They Called Us Lucky: The Life and Afterlife of the Iraq War’s Hardest Hit Unit

Ruben Gallego and Jim DeFelice. Custom House, $29.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-304581-1
Arizona congressman Gallego and DeFelice (coauthor, American Sniper) deliver a powerful, grunt’s-eye view of modern combat and the struggle to readjust to life back home. After his parents’ divorce, Gallego, a Democrat, was raised by his mother in Illinois, where he and his three sisters lived in an apartment “so tiny that I slept on the floor of the living room rather than a bed.” He dedicated himself to getting into Harvard, but “flamed out” and was on an “enforced ‘pause’ ” in 2000 when he made the impulsive decision to enlist in the Marines Corps Reserves. His unit was deployed to Iraq in 2005, and though unscathed by the first two months of combat, Lima Company’s luck soon changed for the worse; 23 company members were eventually killed in action. Gallego vividly documents the deaths of friends and comrades, and his own brushes with death, including the time his amphibious assault vehicle failed to trigger an IED. Combat scenes alternate with Gallego’s desperate race in 2007 to get help for a fellow Lima Company veteran before he attempted suicide. Gallego also details his own struggles with PTSD, and calls out deficiencies in military planning and equipment that he believes cost lives. This searing autobiography leaves a mark. Agent: Dave Larabell, Creative Artists Agency. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/09/2021
Release date: 11/02/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-06-304582-8
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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