|When one hears about the war in Afghanistan on the news, it is a sanitized version. In reality war is exhausting, dirty, and bloody. I remember the time, when I was a young boy, a Marine came to our door to notify my parents that my brother had been seriously wounded in Vietnam. It was devastating news for our family. My brother, lying in a hospital bed in Guam with his back ripped apart by shrapnel from an RPG, took months to heal; and in fact never fully recovered until his death forty-plus years later. Soldiers are brave men–heroes.
The men of Red Platoon give us a picture of real men; scared but brave in the face of danger–brothers in battle, protecting each other and encouraging each other in the midst of chaos.
Red Platoon is a book difficult to read and to put down. The author, who was one of the platoon leaders, was on the ground during the fierce battle at Afghanistan Army Base, COP Keating. It is a riveting account of the attack on the base by enemy insurgents. The author takes the reader right into the battle–you can smell it and taste it; it’s a place you do not want to be.
This is a book about heroes. The only negative in a book like this is a younger child would not be able to read it, not because of the action, but the language, and that is too bad. We need young readers versions of books like this so children today can read what a real hero is like. I’m not criticizing the use of the language–it gets the point across, but for a young child, it would be difficult to process.