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Brian Castner has blast-induced memory losses. He is crazy, he runs. He has spent nearly eight years in Iraq.
In one of the scenes in the book, the humvee in which he is riding is surrounded by a mob. It is necessary to exit and shoot, he thinks. Then, thankfully, the convoy moves forward slowly. Brian Castner calls his anxiety the Crazy. It didn't start right away at the end of his deployment.
The sights, the smells of being sent to a war zone are described. The author, through poor eye sight, ended up being directed by the Air Force into the field of Disaster Preparedness. He sought to attend the Explosive Ordinance Disposal school, (the bomb squad). Passing and surviving the training for nine months results in a different person being created by graduation day.
Afterwards, out of the military, the author becomes a civilian EOD instructor. He had been relieved of his first command for disobeying a direct order of a general during wartime. After spending four months doing paperwork, he was again put in command of a group and became swept up in the deployment current.
In the war zone Castner hated going out at night. The squad used robots. The narrator (author) explains that he has become two people. The scientific application of high explosives makes terrorism and modern war possible.
During world War II the British UXB cleared bombs and fire brigades stopped the fires. The bomb technicians shifted the direction of the war. In Iraq the U.S. failed. Instead of destroying ammunition depots, the columns of soldiers kept moving.
The book brings war closer than anything I've read. I hope policymakers read this.
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