Title: Mass Casualties: A Young Medic’s True Story of Death, Deception, and Dishonor in Iraq
Author: Michael Anthony
Publisher: Adams Media
Publication Date: October 18, 2009
Hardcover: 256 pages
“Look around,” the drill sergeant said. “In a few years, or even a few months, several of you will be dead. Some of you will be severely wounded or so badly mutilated that your own mother can’t stand the sight of you. And for the real unlucky ones, you will come home so emotionally disfigured that you wish you had died over there.”
It was Week 7 of basic training . . . eighteen years old and I was preparing myself to die.
They say the Army makes a man out of you, but for eighteen-year-old SPC Michael Anthony, this fabled rite of passage is instead a dark and dangerous journey. After obtaining his parents’ approval to enlist at seventeen, Anthony begins this journey with an unshakeable faith in the military based on his family’s long tradition of service. But when he finds himself in a medical unit of misfits as lost as he is, Anthony not only witnesses firsthand the unspeakable horror of war, he experiences the undeniable misconduct of the military. Everything he’s ever believed in dissolves, forcing Anthony to rethink his ideals and ultimately risk his career—and his freedom—to challenge the military that once commanded his loyalty.
This searing memoir chronicles the experiences that change one young soldier forever. A seasoned veteran before the age of twenty-one, he faces the truth about the war—and himself—in this shocking and unprecedented eyewitness account.
Mass Casualties is a poignant memoir of a young man’s tour in Iraq, serving as an OR tech in the Army. SPC Michael Anthony’s memoir reads as a personal journal with an open, honest, and raw tone to his memoir. Anthony’s retelling of his year is non-partisan, and while at times heart-wrenching, his memoir serves well as an inside look of a young man before, during, and after serving his time in the Army. Through his tumultuous year filled with the many highs and lows, Anthony is able to make the reader laugh, or at least smile, even under the darkest of circumstances. It is intriguing to watch as Anthony matures and develop throughout the year and how his perceptions change with time and experience. His tone is one of a friend retelling stories of those he served with, making each soldier quite real to the reader. The bonds he had while deployed are well displayed in his memoir and he maintains no illusions that these bonds will carry on when he returns home. Anthony draws the reader further into his life in the Army through his routines in the OR, during the harrowing times in the bunkers when the area is being bombed, as well as through his daily routines. Anthony is quite candid about his fears, concerns and frustrations including his inability to sleep and the lengths he is willing to go to for sleep. Through it all, Anthony manages to keep his sense of humour. Mass Casualties is a powerful memoir, showcasing the day-to-day routine of an Army OR tech struggling to adjust and make it through his tour in Iraq.
Michael Anthony (MA) seemed destined to serve from the day he was born. The youngest of seven children, Michael has four brothers and two sisters, all but one of whom joined the military. His father and two grandfathers were also in the Military.
After graduating high school, he joined the Army Reserves, went through basic training, and then went through job training to become an Operating Room Medic. One year later he returned home and enrolled in college to begin his first semester. Almost immediately upon finishing his first semester he was shipped off to Wisconsin to train for four months before he would leave and spend his next year in Iraq. Michael is now back in the States and working toward a Bachelor’s Degree in creative writing. For more information visit his website.
Join Michael Anthony, author of the Iraq war memoir, Mass Casualties : A Young Medic’s True Story of Death, Deception, and Dishonor in Iraq , (Adams Media), as he virtually tours the blogosphere in December and January on his first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion!
I received a copy of Mass Casualties by Michael Anthony from Pump Up Your Book Promotion as part of the tour. Receiving a copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.