Goldie's Reviews > Ghosts of War: The True Story of a 19-Year-Old GI

Ghosts of War by Ryan Smithson
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Jul 21, 2012

really liked it
Read in July, 2012

I read this book because I thought it would give me insight into the Army life mine own son experienced in Afghanistan. Like the young man in the book, Ryan Smithson, my son had been very careful about what he shared upon his return from war. Through this book I learned much more about terms and procedures and heard echoes of conversations I have had with my son.

But the strength of this book wasn't those types of things. The strength was the showing the progression of a young man who chose to serve and grew up. This book isn't about making a political statement or about showcasing what the Army does for youth. It is simply realistic.

This book follows Ryan from induction to actual day to day living in a war zone and beyond. Sometimes it is boring, more than people might think, sometimes it is frightening, sometimes it is exciting, sometimes it is even fun, and sometimes it is simply tragic. It also shows what effect service continues to have on servicemen.

I would recommend this as a good read for anyone. It is not the most technically correct example of prose, but I think any young person would find the book interesting and especially anyone who has interest in the Armed Forces.
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