Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Reaper, by Nicholas Irving

Very interesting first person story of the life of an Army Ranger Sniper and is time in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nicholas Irving will give you a view of his young life and his desire to join the Military. He will not reveal any major earth shattering secrets, but he will give you a good look at the mindset of a young man who grows up to become one of the deadliest snipers the U.S. Military has trained.

What I found so interesting was the honesty of Irving. He shares some of his deep fears, things that most warriors probably would never share with others. Thus he shares them and you see how human he truly is. I appreciated his honesty about a fear of heights, a fear of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. But what is so true is that a man can put his fears behind him and do things that show courage in the overcoming of those fears.

I learned some good things from Irving's book, I learned how they could go from sound asleep to out on a mission within just a few moments. I learned how you can never fully know what you are walking into. I learned that just because you are a sniper doesn't mean that you sit far back from the action and take shots from a safe distance. No, sometimes you are right on top of the action and in the thick of things.

His deployment coincided with a build up of Taliban efforts in the Kandahar province. Thus each time they left the base they were almost assured of walking into a firefight. But most of their action was the aspect of trying to capture their target alive, this would provide further intel for further actions.

The story is well written and I would attribute that to Gary Brozek. But the action is all about what Nicholas Irving and his unit and the action they faced. The story is done in a humble manner. Irving isn't the only sniper in the unit and he gives good credit to the other men that he served with. I found the book educational and inspiring.


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