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Mass Casualties: A Young Medic's True Story of Death, Deception, and Dishonor in Iraq
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Mass Casualties: A Young Medic's True Story of Death, Deception, and Dishonor in Iraq

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  302 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
From the Introduction:
Look around, the drill sergeant said. In a few years, or even a few months, several of you will be dead. Some of you will be severely wounded or so badly mutilated that your own mother can't stand the sight of you. And for the real unlucky ones, you will come home so emotionally disfigured that you wish you had died over there.
It was Week 7 of Basic T
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 18th 2009 by Adams Media (first published January 1st 2009)
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Apr 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is one person's chronicle of a year in Iraq as an Army medic. It is not a pretty picture.

The hospital is set up in, supposedly safe, northern Iraq. It has 3 operating rooms, so if a large number of wounded are brought in at the same time, very unpleasant decisions would have to be made about who lives and who dies. Staff Sergeant Gagney, the immediate boss of the medics, is one of those who seems to think that leadership involves lots of yelling. He agonizes for hours over the work schedule
Kathrin Stacked'n'Painted
Jan 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
In Mass Casualties: A Young Medic's True Story of Death, Deception, and Dishonor in Iraq, Michael Anthony tells his experiences from one year in Iraq as an OR medic. Summarizing this memoir simply is not possible without giving away too many details or leaving question marks hanging in the open, so I won't even attempt to do this.

While I read Mass Casualties, a childhood friend of mine, who is a lot like a big brother to me, was in Afganisthan, so it was both an emotional as well as a though-pr
David Allison
Oct 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
As a military medic myself, I've eaten up this entire genre'. I love to read about other's experiences, especially throughout all sections of the military. This was the first one I read that although was very good, had a decidedly different view on an experiece during the war. I do have to say, that if you enjoy these types of stories, this in particular would be an important "other-side" to consider.
Oct 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: auto-biography
Thanks for a fantastic book Michael, I was fortunate enough to hear your interview w/ Larry & Robin on our local radio station WOCA 1370am. Couldnt wait to read the book. Unfortunately hubby grabbed it first, so I had to wait a week! lol
Thanks for presenting the 'other side' of the war Michael, we appreciate knowing whats actually going on over there, in your own words...
Cathy Snyder
Apr 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
Anyone thinking about going into the military would do well to read Specialist Michael Anthony’s memoir, Mass Casualties: A Young Medic’s True Story of Death, Deception, and Dishonor in Iraq. While the title might suggest that this is the work of some renegade peacenik, another soldier-turned-antiwar-activist, Anthony in fact seems proud of his military service, and he never criticizes the US mission in Iraq. Not that any of that matters. Mass Casualties isn’t about the politics of war. It’s sim ...more
For whatever reason, I have an interest in military-medical memoirs—I'm not sure why, except perhaps that you get a different view from them than you do from more general military memoirs. This had some major proofreading problems (it gets a partial pass for that because the copy I read was an ARC, picked up at a secondhand shop; the pass is only partial because, in my experience, when such problems are that extensive pre-proofing, a lot of problems remain post-proofing), and the writing was...n ...more
Feb 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Stress and Consequences

Michael Anthony has published his journal recorded during his year in Iraq serving as a medic in the midst of the worse than bizarre war being played out around him. The book is a journal written with fine graphics dividing the entries by hours in the days in the weeks in the months of his tour of duty - all bound by the barbed wire that so aptly describes the imprisonment felt by those serving in a position for a given period of time to perform despite the belief in the c
May 31, 2009 rated it liked it
Interesting account of a young army medic's time in Iraq for a year. The book reads more like a journal than anything which works and helps it to move fast. He complains of bureaucracy, a lot of adultery and fornication (sex is pretty much outlawed in times of war on an army base), and the army basically owning every part of you during your time there. It was interesting to get a perspective of how unhealthy it was just to be in a hospital and have your higher-ups being complete dolts that don't ...more
Mike Lopez
Jun 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
As a former Army Medic this kid needs to stop whining and realize there are more in military medicine than just him. I bought this at a discount book store and and I'm glad I did because it wasn't worth the two dollars I paid. I still finished it because I hoped it would get better and I wanted to make sure I finish what I know I'll comment about when other medics ask me. I gave him one star for getting himself published and another for being an Iraq war veteran but what he really needs is a goo ...more
May 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
One of my "pumping" reads (books I stole from the community bookshelf at work to read while I was expressing breastmilk). Very good...disturbing view of our bureaucratic process, but still very good read. You kinda keep wanting something "big" to happen (yeah, I know...sick-minded, but still) and it never truly does. But that's no fault of his. A better insight into the innerworkings of the military in a very Catch-22-esque way.
Jennifer Hampton
Apr 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A very interesting read. It’s a memoir of a young medic in Iraq. It gives you a real look into what really goes on during the war. It chronicles enjoyable, funny stories about what soldiers do when they’re bored and also the sad the stories about dealing with the loss of friends. It also gives you a better look at leadership and the effect of good and bad leaders have during times of war. It was quick and easy to read, very enlightening.
Dec 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book because I am seriously looking into enlisting in the USAR as a medic, and have been researching the subject to death. While I would want to enlist as a Healthcare specialist/combat medic and SPC Anthony is a OR tech, it was still a very interesting read. I really liked the inside look. I also enjoyed the writing style. It is a different point of view, and it does an excellent job of showing that. Nothing is sugar coated. Great book, an enjoyable read.
Notty Galloway
Apr 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A very interesting journal-like account of a army medic’s time in Iraq for a year. It was enjoyable and easy to read. The author speaks on many topics such as civil service, adultery, and fornication and the way the army owns you during your enlistment. It gives you more persepective on what goes on with our soldiers overseas. A very good read.
Michael Anthony
Sep 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
You can find reviews by thirty different: authors, veterans, politician, and psychologists, from Howard Zinn, Bing West, and David Bellavia, to Gary Hart, Philip G. Zimbardo, and many more.
Jul 29, 2011 rated it liked it
It paints the human picture of the war in Iraq, by a CSH medic
Aug 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't recommend this book higher. I fought over there and this is accurate; most of the "War" memoirs are nothing more than self-grandizing Bull....this story is the real deal!
Taylor J.
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, in particular because of the author's relentlessly descriptive writing style. It's intense for me personally because I have close relationships with people who have served in the same war, but so oftentimes soldiers fall into that "don't ask, don't tell" or "nobody wants to hear about war stories" mentality so we are all left wondering and don't want to ask. This book brought me closer to some small semblance of understanding but really I just found it entertainin ...more
Tracey Cramer-Kelly
Nov 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
I really tried to like this book. I mean, I was trained as an Army combat medic myself at the age of 19. Back at my National Guard unit after training, I quickly realized that we had few resources, not a lot of support, and I experienced some of the same frustrations as Michael (albeit not during wartime). It was sobering to realize those problems still exist; with everything our country has been through in the last decade I would have expected better.

Sure, we bitched about stuff. And yeah, ther
Oct 13, 2013 rated it liked it
decent rather than gripping, Specialist Michael Anthony was a Combat Support Medic for a year in Iraq, and if the true military memoir reader is looking for combat, combat, combat, to that degree we have no dramatic-clearing of insurgent-held city blocks, we have no Willie Peet dripped on a particularly troublesome compound, we have little or no tank/helicopter action, just casualty casualty casualty, rear-echelon messup rear-echlon messup rear-echelon messup

I can't recommend this to the hard-co
Alex Rogers
Jul 03, 2012 rated it liked it
An interesting read, and particularly interesting to read a book from one of the support groups rather than a frontline soldier's account. An indictment of the military culture, it is the story of a dysfunctional unit in an ill-conceived war. The writing is not particularly deep (the narrator was 18 when he was there) but clear and flows well, and provides an interesting insight into the war, to military hospitals, to the shenanigans that goes on in a support unit. A couple of things really stru ...more
Lisa Barnes
Jan 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Interesting and not what I expected. I was truly surprised by the level of dishonesty, laziness, promiscuity of what Anthony witnessed. I honestly didn't expect the military to be worse than the worst of what I've seen in the corporate world, but what he describes is. I thought that the book might be disturbing because it's set in the middle of a war, but that really wasn't what the book was about. It is about how dysfunctional one military hospital was, primarily because of certain specific lea ...more
Jul 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I actually was looking for the book, "Medic!" and because of our library is very limited to their selection of books, I could not find it. So I checked this book out, and am very glad I did.
I was kinda scared to read it because I was scared it would be emphasized more on the war itself and not the medical aspect of his experience. But I was very pleased. He wrote about the medical part and about all the people that accompanied him on his experience.
Very good book. Gla
Jun 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: this-is-war, memoir
Although this wasn't what I was expecting, it was still an alright book. I thought it would be more about the blood, guts, and gore of being a medic in Iraq. Not so much about the misconduct and philandering lives other soldiers led while on tour. Either way, this was definitely an interesting glimpse of the Iraq war through one soldier's eyes.
Steven Kaminski
Nov 13, 2016 rated it liked it
A really good read. His narrative makes you feel like you are with him as the events unfold during his time in Iraq. All the bullshit, the mortars & explosions, the politics of the military & the casualness of being an OR tech in a battlefield hospital...
Tyler Y
Jan 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was really good. I have never heard a story written by a medic. It had a lot about the procedures that they use for the patients. Another thing is that it talked about how he took drugs and used a lot of cigarettes. This is a great book for those who like autobiographies about soldiers.
Feb 25, 2016 rated it liked it
It was okay, it was an easy read. I kept reading to expect something more, but in the end i never found it.
Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a very disturbing book! You almost want to just give up on humanity, and gives a very bleak look at our military!
Sep 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Might be one of the most depressing books I've tread. But, like a train wreck it is hard to not look.
Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Very good book, I hope I can read more by this author.
Nov 12, 2016 rated it liked it
A refreshing take to everyday life in the military, which contrary to popular belief is not a 24 hour action movie.
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Michael Anthony is the author of the award-winning and acclaimed memoirs: Civilianized: A Young Veteran’s Memoir, and Mass Casualties: A Young Medic’s True Story of Death, Deception, and Dishonor in Iraq.

Michael’s writing has been called “strong … and starkly honest…”-Publisher’s Weekly, “Dark Humored,” –Kirkus, “smart and mordantly funny,” –Milwaukee Journal, and “gut punching…”–Mary Roach.
More about Michael Anthony
“Am I awake or dreaming? It doesn’t matter anymore. When I close my eyes I dream of death and war. When I open my eyes I see death and war.” 22 likes
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