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Eric Hoffer Award Finalist and Montaigne Medal Finalist   The fierce, true-life account of United States Air Force pediatric surgeon Lt. Col. Dr. Chris Coppola, this book describes his experiences through two deployments in Operation Iraqi Freedom inside a military trauma hospital at Balad Air Base, just 49 miles north of Baghdad. Novelistic in scope and vision, this memoir Eric Hoffer Award Finalist and Montaigne Medal Finalist   The fierce, true-life account of United States Air Force pediatric surgeon Lt. Col. Dr. Chris Coppola, this book describes his experiences through two deployments in Operation Iraqi Freedom inside a military trauma hospital at Balad Air Base, just 49 miles north of Baghdad. Novelistic in scope and vision, this memoir extends beyond objective reportage to give genuine voice to U.S. surgeons and soldiers, Iraqi translators, and everyday civilians whose core beliefs have been tested in the turmoil of war. Raw and powerfully moving, it reveals how one man’s extraordinary courage and commitment to children survived and flourished even as he witnessed some of the most unspeakable horrors of war.


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Eric Hoffer Award Finalist and Montaigne Medal Finalist   The fierce, true-life account of United States Air Force pediatric surgeon Lt. Col. Dr. Chris Coppola, this book describes his experiences through two deployments in Operation Iraqi Freedom inside a military trauma hospital at Balad Air Base, just 49 miles north of Baghdad. Novelistic in scope and vision, this memoir Eric Hoffer Award Finalist and Montaigne Medal Finalist   The fierce, true-life account of United States Air Force pediatric surgeon Lt. Col. Dr. Chris Coppola, this book describes his experiences through two deployments in Operation Iraqi Freedom inside a military trauma hospital at Balad Air Base, just 49 miles north of Baghdad. Novelistic in scope and vision, this memoir extends beyond objective reportage to give genuine voice to U.S. surgeons and soldiers, Iraqi translators, and everyday civilians whose core beliefs have been tested in the turmoil of war. Raw and powerfully moving, it reveals how one man’s extraordinary courage and commitment to children survived and flourished even as he witnessed some of the most unspeakable horrors of war.

30 review for Coppola: A Pediatric Surgeon in Iraq

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tara Chevrestt

    This has proven to be a very good book, a medical war memoir. Dr. Coppola was an Air Force Major when he first deployed to Iraq in 2005. Normally a pediatric surgeon, he spent four months (and more upon his second deployment) taking care of combat wounds, amputations, hernias, and distended abdomens from either hernias or inner infections. At the same time, he had to deal with missing his wife and kids, being super aware of his surroundings and ducking under cover, taking 90 second showers, and This has proven to be a very good book, a medical war memoir. Dr. Coppola was an Air Force Major when he first deployed to Iraq in 2005. Normally a pediatric surgeon, he spent four months (and more upon his second deployment) taking care of combat wounds, amputations, hernias, and distended abdomens from either hernias or inner infections. At the same time, he had to deal with missing his wife and kids, being super aware of his surroundings and ducking under cover, taking 90 second showers, and running sometimes eight miles a day. He tells his tale using humor in just the right spots (Natalie Portman in the theater.. LOL) and takes care not to bog the reader down with too much medical jargon, but both the suffering and the bravery he witnessed is made clear. Despite being slightly "reprimanded" for performing non combat related surgeries, Dr. Coppola was reluctant to turn children away. One by one, parents brought their sick children to him after being turned away elsewhere and Coppola did what he could with what resources he had. One case in particular pops up throughout the book regarding a little girl named Farrah. She becomes a secondary tale in a way as Dr. Coppola keeps updated on her progress even after his return to the States. I liked this and found myself anxious to find out what became of her. Also, Dr. Coppola must at one point address his own inner "demons" when he realized he had saved the life of a man that took the life of a previous patient. In conclusion, this is a book that makes one think. Readers's will be asking themselves, "Would I do the same thing?" "How would I feel?" "Could I survive?" Dr. Coppola and many other brave American soldiers did it. Thumbs up to them.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    W-O-W...I don't know that I can adequately convey my feelings about this book in this post. Everyone has an opinion about the "War in Iraq" or whatever terminology you chose to use in regards to this conflict. I had one prior to reading this book and I DEFINITELY have one now! I was contacted awhile back by the publicist for Dr. Coppola to review this book. My background in pediatric cardiology nursing drove me to want to read this book. I finished it in two sittings, which is rare for me to do! W-O-W...I don't know that I can adequately convey my feelings about this book in this post. Everyone has an opinion about the "War in Iraq" or whatever terminology you chose to use in regards to this conflict. I had one prior to reading this book and I DEFINITELY have one now! I was contacted awhile back by the publicist for Dr. Coppola to review this book. My background in pediatric cardiology nursing drove me to want to read this book. I finished it in two sittings, which is rare for me to do! There are so many things I learned from this book and I'll take a few minutes to share with you my thoughts and reactions. First, a brief synopsis provided by the publisher: ynopsis: Coppola: A Pediatric Surgeon in Iraq is the fierce, true-life account of Dr. Chris Coppola’s two deployments in Operation Iraqi Freedom as an Air Force pediatric surgeon. Twice stationed at Balad Air Base, fifty miles north of Baghdad, in what was first a rude M*A*S*H*-style tent hospital and later became one of the largest U.S. military installations on foreign soil, Dr. Coppola works feverishly to save the lives of soldiers and civilians as word spreads among Iraqi families that, no matter what the infirmity, he can save their children. From his first night on call, Dr. Coppola is confronted with injuries more severe than any he has ever encountered—I.E.D. and suicide bomb casualties, which shake his religious conviction and trigger persistent bouts of insomnia. In his first weeks, he witnesses Iraq’s health care system tumble into crisis as thousands of Iraqi doctors flee the country, Al Qaeda ramps up efforts to target civilian sites such as schools, funeral processions, women and children; and families are left without basic essentials like electricity and drinking water. Dr. Coppola, exhausted after marathon nights in the OR, homesick for his wife and three boys in San Antonio, Texas, finally asks himself, “How can I go on?” Dr. Coppola faces some very traumatic cases in Iraq while on his two tours of duty. This book mainly focuses on his first tour where you learn of young children who are injured in the war. Innocent, precious lives...some of them with fixable injuries, others with more difficult situations. Dr. Coppola talks of some of his comrades that come in to the facility where he is stationed with missing arms, legs, and shrapnel everywhere. The reader has a glimpse of the good and the bad of these cases. Some were very touching and will stay with me for a VERY long time. A non-medically trained person may ask if this is the right book for them. While I think it requires a strong stomach to read through some of the heartache and trauma, Dr. Coppola never leaves the reader guessing what each diagnosis means. He is aware of his readers possible lack of knowledge when talking about what the steps are to remove shrapnel from the spinal column and uses layman's terms, along with the medical term. I found this book to be very educational in that respect. Speaking of respect...my respect for the soldier fighting for my freedom escalated to the nth degree. I knew it was bad to be there, but I didn't realize (and will never fully realize unless I go) just how bad it really is. The conditions in which our soldiers are living and working there are deplorable! I cannot imagine how Dr. Coppola and his team must have felt when all the dust kicking up everywhere prevents a 100% chance of a sterile field in the operating room!! Things we take so easily for granted here are necessities over there. Our very soldiers lives are at stake! I know now, that after reading this fantastic book, that Dr. Coppola is a doctor whom I would love to work beside one day. His compassion on these children that he treated while there just proves that he is a real human being! Dr. Coppola had to fight to care for the "non-warfare related" injured children while there. Many families heard of Dr. Coppola and his skills while there and would bring their children for multiple issues, one of which was gender determination. The cover of this book is most poignant. A hand holding a piece of paper that says "Coppola". It's beautiful! The story is in the middle of the book and it brought tears to my eyes. I laughed, cried, and even got angry while reading this book. This one is staying on my shelves and I'll purchase the full copy as well. I'm not a huge memoir fan but I'm so thankful to the publicist and Dr. Coppola for asking me to review this book. My life feels different now and I hope to impart to my students the importance of serving your country, whether in the military or simply through their choice of profession. This book is currently available only at http://www.coppolathebook.com. Preorders on Amazon.com are available beginning February 2010. In addition to your purchase online, 10% of all purchases made on the site will go to support the not-for-profit organization War Child Don't let this one slip away. This is a life-changing book that I HIGHLY recommend to all!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    I received this book as a review copy from the publisher. "Coppola: A Pediatric Surgeon in Iraq" is a medical memoir that gives a unique look at the events in Iraq from the point of view of the medical staff who dealt with the injured in Jan. 2005-May 2005 and Sept. 2007-Jan. 2008. Most of the book was about Coppola's first deployment. He recounted a variety of surgeries he performed--including those performed on American military, Iraqi policemen and military, terrorists, civilian adults and chi I received this book as a review copy from the publisher. "Coppola: A Pediatric Surgeon in Iraq" is a medical memoir that gives a unique look at the events in Iraq from the point of view of the medical staff who dealt with the injured in Jan. 2005-May 2005 and Sept. 2007-Jan. 2008. Most of the book was about Coppola's first deployment. He recounted a variety of surgeries he performed--including those performed on American military, Iraqi policemen and military, terrorists, civilian adults and children. But it mostly focused on the children. If graphic descriptions of surgery make you queasy, then this is not the book for you. He also described what life was like on the base during his down-time. Since most military memoirs are by those who worked "outside the wire," it was interesting to see what life was like for someone who worked "inside the wire." In the second section of the book, Coppola described what life was like when he came home. In the third section, he described a few cases but mainly focused on the differences in the facilities and incoming casualties between his first and second deployments. While there were references to God (mainly by the people he worked with), this book did not have any religious theme. And, while Coppola made his personal feelings about being deployed quite clear, he only briefly referred to his mixed feelings about the war. Whether you feel that going to war is right or wrong, I suspect this book won't offend your feelings. Military and medical jargon was explained in the text so I was never confused about what was being said. However, the book was written primarily in first person present tense ("I see" instead of "I saw"). At times, this sounded awkward to me, but it wasn't too distracting. There were several black-and-white photos of people, places, and things mentioned in the memoir. There was a very minor amount of bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants to get a look into the medical side of war.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Liralen

    Coppola accepted a med school scholarship from the military not because he needed it—he calculated that paying off traditional loans would take less time than the required military service—or because he felt a particular call to the military, but because he was drawn by the idea of service, of giving back. His stints in Iraq were not especially long, but they obviously had a lasting impact; the resulting book is a thoughtful, compassionate look at some of the cases he saw and the more general si Coppola accepted a med school scholarship from the military not because he needed it—he calculated that paying off traditional loans would take less time than the required military service—or because he felt a particular call to the military, but because he was drawn by the idea of service, of giving back. His stints in Iraq were not especially long, but they obviously had a lasting impact; the resulting book is a thoughtful, compassionate look at some of the cases he saw and the more general situation in Iraq. He's a doctor, not a politician, and he makes a point to consider each person as an individual who is influenced by background and situation and culture and personality. Writing-wise, it's probably (though decent) not the top doctor-memoir I've read, but the perspective more than makes it worth the read. On his second surgery in Iraq: I count the layers of organs that have been injured: liver, colon, small intestine, pancreas, duodenum, vena cava, spine. I run a quick mental tally and realize I am treating the five worst gunshot injuries I've seen in my life. (25) I am in a difficult position and unsure if I have done the best for this child. All of my instincts and usual medical advice for intersex anomaly are predicated on the cultural specifics of the West. (60) Of a St. Patrick's Day race: Either the sun is getting to me, or I have passed some threshold of normal behavior, because I thought it a good idea to run the race in a leprechaun costume that arrived in a care package. I always wondered who the freaks were who wore costumes to road races, and now I know. (74) A Navy Corpsman is one of the most versatile medical providers in the world. With a high school diploma and a couple hundred hours of training, they perform the brunt of the medical work in the Navy.... A motivated Corpsman can do about as much for an injured troop with his medical bag and pockets as I can do with a whole hospital. During World War II, Pharmacist's Mate Wheeler Lipes saved a sailor's life by performing an emergency appendectomy in the mess hall of a submarine cruising under the surface of the Pacific. (103) In addition to the herbs I brought to Iraq myself, I plant a nice variety of seeds sent to me by one of my fraternity brothers. (114) (Honestly, I'm including this quotation for the contrast/unexpectedness—a fraternity brother is not one of the people I'd expect to send seeds to a friend serving in Iraq. But then...I don't understand 'Greek' life.) As medical personnel, I am classed as a noncombatant. There would have to be enemy actively storming the hospital for me to be authorized to draw my weapon. And yet I am forced to cancel a clinic to be able to attend M-16 training. I apologize to the families who need to reschedule. The parents take it easily. One mother tells me "We understand, we're Army. We're used to waiting a long time for medical stuff." There is something wrong when they have been trained to believe that. (184)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This medical memoir tells the true-life tale of Dr. Chris Coppola's two tours in Balad, Iraq as a pediatric surgeon. This book offers a very unique perspective of the war, coming from the medical staff who dealt with the aftermath of the bombings and shootings in Iraq. This book will really open your eyes to what happens there on an almost daily basis. It is heartbreaking. The book is broken into three parts. A good chunk of it details Dr. Coppola's first tour in Balad starting in January 2005 an This medical memoir tells the true-life tale of Dr. Chris Coppola's two tours in Balad, Iraq as a pediatric surgeon. This book offers a very unique perspective of the war, coming from the medical staff who dealt with the aftermath of the bombings and shootings in Iraq. This book will really open your eyes to what happens there on an almost daily basis. It is heartbreaking. The book is broken into three parts. A good chunk of it details Dr. Coppola's first tour in Balad starting in January 2005 and ending in May 2005. He recounts numerous surgeries that he performed on American soldiers, Iraqi soldiers and policemen, terrorists, and civilians, including innocent children. There are some pretty graphic explanations of the surgeries. The medical jargon is explained fairly well, so I wasn't too confused by the narrative during these sections. As a pediatric surgeon, Dr. Coppola was called into the hospital whenever a child came in. He became known in Iraq as a healer of children and many families would seek him out to care for their child. The cover of the book illustrates this point. A woman heard of Dr. Coppola and, without knowing any English, came to the hospital with just his name on a scrap piece of paper, seeking his help. There were many times, however, that children had to be turned away since they were not directly injured as a result of the war. It was difficult to read about his experiences with various children throughout his deployment. I honestly don't know how he did it. It was emotional to read some of the stories, especially that of Leila. You can feel his pain and angst as he related her story. You want to help these children in every way that you can. One thing I found especially interesting are all of the recreational activities that are available on base. I had no idea that these types of things would be available to the military (movie theater, gym, swimming pool). It definitely gives me a new perspective in that regard. The second part of the book details Dr. Coppola's return to "normal" life back home after his first deployment. Playing with his kids, puttering around his house, spending time with his wife. Things that he missed out on while he was deployed. Finally, the third part of the book relates Dr. Coppola's experiences during his second deployment, from September 2007 through January 2008. He comes into Balad to a new hospital facility that is much improved over his first "tent" facility during the first tour. He details many more stories of people he encountered and surgeries he performed during this time. This is an amazing book that I highly recommend. It was an emotional read that really opened my eyes to what is actually happened on the other side of the world. Many of the Iraqi people that Dr. Coppola encountered are just like us - they love their children and family fiercely and are appreciative to anyone who can help them. This is definitely a must-read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lynda

    Coppola: A Pediatric Surgeon in Iraq will have me viewing every bomb blast reported from Iraq in a different light. You see, thanks to Uncle Sam, Chris Coppola was able to graduate from John Hopkins University medical school to become a pediatric surgeon. In exchange for this priviledge Dr. Coppola was obligated to spend 6 years of his professional life as an Air Force Reserve. Much of his time was spent at Wilford Hall, Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas but was interrupted twice for tours of du Coppola: A Pediatric Surgeon in Iraq will have me viewing every bomb blast reported from Iraq in a different light. You see, thanks to Uncle Sam, Chris Coppola was able to graduate from John Hopkins University medical school to become a pediatric surgeon. In exchange for this priviledge Dr. Coppola was obligated to spend 6 years of his professional life as an Air Force Reserve. Much of his time was spent at Wilford Hall, Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas but was interrupted twice for tours of duty at an Air Force Base in Balad, Iraq. I love books such as this one because I walk away learning trivial things like what a so called "combat shower" is and the ABC's of basic trauma but also a much clearer understanding of what our troups are actually going through in Iraq. Surprisingly, Dr. Coppola and other medical personnel from the U.S are not restricted to work on just injured U.S. troops. In reality, Dr. Coppola's first night brings him an injured 2 year old boy caught in crossfire with a bullet to the head and an Iraqi police officer shot in the abdomen. Sadly, Dr. Coppola sees that it is all too common for children to be brought in with various war injuries as they are used as combatants and human shields. As word spreads of a pediatric surgeon on base, many Iraqis bring their sick children to Dr. Coppola who attempts to help them in between his regular duties. When back at home between tours of duty, Dr. Coppola and other military doctors champion towards the need and importance of having a pediatrician on staff in Iraq as medical care there is substandard to handle the injuries and medical problems to children. Coppola's second tour seems like a blur and the final chapter seems rather rushed as the entries seem to be just journal entries rather than the lenghier more cohesive chapters that come before. The reader can't help but like this guy. A down to earth individual who loves his wife, sons, is country and humankind in general. The book is inspiring and basically apolitical with the exception of "Hank's" opinions which may or may not be similar to Coppola's. It is a book that tells it like it is and I have even more admiration for our troops abroad than I thought possible. How moving to be reading this memoir the week of Veteran's Day when we thank our service personnel both past and present for a job well done despite the unselfish sacrifices they must make to their professional and personal lives.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    Dr. Chris Coppola writes a memoir describing his experience in two separate deployments to Iraq as a surgeon on Balad Air Base. Some of the stories are heart-warming, but other accounts are horrific and tragic, involving not only soldiers, but also civilians and children. Through it all, he struggles mightily to reconcile his desire to offer his best efforts to patients in need and his desire to be back home in America with his family. He writes with a refreshing honesty and is somehow able to r Dr. Chris Coppola writes a memoir describing his experience in two separate deployments to Iraq as a surgeon on Balad Air Base. Some of the stories are heart-warming, but other accounts are horrific and tragic, involving not only soldiers, but also civilians and children. Through it all, he struggles mightily to reconcile his desire to offer his best efforts to patients in need and his desire to be back home in America with his family. He writes with a refreshing honesty and is somehow able to refrain from espousing a political agenda, focusing more on the personal conflicts with which he and his fellow medical personnel must struggle. Hopefully, the act of chronicling these events had been cathartic and provided a measure of relief and resolution for him.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Gabe

    An incredible book. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the military/memoir/medical genres. This book will change the way you perceive the current conflict in Iraq.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Bazzett

    This is one hell of a good book. It's good as a memoir, as a military memoir, as a personal look at an awful war that perhaps never should have happened - all of those things and more. But mostly it's good because of the writing. The subtitle calls Coppola a pediatric surgeon. Well, he is that certainly, and undoubtedly a very good one too, but as far as this book is concerned, Coppola is, first and foremost, a writer, and a damn good one at that. His Catholic school and Ivy League education are This is one hell of a good book. It's good as a memoir, as a military memoir, as a personal look at an awful war that perhaps never should have happened - all of those things and more. But mostly it's good because of the writing. The subtitle calls Coppola a pediatric surgeon. Well, he is that certainly, and undoubtedly a very good one too, but as far as this book is concerned, Coppola is, first and foremost, a writer, and a damn good one at that. His Catholic school and Ivy League education are probably at least partially responsible for this, but I prefer to think that there's more to it than that. I think Coppola is just a natural-born storyteller. Because by the end of this book you feel like you've known this guy a long time and that you've sat in a room together and swapped stories from your lives. You know something about his childhood in Massachussetts, his closeness to his brothers and parents and grandparents and how much he loves his wife and three sons. And these aren't even the focus of this book. Coppola's two tours in Iraq are the main focus of this narrative, with an all too brief two year "intermission" at home in San Antonio. You know something about his doubts and innermost fears, mostly about the war itself, but also about his faith and about being a good son, husband and father. I was very moved by Chris's struggle to understand his role in this crappy war he finds himself embroiled in - not once, but twice. He is not a career officer. He is paying back a debt to the Air Force for financing his medical school and education. But he knew before he accepted the deal that he could have financed his training in other ways. He wanted to do something for his country though. He doesn't see himself as a patriot, but he is. He just didn't know it would be so hard, that there would be a war involved. And a STUPID war at that. He struggles constantly with his negative feelings about the war and the lies that got us into it. But in the end he concentrates on helping people, on saving lives. And this is how you know what a decent, caring compassionate human being Chris Coppola is. Here's a very brief sample of the writing that so impressed me - "The landscape of Mesopotamia around us is a cold expanse of hard-packed ground ... Tonight the moon has yet to rise over the Tigris, but we see the evening star wink at us from the eastern horizon. Mars rises high, a luminous yellow-red speck ruling us from afar." Mars the god of war, a star the color of fire. This is just plain good writing. Coppola's is a quiet voice of sanity mired in the midst of madness. A hell of a good book. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    This was a great book -- but a hard one to finish. I could find so many other books that I read more quickly. Just look at my list! However, despite that I kept saying it is M*A*S*H with out the humor and gin -- it was worth reading. I read of review of this book and bought it for the library. I then promoted it to a few people to read as a non-fiction book group but discovered that very few libraries owned it and we couldn't bring in enough copies for the discussion group. No having finally fini This was a great book -- but a hard one to finish. I could find so many other books that I read more quickly. Just look at my list! However, despite that I kept saying it is M*A*S*H with out the humor and gin -- it was worth reading. I read of review of this book and bought it for the library. I then promoted it to a few people to read as a non-fiction book group but discovered that very few libraries owned it and we couldn't bring in enough copies for the discussion group. No having finally finished reading it I just can't imagine why aren't there more copies of this book in Connecticut? It is not a a book about patriotism, though it is a book about doing the right thing. Dr. Coppola joined the Air Force Reserves after 9/11 because of a friend who had been killed at the Two Towers but also to help pay for medical school. Dr. Coppola is devoted to children and his devotion is not limited to country of origin. He misses his family, his wife and three sons, and he is honest about that -- yet he is able to help families in Iraq and develop friendships with other army personal and Iraqi support staff as well. I do not know if I like this book because I had a special connection with a great aunt who was an army nurse or if it is because it is an interesting book, but I would recommend this book as a great current events book with a powerful insight into everyday life in Iraq.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    The parents of Jeff Link, the editor of this book, are friends of mine and I've had the fun of seeing the progress of the book and making comments on it. This December, right before the Holidays, I was given a copy of the book. I finally got to picking it up this week and just finished it today and I was very moved by the stories that Chris told. What I really appreciated is that Chris resists the temptation to preach about anything. Instead he simply tells what happens and his feelings about it The parents of Jeff Link, the editor of this book, are friends of mine and I've had the fun of seeing the progress of the book and making comments on it. This December, right before the Holidays, I was given a copy of the book. I finally got to picking it up this week and just finished it today and I was very moved by the stories that Chris told. What I really appreciated is that Chris resists the temptation to preach about anything. Instead he simply tells what happens and his feelings about it. The whole feel of the book is that you're sitting with Chris over a beer (or a near beer in Iraq) and he's telling you about his day. He speaks in non-medical jargon and doesn't pull any punches about his frustration with the war and the military when it comes to trying to help those in need. "Everyone has a story" and it is well worth your time to listen to Chris Coppola's story regardless of your feelings about the war. Thank you Chris for sharing.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cindi

    I can't even remember where I heard about this book. This is an eye-opening, shocking book that makes so much more sense than the sterile reports that so many U.S. Military and so many Iraqi citizens were killed today. Many, many emotional parts to this book which also includes a lot of the detail about wounds from IED's and gunshot wounds. This book doesn't have the feel of anti- or pro-war. It looks at the positives and negatives while wishing war didn't exist. Don't we all wish it didn't? It's I can't even remember where I heard about this book. This is an eye-opening, shocking book that makes so much more sense than the sterile reports that so many U.S. Military and so many Iraqi citizens were killed today. Many, many emotional parts to this book which also includes a lot of the detail about wounds from IED's and gunshot wounds. This book doesn't have the feel of anti- or pro-war. It looks at the positives and negatives while wishing war didn't exist. Don't we all wish it didn't? It's not political in nature. Chris Coppola was torn between two worlds. I'm glad he wrote his story. Watch out for limited language in this book as well as descriptions of gore. Not for the faint of heart, but a story worth hearing.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    Well, I just plain changed my mind on reading this one. I still think it would be a good book subject-wise, but somehow the way it is written is just gorry to me. It's very surgical, with lots of medical terms that I'm sure must mean more to someone in a medical field, but just made me think of blood and yuck much more than anything else. Maybe someone else can read this book and get my brain past that, and then I'd be willing to give it another shot. I didn't get past the trauma in the military Well, I just plain changed my mind on reading this one. I still think it would be a good book subject-wise, but somehow the way it is written is just gorry to me. It's very surgical, with lots of medical terms that I'm sure must mean more to someone in a medical field, but just made me think of blood and yuck much more than anything else. Maybe someone else can read this book and get my brain past that, and then I'd be willing to give it another shot. I didn't get past the trauma in the military ER, but maybe I just need to skip over that next time and give it another try. Let me know if anyone else tries it out.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Libraryscat

    When I began reading Dr. Coppola's narrative of his tours of Iraq, I hoped that I would be able to read about the medical aspects of his experiences without regard to my personal beliefs regarding the war in Iraq. I was immediately impressed with the author's candid discussion of his own beliefs and how they were set aside for the sake of the children and mothers who are still "collateral" damage in a war that will be difficult to win. I am proud to have read this very interesting and informativ When I began reading Dr. Coppola's narrative of his tours of Iraq, I hoped that I would be able to read about the medical aspects of his experiences without regard to my personal beliefs regarding the war in Iraq. I was immediately impressed with the author's candid discussion of his own beliefs and how they were set aside for the sake of the children and mothers who are still "collateral" damage in a war that will be difficult to win. I am proud to have read this very interesting and informative book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Naomi

    My daughter recommended this book to me and I'm glad she did. It's the first time I've ever read a first person account of someone from our military's experience in Iraq. Not only did I gain insight into what our troops experience--the conditions, the range of feelings, and oftentimes the internal conflict. I also feel like I now have a better sense of the war itself (whether I agree with it or not), and what the Iraqi people experience. Particularly for people like me, who rarely come into cont My daughter recommended this book to me and I'm glad she did. It's the first time I've ever read a first person account of someone from our military's experience in Iraq. Not only did I gain insight into what our troops experience--the conditions, the range of feelings, and oftentimes the internal conflict. I also feel like I now have a better sense of the war itself (whether I agree with it or not), and what the Iraqi people experience. Particularly for people like me, who rarely come into contact with people serving in the military, I highly recommend reading this book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cate

    Title says it all, really. He writes about his two tours there, doing general surgery on injured troops and pediatric surgery on whatever kids happen to come in to the hospital - some injured by the war, some with problems that the Iraqi parents want the American doctors to treat. This was not easy to read -- he goes into a fair amount of detail, both medical and personal -- but I stayed up late to finish it, and it was worth it. Good inside look at the war.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    My sister did the desktop publishing on this book and highly recommended it. It's not something I would have picked out for myself, but that's one of the reasons I joined a book discussion group. I will read this with an open mind. I thought it was very interesting. I could have lived without the detailed descriptions of the surgeries, but overall, I liked it. I wouldn't describe it as a "page-turner" as it was easy to put down, but it was an easy-to-read book. My sister did the desktop publishing on this book and highly recommended it. It's not something I would have picked out for myself, but that's one of the reasons I joined a book discussion group. I will read this with an open mind. I thought it was very interesting. I could have lived without the detailed descriptions of the surgeries, but overall, I liked it. I wouldn't describe it as a "page-turner" as it was easy to put down, but it was an easy-to-read book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Dr. Chris Coppola is a true American hero. His book is difficult to read, but it is an important account of an unpopular war. The author leaves his family (a wife and three young sons) not once, but twice, to fulfill his duty to the US military. His experiences in Iraq, treating wounded soldiers (both US and Iraqi) and children alike, speaks to the power of an individual to overcome his personal beliefs for the greater good.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    An intense look at a pediatric surgeon's two tours of duty during the Iraq War. Dr. Chris Coppola knew he'd have to serve his country once he decided to accept the Air Force's medical school scholarships, but the two tours he served in Iraq reveals a dedicated doctor who goes to the limits and beyond for his patients--both army and civilian, and mostly Iraqi children. Touching and well-written. An intense look at a pediatric surgeon's two tours of duty during the Iraq War. Dr. Chris Coppola knew he'd have to serve his country once he decided to accept the Air Force's medical school scholarships, but the two tours he served in Iraq reveals a dedicated doctor who goes to the limits and beyond for his patients--both army and civilian, and mostly Iraqi children. Touching and well-written.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Marcie

    Very good book. His writing puts you right there with him. It's a harsh reality as to what happens to these people, especially the children. Our soldiers deserve the utmost respect for putting their lives on the line each and every day. Very good book. His writing puts you right there with him. It's a harsh reality as to what happens to these people, especially the children. Our soldiers deserve the utmost respect for putting their lives on the line each and every day.

  21. 5 out of 5

    kelly

    Hmmm. I love the topic but I was looking for more - especially about the children... Yes, of course he missed his family and his children - but his tour of four months was relatively brief compared to others...

  22. 5 out of 5

    Signora

    This was a fantastic book...a first hand account of 2 tours of duty in Iraq by Dr. Coppola, a pediatric surgeon. I saw the war that is not on CNN...the humanity of our medical troops and those they care for, be they soldiers, civilians or children. Inspiring!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jessica J

    This was a non-fiction look at a pediatric surgeon stationed in Iraq. Well it was non-fiction, it was readable and I sped through it. It had limited politics and focused on the patients, the fellow doctors, and the base area. I highly recommend it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Marcia Miller

    Heartbreaking, vivid, harrowing.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    Amazing book! Amazing man. Proud to have known Dr. Coppola and blessed to have him as a doctor. Great read!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth LeForge Yoder

    Interesting, but there are other books by military docs regarding the war that I'd recommend before this one. Interesting, but there are other books by military docs regarding the war that I'd recommend before this one.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Marialyce

    Please stop your Whining, Dr Coppola. The government paid for your MD and now you must serve your time. Please be a man and so so!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kim Johnson

    Quick read - very enlightening. I'm going to recommend Tyler & Bryce read this one. Quick read - very enlightening. I'm going to recommend Tyler & Bryce read this one.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa

  30. 5 out of 5

    Armelle

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