Evan Wright was a Rolling Stone reporter embedded with twenty-three Marines in a platoon of the First Reconnaissance Battalion who were sent ahead of most of the U.S. forces to draw the fire of Saddam Hussein’s army and tie down some of his forces at the start of the invasion. Meanwhile the bulk of the U.S. Army, with their massive fire-power, took a different route toward Bagdad. The lightly armored Marines in “First Recon” (some of their patched-together humvees lacked doors or a roof) raced through dangerous cities and along deserted roads where it was often impossible to separate the civilians from the enemy combatants. Their gung-ho enthusiasm for the war is tempered by the death and destruction they inadvertently bring down upon the innocent, and their quirky – and sometime incompetent – commanders test their commitment to military discipline. Even at the beginning of the war with Iraq, there were signs of the future troubles that poor planning and poor equipment would inflict upon our men and women serving in Iraq. An HBO miniseries based on this book is also available.
Submitted by Richard