aspect of the writer. I had a clearer picture of what the war was like than I had before. The introspective perception from the writer as a woman was lacking. I feel that she wrote for the men and women in her outfit outlining what it was like for both sexes which is commendable. I sincerely hope she continues to get help for PTSD. My spouse was in Viet Nam as an Air Evac Medic and never completely recovered from seeing the horror of war. Even the 2 times he was in a coma, he told me he dreamed of those nightmares. Jane can get help from professionals. In my generation, a request for help meant discharge from the service and no help from the VA. Bill talked with me and we worked through the worst of it. We had no one to turn to. Jane, there are a lot of VETS out there who are like you. There is strength in numbers. I hope you find help from others. Bill slept with a knife under his pillow for a couple of years after he got back and tried to strangle me a couple of times. We dealt with it together. Bunny, Author of "The WAF SAGA".
I am not much of a reader, nor am I the military type. I do like women because they care and tend to be honest. Out of curiosity I bought this book and started reading. I have found this book difficult to put down. I am enthralled with the reality of combat in the modern world. We see depictions of war on TV and in the movies, our kids play war games on computers. We hear about it on the radio in some far away land. As far as I know, Jane does justice to the stark reality of the grit and hardness of warfare in real time. The author's clear and lucid writing makes turning pages easy. Her honesty and pluck detail everything like a classic photojournalist shooting Black and White in clean light. I feel like I am there, and having the experience myself. It makes me have more gratitude for the military people we send into harms way.
Jane Blair's book is a candid and insightful chronicle of a Marine's experience during the Iraq War. Her compassionate and intelligent insights gave me a better understanding of the motivations which might lead an individual to become a warrior in troubled times. It was fascinating to get the inside, honest perspective of so many events in our recent history. Her skills as a storyteller will ensure that the her deeds and that of her comrades will be remembered.
While the book is touted as "a female Marine officer's combat experience in Iraq", it is apparent that, for the most part, the "female" aspect of the story is not what makes it a fascinating read. As a woman, I empathised with the practical difficulties she encountered while in the field but overcame without complaint. But the important part of the story could have been anyone's story, male or female. It is a story of willpower and sincerity and honor.
This book does a pretty good job capturing the authors experiences during the initial invasion and rush to Baghdad. The uniqueness of the unmanned aircraft offers significant capabilities as well as challenges to the commander and Jane does a good job of caputring them. She gets a little annoying with her constant references to her separation from her spouse. Many servicemembers have endured it multiple times--my self included; it comes with the job. It is a good book though and worth reading.
The author addresses the experiences she has as a woman in the military with a leadership role, her separation from her new husband who is also in the military, and the role of drones in the Iraq War. This book gives you a look into the hours of boredom experienced by our troops as they are ready and waiting for their new orders to be implemented. I enjoy "true life" stories and this author is good at describing her surroundings, actions and emotions.
Hesitation Kills gives the reader an insight that the main stream media did not have. To read how the war unfolded through the eyes of a female Marine/junior Intel Officer is very enlightening. I read the entire book in one sitting because I couldn't wait to see what happened next even though we all know how things have turned out. The author did a great job writing the book especially since it was her first one.