Book Review: “They Were Soldiers” by Ann Jones -published in the Concord Monitor 12/13/2013
I wrote this brief review for the Concord Monitor holiday book gift suggestion issue published today. A longer review of “They Were Soldiers” written for this blog will be forthcoming. Jon
This book is not for the faint-hearted. “They Were Soldiers” explores the multiple harms done to American soldiers by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. So far, the story has been inadequately told to the American public but in her short book, Ann Jones goes far to remedying that deficiency.
Put briefly, the harm is much worse than has been publicly acknowledged. The fallen aside, you have the post-deployment suicides, the catastrophic wounds, the traumatic brain injuries and all the PTSD. It is an endless amount of suffering that goes on lifetimes.
You might think this is an anti-war book but I think it is more a book of witnessing. Jones embedded with our troops in a forward operating base and she follows the wounded soldiers through all stops as they come home.
I think the book is essential reading. Really we do not support the troops. If we did, we would never let them engage in these awful, endlessly destructive wars. Does anybody know the point now? Jones graphically shows the futility and extreme cost incurred.