Brandon Tong's Reviews > The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell: An Accidental Soldier's Account of the War in Iraq

The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell by John Crawford
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Sep 28, 10

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Book Review: The Last True Story I’ll Ever Tell: An Accidental Soldier’s Account of the War in Iraq by John Crawford
“Hey Crawford, you got a piece of brain on your foot”. Florida National Guardsmen, John Crawford, was two credits away from graduation FSU. He was newly married and on his honeymoon when he was called to the front lines of the invasion force of Iraq. In between his patrols, he started writing stories about what happened to him and his squad. These stories became The Last True Story I’ll Ever Tell: An Accidental Soldier’s Account of the War in Iraq. In this book review I will write why this book is worth five out of five stars because of its vivid portrayals of a squad in Iraq.
The book The Last True Story I’ll Ever Tell: An Accidental Soldier’s Account of the War in Iraq draws the reader in with vivid descriptions of the Iraqi deserts, people, and patrols. In the book we see John Crawford changes from a somewhat innocent and relaxed college kid that wanted nothing to do with the war in Iraq, to a man who gets angry sometimes he sees a Middle Eastern person in America. He is changed through the events of the book one being “The one holding the rifle turned it towards me, it seemed so slow how he moved… They were silhouetted black against the sunset. The muzzle was almost on me… I applied pressure to the trigger. I don’t know if that was before or after I realized the rest of the rifle was missing. The trigger was gone as was the buttstock and bolt. Someone had killed a hajji there the day before and just ran over his rifle with their tract rendering it useless. That kid couldn’t have shot spitballs through ti even if he had wanted to.” (208) This change is evidenced in the quote “I rarely get into fights with people who I imagine are “eyeballing me” (219). Crawford also shows the reader vivid descriptions in “The wounded man lay in the fetal position, cradling his bloodied groin. The bullet had hit him on the head of his penis and run down his shaft. After it hit the pelvis, it curved around and exited though his testicle.” (120). This quote is interesting because Crawford had created a picture of a man after he had been shot in the penis.
I gave this book a five out of five because of its vivid portrayals of a squad in Iraq. These men whether they believe in the war is right or not, they still put their lives on the line in Iraq. I believe that this is an ultimate sacrifice that anyone can do for their country. John Crawford changed, that’s the simplest way to put it and that’s what war does to people, it changes them. He used to be a relaxed person and joined the National Guard so he could use their money to pay for college in exchange for two weeks a year. That is until he was called to do security details in Iraq (patrols). Through the book he is changed through the events of the book one being “He was looking at us, both eyes perfectly focused despite the fact that half his brain was all over the car. Just nevers, I thought. His nerves are popping and he’s already dead, like a snake after you cut of its head. But then his eyes shifted, first from me, then Pohl, then back to me.” (140). These kind of events that Crawford experienced will for sure change someone.
The book ends unceremoniously with Crawford recapping his life after the war. Overall the book was a great read and very engaging. Through its vivid portrayals of everyday life as a soldier in Iraq, John Crawford had written an unforgettable first hand encounter of Iraq and is a definite must read. I give The Last True Story I’ll Ever Tell: An Accidental Soldier’s Account of the War in Iraq a five out of five stars.
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