Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Mini-Review: "Redeployment" by Phil Klay - A Singular Addition to the Growing Corpus of Books from Those Who Served in Iraq and Afghanistan
Phil Klay has collected a series of vignettes that shine light of different spectra across the shadows that encircle many of the men and women who have served our nation in Iraq and Afghanistan.
An enlisted mortuary worker shares the grim reality of his unspeakable job of collecting body parts and personal effects to be shipped home to loved ones who had been awaiting a bear hug rather than a body bag, a caress rather than a casket. The role of chaplain is explored from two very different directions. One soldier shares his frustration at how uncomforting the canned words of a chaplain can sound when a soldier has just seen his closest friend die in his arms. In another vignette, a chaplain shares what service on the battlefield feels like from his perspective.
Those of us who have never traveled across continents and experienced being under enemy fire can never fully grasp how that experience changes a person, but books like this nudge us a bit closer to a deeper level of understanding and empathy with those who have served in this way.