I recently recieved a review copy from Simon & Schuster's "Free Press" imprint of a new book, written by U.S. Army Staff Sergeant David Bellavia, now retired from the Army and a co-founder of Vets for Freedom. The book, House to House: An Epic Memoir of War, is Bellavia's personal account of the Second Battle of Fallujah.
At times horrifying and at times deeply moving, House to House is a book of astonishing power and inspiration as Bellavia comes face to face with both the savages of al Qaeda and the terrorist "insurgency" and with his own soul.
The Left likes to portray the American soldier as either victims of the Bush administration or victimizers of the Iraqi people. The media, too often, plays along. But the American soldiers are are, mostly, neither of those things. They are patriots doing hard work, doing it well, and doing it with honor.
House to House contains much commentary on the media - readers will come to know Time magazine reporter Michael Ware and his photographer and respect their willingness to report the war from the middle of combat rather than from the comfort of a Baghdad hotel using reports from Iraqi stringers of dubious loyalties and motives as so many American media outlets do. You'll also come to loathe the Banana Republic-clad part of the press corps that doesn't venture out with the troops, and asks inane questions.
I started reading House to House as soon as it came in the mail and soon had read 70 pages before I had to put it down and get back to work. But I didn't go to sleep until I finished it later that night.
It's that good.
Gripping from start to finish, House to House takes you along with Third Platoon, Alpha Company, as it fights house-to-house, sustaining heavy losses, in the Second Battle of Fallujah, some of the hardest urban combat of the War on Terror and yet a battle too few Americans really know much about. I finished the book and prayed a prayer of thanks to God that He provides America with fighting men like David Bellavia and his platoon, so that a few hundred million Americans - including myself - can work and play and sleep and raise children in uninterrupted comfort.
I also prayed for a press corps to arise that would care enough to tell the whole truth about the war in Iraq.