Audie Award Finalist, Non-Fiction, 2013
From a MacArthur Fellow and the author of The Good Soldiers, a profound look at life after war
No journalist has reckoned with the psychology of war as intimately as David Finkel. In The Good Soldiers, his bestselling account from the front lines of Baghdad, Finkel shadowed the men of the 2-16 Infantry Battalion as they carried out the infamous surge, a grueling fifteen-month tour that changed all of them forever. Now Finkel has followed many of those same men as they’ve returned home and struggled to reintegrate - both into their family lives and into American society at large.
In the ironically named Thank You for Your Service, Finkel writes with tremendous compassion not just about the soldiers but about their wives and children. Where do soldiers belong after their homecoming? Is it possible, or even reasonable, to expect them to rejoin their communities as if nothing has happened? And in moments of hardship, who are soldiers expected to turn to if they feel alienated by the world they once lived in? These are the questions Finkel faces as he revisits the brave but shaken men of the 2-16.
More than a work of journalism, Thank You for Your Service is an act of understanding - shocking but always riveting, unflinching but deeply humane, it takes us inside the heads of those who must live the rest of their lives with the chilling realities of war.
©2013 David Finkel (P)2013 Macmillan Audio
Haven't read the print version.
Not every book is a pleasant read but some are important reads and this certainly fits that category. The narrative follows a handful of servicemen who served in the Iraq war and their families. Their stories are interconnected by time, place, and experiences with a tragic incident in the Iraq war as the unifier. The book illustrates both the obvious and hidden costs to those who served - loss of comrades, survivors guilt, physical injury, PTSD, an uncertain post war life, families who can't quite be what the soldiers need them to be, despite their best efforts. What is both tragic and compelling is that the reader - like the servicemen and their families - can never quite be certain what the outcome for each person would be but that is the point.
Very good. Far from a dry performance, the listener feels as though he is hearing firsthand the subjects speaking to him.
How a comment made to a soldier meant to be a compliment was interpreted as a criticism that eventually leads to a multitude of problems and guilt for that soldier. Tragic.
For anyone who wants to better understand what it means to return home and move on from war, this is probably as close as a non combatant will ever get to it. Thank you for your service and just as importantly, thank you for your sacrifice.
The book reveals what most of us never know about the costs of war on the soldiers who do the fighting and the families they come back to. Heartbreaking sometimes, gripping throughout.
The reader's performance is as good as it gets. He sounds like one of the guys, not some performer, yet his delivery is clear, beautifully timed, and incredibly insightful. Let's have him read more books!
Although I am not an expert on the plight of veterans I do follow the news and the impact of the service on their lives. As a result, I do not feel I learned a lot. Having said that I will never think of the phrase "Thank you for your service" in the same light again.
David Finkel is a skilled writer. I would have enjoyed more information about where we were headed to keep things in context.
This is my first Arthur Bishop narration. He is excellent. Not among the best but really good.
No, I don't think a follow up book is needed. The press does a good job of covering this issue.
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