By Shannon Meehan, Roger Thompson
Below the blazing Iraqi solar in the summertime of 2007, Shannon Meehan, a lieutenant within the U.S. military, ordered a strike that will take the lives of blameless Iraqi civilians. He concept he was once doing the appropriate factor. He idea he was once maintaining his males. He notion that he might simply kill the enemy, yet within the ruins of the strike, he discovers his mistake and uncovers a tragedy.
for many of his deployment in Iraq, Lt. Meehan felt that he have been made for a lifestyles within the army. A tank commander, he labored within the violent Diyala Province, effectively combating the insurgency by way of a variety of Sunni and Shia factions. He was once celebrated by means of his senior officials and adorned with medals. but if the U.S. surge to retake Iraq in 2006 and 2007 ultimately driven into Baqubah, a city nearly solely managed by way of al Qaida, Meehan may make the choice that will swap his lifestyles.
This is the real tale of 1 soldier's try to reconcile what he has performed with what he felt he needed to do. Stark and devastating, it recounts first-hand the truth of a brand new form of struggle that is still principally unstated and forgotten at the frontlines of Iraq.
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Additional info for Beyond Duty: Life on the Frontline in Iraq
The ground of the motor pool, when dry, is covered in a ﬁne dust that is, in some places, knee-high. An endless train of eight-ton vehicles crushed the earth each day, grinding it into a ﬁne silt and reducing it to the consistency of baby powder. When rain mixes with it, it creates a pasty mud that adheres to anything. We slogged through it to our vehicles, and it sucked at our feet and legs. We grabbed at handles on the vehicles with both hands, yanked ourselves out of the deep mud, and pulled ourselves up and into our tanks and humvees.
I also hung, before any of the others, a poster of my wife. She was wearing a VMI uniform, unbuttoned so that her body showed beneath the gray jacket. She was bent down and forward, leaning toward the viewer, and smiling. It was a seductive reminder of home, and it was the last thing I saw every night. Before I went to bed, I said goodnight to my wife, then I turned to Siggins, said good night to him, and told him, sometimes wryly, sometimes sincerely, that AJ said goodnight to him as well. Sometimes we would stay awake 42 BEYOND DUTY for hours, talking across the darkness in the room, sharing stories from our past, thinking hard about our futures.
We discussed how to be a combat life-saver and how to react to contact with the enemy. We discussed the videos we had viewed that day, and we tried to make sure the men remained focused. During it all, I found that I was creating a bond with my men. They began to see me both as a leader and as a soldier, and the review sessions were the ﬁrst real foundations of trust between them and me. In truth, my men had some reason to doubt me. I had only been assigned to the unit four weeks prior to our deployment, so while everyone else in the company had gone through training together and had bonded in the exercises meant to prepare them for war, I had been trained in a separate unit and was, in their eyes, an unknown factor in their deployment.
Beyond Duty: Life on the Frontline in Iraq by Shannon Meehan, Roger Thompson