No Place to Hide

  • by W. Lee Warren
  • Narrated by Henry Arnold
  • 9 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A War Zone of the Soul: Dr. W. Lee Warren's life as a neurosurgeon in a trauma center began to unravel long before he shipped off to serve the Air Force in Iraq in 2004. When he traded a comfortable if demanding practice in San Antonio, Texas, for a ride on a C-130 into the combat zone, he was already reeling from months of personal struggle. At the 332nd Air Force Theater Hospital at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, Warren realized his experience with trauma was just beginning. In his 120 days in a tent hospital, he was trained in a different specialty - surviving over 100 mortar attacks and trying desperately to repair the damages of a war that raged around every detail of every day. No place was safe, and the constant barrage wore down every possible defense, physical or psychological.
One day, clad only in a T-shirt, gym shorts, and running shoes, Warren was caught in the open while round after round of mortars shook the earth and shattered the air with their explosions, stripping him of everything he had been trying so desperately to hold on to. Warren's story is an example of how a person can go from a place of total loss to one of strength, courage, and victory. Whether you are in the midst of your own crisis of faith, failed relationship, financial struggle, or illness, you will be inspired to remember that how you respond determines whether you survive - spiritually, emotionally, and sometimes physically. It is the beginning of a long journey home.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

MASH is Iraq

What did you like best about No Place to Hide? What did you like least?

The best thing about the book is that it gave great insight into what it was like to work in a hospital in Iraq during the war. The worst part of the book is when the author departed from the story and got preachy. Its his right in his book to do this; but it detracted greatly from the book for me.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I would have avoided the religious preaching.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes, no problems with narration.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Not sure this would translate well into a movie.

Any additional comments?

I would have given the book 4 starts if it didn't have the preaching.

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- JHG "I live in Northern Virginia and listen to audio books every day during my commute and during walks."

Neurosuregon in Iraq

Dr. W. Lee Warren reported to 332nd Air Force Theater Hospital at Joint Base Balad, Iraq from a successful practice in San Antonio, Texas. He had joined the Air Force to pay for his education and he had to go to Iraq to pay a part of his debt to the US Government.

Lee had absolutely no idea of what lay ahead of him. Pete, also a neurosurgeon, became his mentor for a couple of weeks before his return stateside. The hospital consisted of quite a few tents whereby some of the casualties of war were taken for treatment. Many of these men required a neurosurgeon's skill.

The group of doctor's, technician's, nurse's and other personnel would be leaving Iraq soon and Lee would become thier mentor. He wished for a different scenario but wasn't given a choice. The change to teach others the ropes took time but all began to run smoothly after a short time.

Lee's first surgery was a reality check for him. He stood for a few moments before asking for a knife, he bent down and after the first cut, his mind was focused on the operation he had to perform.

The Iraqi insurgents, Iraqi civilians and any nationality who appeared, that required the attention of a physician or surgeon, were given care. Lee had to have time to accept this fact. His own understanding was that he would be treating American soldier's. However, he did learn that when the insurgent's were ready to be discharged, they would be transported to jail. This fact did quell some of his anxiety. However, over time, Lee saw all that came to be seen were people who required medical treatment and not nationalities.

Lee had left San Antonio, leaving behind unsolved issues of importance of his own and now he had a whole lot of other concerns, the most important one of all, was being able to return home intact. He realized, after time, that he would forever be a different man than the one who had disembarked from a C-130 to begin serving his required four months in Iraq.

The Balad Hospital came under fire frequently, with mortars and bombs. This scared Lee but he learned to live with it, as the other's had done. He did wear his safety shield and helmet most of the time, even when performing surgery. The operating rooms were better constructed than the other parts of the hospital.

There was the sand and mud after it rained, throughout the hospital. Lee couldn't quite grasp the fact that infections didn't abound. The doctor's again had adjusted and treated the patient's with extreme care to prevent infection. Lee lived with sand on his face, in his eyes, on his clothes, in his mouth and anywhere else sand could attach itself.

To help Lee maintain his sanity while in Iraq, he consistently emailed home to many people who had provided him with their email addresses. He saved these on a thumb drive to take home. He emails were going to 20,000 by the time his tour of duty was over. There were also pictures of Iraq, surgeries and many other things that Lee did not share with others.

Lee possessed a deep faith. He would go to Chaplain W or Chaplain W would see his distress and approach him. The wisdom he shared with was, pray more, worry less and let God do the rest. However, as Lee's departure neared he knew that the first thing he would have to deal with was a divorce that his wife had requested before he had left Iraq. His three girl's were also a worry. Being a part of their lives was an absolute necessity.

His last day had arrived and Lee boarded the C - 130, starting his journey back home. He had said his good-byes, gathered his suitcases and was ready for liftoff.

No Place to Hide, is an intense, true story of W. Lee Warren's time in Iraq. The scenes are vivid and no details are left to your imagination. I've already started to reread it for the second time. There are emotions expressed by the narrator, Henry Arnold, that can be intense and quite appropriate for all the emotions that we feel. There were scenes where I became tearful.

I would suggest that other's listen to this well written, true story. The characters are very well developed. Listening can to rough at times but Lee surely does describe his part in Iraq with truth. I was left with knowledge of what happens to our men and women in battle that I didn't want to hear about. But listening, brought the reality of what this war in Iraq is doing to physically and mentally crush our fellow American's. The courage, valor and desire to fight to maintain our freedom, was splashed before my eyes, forcing me see what war can and does to some but not all, while in the fight and what they can face when brought home. There is also what is done to those at home who receive that dreaded phone call. Your credit and time will we be well worth it.
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- Pamela Dale Foster "I listen to and have recently started to write reviews. I've found the reviews have helped me to select books."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-06-2014
  • Publisher: Zondervan