Our latest read is John Crawford's The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell, a gritty tale of army life in Iraq. It's a sobering account of what it was like for some U.S. soldiers who served (and are serving still) in Iraq.
Crawford describes himself as an "accidental soldier" because his National Guard unit was called up in 2002 when he was one semester short of graduation from Florida State.
Crawford's chief contribution to Iraq War literature is his demystification of military glory. From Crawford's unit, the war is a long, hot, boring slog, devoid of purpose or even meaningful human interaction.
Sure, Crawford and his buddies bond over their thankless tasks, but this is not the book for military romantics. In Crawford's experience, Iraq is a filthy hellhole and its people are mostly liars and thieves.
Despite this grim assessment, the book is worth reading for insights in the the soldier's world and its brutally honest depiction of young men cast into places they don't know for reasons they don't understand.