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I'm really late to this, but anyway. Here are my thoughts, with quotes and all, about the last part I've read of Nate Fick's One Bullet Away.

I wrote many, many quote down that I liked or that got me thinking, so here we go:

This is from page 154, after our second discussion post.

"Why Marines en route to a war couldn't be trusted to carry their unloaded weapons around a military base was a mystery to us." [page 170]

That's so absurg, it made me giggle. :P

About driving as teams in the vehicles: "Wynn and I would ride in the only Humvee without a heavy machine gun. For protection, we relied on Corporal Evan Stafford, nominally the platoon communicator, and Private First Class John Christeson, our nineteen-year-old special equipment NCO, who was not an NCO and had no special equipment." [page 177]

Me: o.O

Wright meeting Fick's Marines: "Colbert was reading, Reyes was doing pushups on his knuckles. Two corporals, Garza and Chaffin, were flicking each other with the tips of their eight-inch dive knives, just enough to draw blood. I walked away, feeling as if I had thrown the rabbit to the greyhounds." [page 185]

Me: *g*

"The greatest fear was that it might end without us firing a shot." [page 208]

Controverse. You might think that no war and violence is a good thing, but at the same time they hope to fight (and kill)...

Also: "Aside from insects and plants, I'd killed one living thing in my life. While mowing my parent's lawn as a teenager, I'd accidentally wounded a chipmunk with the mower blade. Gritting my teeth, I'd cut off its head with a shovel. Even this mercy killing had bothered me. I'd never been hunting, and had no desire to go. Now shooting grenades at strangers in an unnamed town, I was kind of enjoying myself." [page 215/216]

I also think it's interesting that they remembered different things from combat:

"The domed mosque was burned into my memory, but only Colbert and Wright could remember seeing it as I described it. Person was adament that we had driven across a bridge during our sprint to the highway. Not one other person in the platoon remembered a bridge, but there it was on the map."

"I hurt for my Marines... And I mourned for myself. Not in self-pity, but for the kid who'd come to Iraq. He was gone." [page 243]


After they stopped the truck racing toward them and Espera had to shoot the men inside, Nate tried to comfort him that the decision was the right one.
"I guessed the television news that night was full of reports of collateral damage and civilian casualties. I wished people could see how much we agonized over our decisions and prayed they were the right ones." [page 261]


"Never pet a burning dog." - Sgt. Shawn Patrick. [page 265]

"Colbert's nickname was the Iceman because he never lost his cool." [page 267]
"...Colbert radioed, "There are men in the trees."

That's one line from the show that I always have in mind, because I loved the way Alex Skarsgard said it, so cool and quiet and then you just hear the safety click and he opens fire.

Updating his CO, and then:
"'Request full explanation why you canceled tonight's foot patrol. This makes us look very bad.' In response, I held the handset up to the gunfire and pushed the button to transmit." [page 328]

Way to go, BAMF!Nate! *g*

The bomb in the garden:
Colbert: "I can blow it up."
Nate: "Get the C-4, Colbert, and do your thing. If you blow your hand off, so help me God, I'll chop the other one off myself."
Colbert: "Roger that, sir."
Then after Colbert prepared the RPG to get blown away:
"'No need to chop my hand off, sir.' Colbert smiled and lit the fuse." *g*

Searching the amusement park [page 336-339], and because they had no time and didn't look through all warehouses - it was HQ that told them they had only time until suset - they missed missiles. Later some were missing and when helicopters got shot down, Nate thought maybe those were the ones they missed. What pressure must that be?! I think this would haunt me all my life. If HQ had give them the time, they could've change the future, maybe.
"I was learning that choices in war are rarely between good and bad, but rather between bad and worse." [page 339]

"An elder man, dressed in white and crowned with a turban, stepped forward and introduced himself as Mullah Mohammed of Diyala. Next to me, Espera mumbled under his breath, 'Yeah, well, I'd Sergeant Tony of Los Angeles. Who gives a fuck?'" [page 342]

LOL at Sgt. Tony of Los Angeles! *g*

Providing people with water: "I watched in awe as seven-year olds hefte five-gallon cans of water weighing forty pounds onto their heads."
Espera: "Goddamn, sir, if we'd had to fight the women around here instead of the men, we'd have gotten our asses kicked."
[page 345] - hehe

The CO: "'The division's turning most of Iraq over to the Army. We're going home.'
Home. Home for me had become a Humvee cab."
[page 348]

I guess he got used to war-life quickly. Must've felt surreal going home, back to normal.

"The closest I came to willing my own death in Iraq was while curled up in the dust outside a plywood latrine, too weak to swat the jellybean-size flies clustered on my head." [page 352] - Ew! o.O

I think I envy them all a bit, having been to Babylon.

"Colbert marveled that, in only two years, we had followed two of Alexander's most fabled campaigns - across Afghanistan and Iraq.
'Somehow I doubt I'll be remembered as "Brad the Great"', he said."
[page 356]

*g* Just... Oh Brad!

Very big LOL on page 356:

"Espera stood against a wall, with the sunlight casting sharp shadows across a stone courtyard. 'Look around. This great empire rose and fell. Everything rises and falls, nations and individuals, too,' he said. ...'Sometimes I think these decisions are already made; the script is already written, and we're the last to read it. Maybe the universe is like a big watch: If you can crack the formula to the universal principles, then you can figure it all out.'
Colbert cut in. 'Is this your goddamn lottery theory again?'
Espera ignored the exasperation and bent toward me. 'Think about the lottery for a second', he continued. 'You buy some tickets at 7-Eleven, and your turn on the TV that night to watch some dude read numbers off Ping-Pong balls. Well, there's nothing random about which numbers pop up. ... If you could calculate the weight of the balls, the temperature and humidity of the room, the force of the little air jets, and a thousand other variables, then you could correctly predict what numbers win.' He looked around with satisfaction. 'Same thing here. Babylon fell. Iraq fell. The United States will someday fall. It's already written. That bullet that hit Pappy had his name on it since it was iron ore in the ground. We just couldn't see and calculate all the variables in time to save him. I'm not sure if that makes me feel better or worse.'
Rudy clapped Espera on the back and said, 'Don't know if I agree with you, brother, but well said. Amen.'
Colbert wandered off, saying, 'Tony, you need to go home and get laid.'
'Tell me something I don't know, white boy.'"

Flying home, he mentions, "In Frankfurt, I stood at the terminal for twenty minutes, just marveling at the green grass." [page 361]

HE WAS IN FRANKFURT!!! Fangirl moment. LOL Can I even call it a fangirl moment? :P You know what I mean.

I have to say I got a little teary-eyed when I read about the "paddle party", where he said goodbye to his platoon, so to speak.

"I took sixty-five men to war and brought sixty-five home. I gave them everything I had. Together, we passed the test. Fear didn't beat us. I hope life improves for the people of Afghanistan and Iraq, but that's not why we did it. We fought or each other.
I am proud."

In conclusion - wow, Nate Fick, just wow!

Btw, the picture on page 254, does anyone of you have that from the cast??


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 23rd, 2010 11:47 pm (UTC)
Sgt. Tony of Los Angeles!
Ahahahah! I'd forgotten about this :D

*is impressed* How did you keep track of all of these? Did you write down page numbers as you went? I need to come up with a better system (currently I just use my crap memory) for recording my favorite quotes/passages.
Nov. 25th, 2010 06:10 pm (UTC)
Yes, I made handwritten notes. ;) I couldn't remember all of this!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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