Retired Marine sniper Jack Coughlin and John Bruning pull back the curtain of secrecy to take an insider's look at the dark and misunderstood world of America's sniper force. Long considered the redheaded stepchildren of the infantry, snipers have been loathed by their fellow warriors, called "ten cent killers" by our media, and portrayed as unbalanced psychopaths by Hollywood. Coughlin and Bruning explore the lives and careers of some of America's most effective snipers during key missions, moments, and campaigns in the War on Terror. Part pause-register thriller, part deeply human drama, Shock Factor takes you from the streets of the modern day "Stalingrad" of Ramadi to the skyscrapers of Baghdad as America's one-shot warriors fight desperate battles against all odds, find themselves at the heart of tense international incidents, stalk key enemy leaders, and discover horrific human rights abuses perpetrated by our own Allies. Based on extensive interviews with snipers currently on active duty, Shock Factor's gripping accounts of harrowing combat, buried truths and secrets revealed could only be told by snipers to a trusted member of their own elite and cloistered brotherhood. Gunnery Sgt. Jack Coughlin is the New York Times best-selling author of the autobiography, Shooter (with Donald A. Davis). He served with the Marines during the drive to Baghdad and has operated on a wide range of assignments in hot spots around the world. John R. Bruning is the author or coauthor of 15 nonfiction books. He received the Thomas Jefferson Award for Journalism for an article he wrote while embedded with the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade in Afghanistan.
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Snipers are Needed
I've never read the book before. However, the audio edition is definitely graphic when being descriptive. The narrator definitely makes the reader feel the emotions, fear, pain and despair of the people who the Iraqi's give no value. Life is cheap and I could hear them laughing while the tortured men and women had their skin whipped from their backs, arms and legs. Evil, evil. evil. Maybe I should have read this book instead of listening to it. I can't change that now but if I ever recommend this book to another I would encourage they read instead of listen.
What I liked best about this memoir is how descriptive the authors were about when, where and why sniper's are needed. Sniper's have been used since 1815, during the Battle of New Orleans. Sniper's are also known as the messenger's of death. Sniper's could initiate the retreat of the insurgent's. The basic skills of the sniper are still the same since 1815. The continuation of maintaining training of sniper's didn't occur until after the Vietnam War. Therefore, if a conflict was on the horizon, sniper's will be prepared to go to war.
Tony Ward was an asset to the book, Shock Factor. He was able to keep my interest peeked while I listened. There are switches of voices during the book but the character's are usually of short duration. However, he was able to provide the listener with the variations which narrator's of this kind of book tend to maintain a constant voice throughout the book.That kind of narration can make listening a bet rough.
I have moments in this book that kept my interest but I can't use the word moved, to describe the moments. Sniper's from SEAL Teams 1, 3 and 5 fought a very tough battle in Ramadi against the Iraqi's. Knowing that there is no man left behind makes me say, thank you to all of the men and women who are fighting to maintain America's freedom.There is no draft making these men and women serve their country.
The police of Iraq were seen torturing detainees who were dropped off in Iraq. They gave lessons to those men who had never tortured a person before. Rubber hoses, spreader bars, hands and feet tied and their eyes are covered. Evil, evil, evil
The American's learned that the Iraqi's were well trained. Towards the end of the battle the Iraqi's had to call in a small team of Afghan fighters. The sniper's from both sides were sniper shooting from building to building. However, while fighting, if the American's caused any destruction, the bills are sent to Uncle Sam to be paid. We wonder why taxes are so high and yet we still can't wipe the debt clean. The Iraqi's and Afghan's hate American's. Why don't we go home. They don't want us over there.
While the fight in Ramadi, which lasted approximately 4 days, continued, the Iraqi's refused to be intimidated. They continued to harass our sniper's. However, there were 2 SEALs who remained on the top on one of the buildings roof and continued to kill Iraqi's avenging the killing of their brother's. There was payback that needed to be meted out. The sniper's found Mohammed, who might have been the next leader of Iraq, with 2 other insurgent's who had killed 2 sniper SEALs. There was also another fight where 2 SEALs were injured and 1 SEAL was captured. The SEALs found their brother in 3 days. He had been tortured by the insurgents. The SEALs found the Iraqi's and wrought their pay back on them. They were, "dead men walking."
Three well known sniper's fought in the battle, Chris Kyle, Lutrell and Tyson. Their bullets flew. The American's know Kyle as, The Legend and the Iraqi's know him as, The Devil.The Rules of Engagement wrought anger among the US sniper's. A sniper had to call his CO and report the situation as to why someone was to be shot and there were times that a sniper would be told to, "stand down." The War on Terror has its own set of rules.The Iraqi's know how to use those rules to their advantage. Men, from the age of 18 and up are fighting this dam war, yet they can't make their own decisions. The CO's aren't on the battlefield, they are not aware of what's occurring.
The American's had to drop a maverick bomb, which doesn't cause too much destruction on a building which contained the last small group of insurgent's. The few that remained after the battle of Ramadi, faded into the background. Finally, the American's could leave Iraq because the Iraqi's were able to maintain their own government. I'll bet you ten bucks how long this government would last. How many believe that the Iraqi's would be able to remain stable? Yup, what's happening in Iraq as I write this review?
Hey brother, don't worry, we'll get them another day. Slow is smooth and smooth is slow.
- Pamela Dale Foster "I listen to and have recently started to write reviews. I've found the reviews have helped me to select books."
Good story, terrible narration.