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The Good Soldiers

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tyler gerhardt

on 18 December 2012

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Transcript of The Good Soldiers

THE GOOD SOLDIERS BY David Finkle The Good soldiers, A story of a U.S Army battalion the 2-16 thrown into Baghdad, Iraq during the "surge" a part of Baghdad that Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Kauzlarich called "a nice, little, mean, nasty area". For many this would be the transition from boy to man. In the next 14 months they will face the struggle for survival.

This is a nonfiction bookand hardships of war and the losses that come with it. Ralph Kauzlarich Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Kauzlarich, a husband and father is the commanding officer of the 2-16. Being a very optimistic soldier Kauzlarich leads his men with positivity and confidence. On January 10, 2007 George Bush announced operation surge to the United States, Kauzlarich listening to this told him self that him and his men were going to be the ones making the difference in the war. "It's all good." a saying that the lieutenant colonel would repeat through out his deployment, he said it when ever he left the base on patrol, every time he woke up, before he went to bed, prayed, and ate. He did everything by the book or at least tried to, he read the newly issued army "handbook" for dealing with terrorism and did his best to accomplish everything, Don't let the terrorist have a safe haven. He patrolled every town with in reach, searched houses, looked for a forward operating bases, knock and talks with civilians to try and get their support, handed out soccer balls to children and small care packages to the adults. All in which the book said to do. "Optimism is essential to
achievement and it is also
the foundation of courage
and true progress."
-Nicholas Murray Butler At the end of his tour
Kauzlarich achieved his mission to the best of abilities and got home safe to his family. Brent Cummings Staff Sargent Brent Cummings was a moral and honest man. After 9/11 Cummings joined the Army because of his love for the United States. "..He loved the
United states and wanted to defend his admittedly sentimental version of it.." The Staff Sargent enforced respect and dignity among his men, but as the war went on Cummings Started to see his men break down from anger, depression and the horror's of war. When Cummings and his men were looking for a new FOB they found a headless Iraqi body in a sewage tank. His men, the Iraqi's or him didn't want anything to do with the body, but he knew if he left the headless body there they would be just as wrong as the people who to did it to him. A proper burial of the body is all Cummings wanted. A few days later after the Taliban figured out that the U.S troops wanted to use the old factory as a base they leveled it with explosives, the body was taken care of and Cummings now focused on his task, finding another base. As the war progressed into its final days of their deployment Cummings also found him self being taken over by the grotesque antics of war. "Towards the end of his tour Cummings was watching on a video of a man with a rifle shooting at an american convoy, when american gunships came to kill him, Cummings yelled at the top of his lungs "die monkey die"" by the end of the war an intelligent man had now been sucked into a culture where death, slaughter and a burning desire to take your enemys life was now appreciated and enjoyable. Mike and Maria Emory Michael Emory was an average soldier. Married had kids and loved his country. In late April Emory and the rest of the squad were sent into take a small town that had been getting increasingly violent in the past weeks. The team climbed three flights of stairs up to a roof a top to try and get a better view of the enemy positions. Emory the first on the roof and was shot in the back of the head by a sniper. Horrifically wounded Emory was carried down three flights of stairs and into a Humvee and the evacuated. Later Emory would be flown to a Hospital in Germany then to Bethesda, Maryland. Back in Iraq the soldiers received emails on Emory's status. "he opened his eyes today, he moved both his legs today, he sat up today, he spoke today, but this was far from the truth. Every trip and every day Micheal's wife Maria was by his side. Comforting her husband in anyway possible. She kept a journal about her Husbands condition; May 3rd "I'm going to kiss you on the lips if you feel anything move. I kissed him twice and each time he moved." May 17 "he opened his eyes for the first time." May 19 "he moved his fingers and his legs" May 25 President Bush visited the hospital. Maria was not a huge fan of Bush or the war and his presence cause her cry. tears of frustration and anger but with her husband awake and by her side she didn't cause an outburst. Seeing her tears President Bush came and gave her hug and told her "everything would be alright." but in reality it wasn't gonna be alright. Their daughter is living with relatives, she is living in a hospital, the stress alone caused her to dress sizes, a ten to a six. The doctors told her it might be years before he gets to leave the hospital or starts making improvements if any. Adam Schumann was a soldier that was in Michael Emory's squad. When Emory was shot and they were trying to evacuate him down the stairs the stretcher was cumbersome and was making things difficult. Schumann picked Emory up put him over his shoulder and carried him down the stairs and into the Humvee. All the way down the stairs Emory's blood leaked into Schumann`s mouth. After that he was never the same. Adam Schumann was suffering from severe PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and through his remaining months of the war he could still taste Emory`s blood in his mouth. Adam was later assigned a trip home.
"I was a normal guy and the war made me crazy." When he tried to board the helicopter transporting troops and materials to and from bases he was told this wasn't his helicopter, that's when he realized he belonged on the medical chopper where the wounded and dead were. He thought to himself "it all makes sense now, I'm injured, dead and done." Adam Schumann The Good Soldiers is a book about a battalion led by Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Kauzlarich. The war in Iraq is escalating and President Bush is calling for more troops to help with his new operation: Surge. The 2-16 nicked named the rangers are sent to one of the most dangerous area's in Iraq, eastern Baghdad. Littered with I.E.D's (Improvised Explosive Device) around every corner and every stretch. Terrorist's in every town, hill, mountain and valley. Watching, waiting to pull the trigger to a well hidden bomb that could destroy a Humvee in a fraction of a second, Waiting to ambush a small patrol, open sewage trenches, weary citizens not knowing what to do, crooked Iraqi National Guard, heat, death, PTSD, and lack of sleep are just some of the challenges these young soldiers will be facing in their 14 month tour in Iraq. "his soldiers were not yet calling him the lost Kauz behind his back, not when this began. The soldiers of his who would be injured were still perfectly healthy, and the soldiers of his who would died were still perfectly alive. A soldier who was a favorite of his, and was often described as a younger version of him, hadn't yet written of the war in a letter to a friend , "I've had enough of this bullshit." Another soldier, one of his best, hadn't written in the journal he kept hidden "I've lost all hope. I feel like the end is near for me, very, very near." Another hadn't yet gotten angry enough to shoot a thirsty dog lapping up a puddle of human blood. Another, who at the end of all this would become the battalion's most decorated soldier, hadn't yet started dreaming about the people he had killed and wondering if god was going to ask him about the two who had been climbing a latter. Another hadn't yet started seeing himself shooting a man in the head, and then seeing the little girl who had just watched him shoot the man in the head, every time he shut his eyes...". Surrounded by a never ending chaos, this is their story and how some perished and how some survived. Audience This book can pertain to anyone who is interested in war, historical, political or world affairs novels or anyone looking for an exciting read that offers a little hardship, a little happiness and dose of life half way around the world. Personal Review I really liked this book because I have always had a interest the military, I have always wanted to know more about it and what it would be like. The story was like it was straight out of Iraq with no editing to cover anything up. David Finkel`s style of writing was very straight forward and explained in detail what it actually was like fighting in the war. I also enjoy reading nonfiction books because they are real and not a made up story. It's real people and real events. I like history so i thought this was good book for me. Professional Review A powerfully written horror story that needed to be told. A story of how America puts good men through hell and the result of these actions. A piece of journalism that gives any supporter, optimist, or protestor a inside look on how life is half way around the world for their fellow brother,father, cousin, nephew, aunt, uncle, mom or sister.
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