Academic journal article Military Review

BLOOD BROTHERS: Among the Soldiers of Ward 57

Academic journal article Military Review

BLOOD BROTHERS: Among the Soldiers of Ward 57

Article excerpt

BLOOD BROTHERS: Among the Soldiers of Ward 57, Michael Weisskopf, Henry Holt and Company, New York, 2006, 289 pages, $25.00.

In 2003, the American Soldier was selected as Time magazine's "Person of the Year." Senior correspondent Michael Weisskopf was sent to Iraq to write the story. He lived with a First Armored Division platoon for three weeks, often patrolling with the unit to get a better appreciation for the conditions under which its members operated. On 10 December 2003, the unit was moving along the streets of northwest Baghdad when it stopped momentarily near a mosque. Weisskopf was sitting in the back of a HMMWV with his photographer and two Soldiers. He was the only person who noticed that something had been thrown into the vehicle. Weisskopf picked up the object and attempted to throw it away from the HMMWV. When he awoke, he found that his wrist "looked like the neck of a decapitated chicken."

Blood Brothers is the story of Weisskopf s recovery and rehabilitation from the grievous wound he received saving the lives of those he accompanied. Woven into the book are the stories of three Soldiers-Sergeant First Class Luis Rodriguez, Sergeant Pete Damon, and Corporal Bobby Isaacs-whom Weisskopf came to know during his time on Ward 57, the amputee ward at Walter Reed Army Hospital. A civilian would not normally receive treatment at a military facility, but a waiver was granted to Weisskopf because of the obvious courage of his actions.

Much of Weisskopf's book is a personal quest to understand what happened on the day he was injured. …

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