A U.S. Army soldier who served in Iraq as a member of the Stryker Brigade Combat Team recounts his experiences during a tour of duty in which he engaged in dangerous firefights and kept an online web log describing his war experiences.
A raw, edgy, yet intimate new voice from the front lines in Iraq-the most authentic we have had yet from the war, heralding this generation's Catch-22. Like many of his generation, Colby Buzzell was jumping from one dead-end job to another, a paycheck away from moving back home. He spent his time skateboarding and killing as many brain cells as humanly possible. Tired of the monotony, he found himself in front of an army recruiter. Within months he was in Iraq, a machine gunner in the controversial Stryker Brigade Combat Team, an army unit on the cutting edge of combat technology, and the first of its kind. This is the startlingly honest story of a young man and a war. Trapped amid "guerilla warfare, urban-style" in Mosul, Iraq, Buzzell was struck by the bizarre, absurd, often frightening world surrounding him. He began writing an online web log describing the war-not as it was being reported by CNN or in briefings on Capitol Hill, but as he experienced it. The result is an extraordinary narrative, rich with unforgettable scenes: the fierce firefight in which the resistance came from "men in black"; chain-smoking in the guard tower, counting the tracer rounds fired over the city; the raid on an Iraqi home during which a woman couldn't stop screaming as her husband was being taken away; and the hesitation of a young soldier who had been passed around from platoon to platoon because he was too afraid to fight. As the popularity of his "blog" grew, Buzzell became the embedded reporter the army couldn't control despite its best-and often hilarious-efforts to do so. My War is the debut of a fresh and remarkable voice, and it is already being compared to the classics of youth and combat Herr's Dispatches and Heller's Catch-22. But My War is much more than a war story; it is the story of a generation caught between the hyper-reality of a technological age and an ever more complicated and dangerous world.