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I accept that it is not possible to know what it is like to be in combat unless one has actually experienced it, but good literature is as close as one can get. The Yellow Birds, set in Iraq, tells the story of two young American soldiers from Virginia, their experiences and the aftermath. It is not a pretty picture. The genius of the book, a first work by Kevin Powers, is that it uses powerful and artful writing to not only tell a story, but to provide insight into the consciousness of other human beings who are caught in the madness of war and killing. This is not a story of hope or spiritual uplifting; rather, it is an exposition (not an explanation) of existence under this latest version of war. It is sad and unforgettable. Beautifully read.
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This was a heartwrenching story. Very real and eye opening to what deployment is really like and how combat changes lives. I thought I had an idea of combat, as a military wife, but this was enlightening, in a bittersweet way. I have a much greater understanding of the how and why of PTSD. I believe combat is one of those experiences you could never understand unless you have been there, but this is definitely the closest thing to it. An amazing story and I appreciate the author going to these places in his mind to help us see a glimpse of war.
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