Saturday, January 24, 2009

HOGs in the Shadows: Combat Stories from Marine Snipers in Iraq by Milo S Afong

So here it is. I've been looking for a good book about military snipers since I read 'Marine Sniper' and had yet to find one. Two of the books I have on this topic do, in fact, sit on my list of complete disappointments. Not this one. For the first time in a while I have found a retelling of the Iraq experience that does not take the sometimes life and death situation and turn it into insomnia medicine. This is book to read if this interests you.

The stories told here recount the stories of a number snipers, on station, in Iraq, during various operations. All are told with a thrift that makes then each enjoyable to read but still with enough detail to make me uneasy in places. I loved it all the same. This is really well written and well ordered. I can only say, read this if you want to really know about sniper engagements. If you want to know about the 22 bodies in the street, half eaten by cats and dogs, bloated by sun and heat then read this book. If knowing how brave and how ruthless the soldiers who protect us all must be to survive, then read.

  • Readability - 5 of 5 - Well written and thrifty with words. Really well done.
  • Subject Matter - 4 of 5 - It's a tough one. Sniper's work is not for the weak or for the morally unresolute. The difficulty in all of it is overcoming the idea of what it is about and seeing the job for what it is.
  • Editing - 5 of 5 - Really well edited. It seems I am reading collections of stories more and more these days. This one is well done. The stories are complete and the book is a page turner.
  • Did I Like the Story - 4 of 5 - I did like it.... It's well worth the read.

We all like to talk about it, you know... what we would do if we were in charge at Gitmo, if we caught a Hajii in the street messing with a roadside IED, all the foolish and pridefull things scared men think... Anyhow, these guys don't just think it, these HOG's do it and these are some of their stories. Don't just read the words. Put yourself there for a while and see if you can imagine it.

1 comment:

Todd said...

I have read this book, I agree it is excellent. A good look into the mentality of Snipers. If more people read these recent combat books they would understand so much more about the modern soldier and what they must do and still abide by the rules of engagement that get more and more strict.