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4.8 out of 5
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  • A great read that's hard to put down

    Lately theres been an inundation of books about Australia's exploits in WW1. While this books are important in keeping history alive ( even if so authors fall all so easy into the trap of jingoism) they don't address one of the biggest issues that are shaping Australia in the new century. It's involvement in " The war on terror" and what that means for people on the ground during and after deployment. For whatever reason the defence department and local media don't report on what's happening on the ground overseas. What's a day like on patrol? How our servicemen? What even our mission aims, and how are they being achieved? Some information is understandably confidential, but even basic how/ what/ where/ why seem never to be answered. It's almost like our servicemen just disappear when they get on the plane for deployment... reappearing on the plane home with no-one but them knowing what happened. Books like this do something to bridge that gap, showing us a glimpse into the lives of our servicemen while there overseas and the struggle they face returning home. This is a great book, well written and provides the other half of the story to so many of the episodes and incidents that make up Australia's involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. The shelves of the bookstore would look much better if there was more books like this about Australia's current wars. Then shelves full of pulp reliving past ( and often exaggerated) glories.

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  • Good title

    Great insight to what others do for the well being of soldiers on the ground .Vietnam Vet

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  • A compelling and rather eye-opening read

    Well written, Insightful and at times quite chilling depiction of life as a deployed officer of the Australian Army in the modern war zones of both Iraq and Afghanistan. The SECDET teams established in Afghanistan to respond to IED attacks and gather information from the detonation and formulate patterns was fascinating. Realistic, down-to-earth depiction. A stark reminder of what a Soldier's life is like. An Officer's at least. Also reminds one of how important a soldier's support network, spouse, family, friends and community is and that those close to the men and women of the world's defence forces enlist alongside their loved one. I can imagine little that would be more stressful. Wish more Defence Force personnel wrote of their experience in modern war zones or Peace Keeping missions. It would give us more insight into what they have to deal with on a day-by-day basis. Also really underlines why it's so difficult for soldiers moving back home after spending time in such adrenaline charged conditions. Kudos too to Defence for allowing the occasional piece of constructive criticism that Major Calder imparts to stand unredacted.

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