• Memoire/Battlefield Memoire

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    Please bear with me on my first book review!!

    This book is based on a love story (or two!) told through letters alone.

    The first part is letters sent between a poet and a fan, that blossoms into love, through the period of the first world war. Then you see letters between a mother and daughter throughout World War II.

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    by  Number of Views: 513 
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    Some books should be prescribed reading for all of those who have partners/family who have been to war. Or for that matter, politicians – but that is another story. You do not have to be a sufferer of PTSD or combat stress or know someone who has, to appreciate this book.

    It takes a profound degree of honesty and courage to write a book like this; particularly as an officer, and an Australian. The stereotype of macho man does not come much higher than that; and I defy anyone to look at John Cantwell’s face on the front cover and not see the emotional scars wreaked by over thirty years serving his country.

    John Cantwell joined the Australian army as a private and rose through the ranks to become Major General. His personal account of those years, commencing with the First Gulf War and his part in it are, both intensely personal and a very realistic account of the madness, confusion and boredom that can be war. He himself admits that part of the problem, as he perceived it, was that he was only at war, on the ground, for a very short time. Therefore, how on earth, compared to other soldiers going out time and time again in merciless heat, in hostile territory, in Afghanistan, Iraq could he be feeling like this?

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    by  Number of Views: 1382 
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    Among You is the gripping real-life story of a solider serving on the front line in Iraq and Afghanistan, and an unforgettable, unflinching account of the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.

    Jake wood lives parallel lives: encased in the glass tower of an international investment bank by day, he is also a dedicated TA solider who serves on the front line during the invasion of Iraq, later returning to the war zone to conduct surveillance on insurgents. Disillusioned with the dullness and amorality of the banking world, he escapes back to the army for a third tour of duty. But in Afghanistan he discovers the savage, dehumanising effects that war has on both the body and the mind. And, diagnosed with chronic PTSD on his return, he must now fight the last enemy – himself – in order to exorcise the ghosts of his past.

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    by  Number of Views: 449 
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    Rick Jolly's career is, in a word, incredible. He seems to have been and done absolutely everything. A former Royal Navy medical officer, he went to medical school at Bart’s in London and qualified in 1969. While working as a houseman, a senior doctor suggested he join the Royal Naval Reserve as a Royal Navy doctor. He became medical officer to 42 Commando Royal Marines, who were deployed in Belfast along with men of the 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment. In 24 years of service he completed two tours with the Fleet Air Arm as a Flight Surgeon, Medical Officer Recruitment / Officer training in the Dartmouth Training Ship HMS Bristol, and at the Britannia Royal Naval College. As Officer Commanding (OC) Medical Squadron of the Commando Logistic Regiment RM, Jolly was Senior Medical Officer of 3 Commando Bde RM in the Falklands Campaign of 1982 and commanded the field hospital at Ajax Bay, he received an OBE in the Queen’s 1982 Honours List and during a visit to Argentina in 1998 was also awarded the Oficial Orden de Mayo by the Argentinian Government, for his efforts in treating wounded Argentine servicemen and drawing attention to the post-war care of Malvinas veterans. As such he is perhaps the only serviceman to have been decorated by both sides of a conflict. He is also the author of Jackspeak, a dictionary of British naval slang and usage.

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    by  Number of Views: 241 
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    This book was written by the mother of the main character and is a facual account of her life, both early on and later, as a heli pilot in the US Army. Captain Kimberley Hampton was the first female combat pilot killed in battle.

    Firstly, it must be pointed out that as the book is co-written by Kimberley’s mother, it isn’t a particularly easy read, more so toward the end. I’m not giving much away when I say it’s sad! I can only hope that the writing process proved cathartic for her. The story begins in Kimberley’s childhood and paints a picture of an adventurous but incredibly happy girl. Born with a slight scoliosis and (undisclosed) foot problems, she was the long awaited culmination of 12 years of doctors’ appointments, operations and ultimately discussions about adoption, so from the outset the reader understands just how precious she was to her parents and the physical hurdles she had to overcome in her career.

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