Finkel, David. Thank you for your service
Booklist Reviews 2013 September #1
*Starred Review* Finkel stays with the men of the 2-16 Infantry Battalion, whom he shadowed in The Good Soldiers (2009), who return home to Ft. Riley, Kansas. Plagued with a litany of physical and psychological wounds labeled with such deceptively benign acronyms as PTSD and TBI, these soldiers are still fighting the good fight every day. Only this time, the war takes place within themselves, on the streets of their hometown, in their homes, and in the personnel offices of every employer who can't give them, or won't let them keep, a job. The collateral damage, to use military jargon, is also significant: wives whose anger levels exceed their husbands'; widows unable to accept their fate, who go to unhealthy lengths to keep memories alive. Although the new "war recovery" push in military health care has become a billion-dollar industry, military suicides have overtaken those by civilians for the first time in history. It is impossible not to be moved, outraged, and saddened by these stories, and Finkel's deeply personal brand of narrative journalism is both heartbreaking and gut-wrenching in its unflinching honesty. When it comes to caring for the nearly 500,000 mentally wounded veterans of the long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is a case of a mission most definitely not accomplished. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2013 May #1
Head of the Washington Post's national reporting team, Pulitzer Prize winner Finkel did an extraordinary job of explaining the Iraq War in The Good Soldiers, a best seller that followed the men of the 2–16 Infantry Battalion as they slogged through 15 months of the thunderous surge. Now he brings the war home, following many of the same men as they try to figure out how to engage again with both family and society.[Page 61]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
PW Reviews 2013 July #3
From April 2007 to April 2008, Finkel, a MacArthur Fellow and Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter with the Washington Post, spent a total of eight months embedded in eastern Iraq with the young infantrymen of the 2-16 as their battalion fought desperately to survive and to make Bush's troop surge a success. In 2009's The Good Soldiers (one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of the Year), he chronicled their harrowing day-to-day experiences—as their trust in the Iraqi people eroded, their nerves and comrades were shot, and IED after IED exploded. In this incredibly moving sequel, Finkel reconnects with some of the men of the 2-16—now home on American soil—and brings their struggles powerfully to life. These soldiers have names and daughters and bad habits and hopes, and though they have left the war in Iraq, the Iraq War has not left them. Now the battle consists of readjusting to civilian and family life, and bearing the often unbearable weight of their demons. Some have physical injuries, and all suffer from crippling PTSD. And as if navigating their own mental and emotional labyrinths weren't enough of a challenge, they must also make sense of the Dickensian bureaucracy that is the Department of Veterans Affairs. Told in crisp, unsentimental prose and supplemented with excerpts from soldiers' diaries, medical reports, e-mails, and text messages, their stories give new meaning to the costs of service—and to giving thanks. Photos. Agent: Melanie Jackson, Melanie Jackson Agency. (Oct.)[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC