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A Soldier's Dream: Captain Travis Patriquin and the Awakening of Iraq

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The incredible true story of a fallen American hero who was instrumental in turning the tide of violence in the Iraq War. Travis Patriquin, a young Special Forces officer, had already won a Bronze Star in Afghanistan before being transferred to Iraq. An Arabic linguist, Patriquin set out to establish a crucial network with tribal leaders built on mutual trust and respect. The incredible true story of a fallen American hero who was instrumental in turning the tide of violence in the Iraq War. Travis Patriquin, a young Special Forces officer, had already won a Bronze Star in Afghanistan before being transferred to Iraq. An Arabic linguist, Patriquin set out to establish a crucial network with tribal leaders built on mutual trust and respect. In 2006, Patriquin unleashed a diplomatic and cultural charm offensive upon the Sunni Arab sheiks of Anbar province, the heart of darkness of the Iraqi insurgency. He galvanized American support for the Sunni Awakening, the tribal revolt against Al Qaeda that spread through Anbar and eventually across the country-a turning point which led to dramatically lower levels of violence starting in mid-2007. Before his tragic death from an IED explosion, Travis Patriquin was so beloved by Iraqis that they adopted him into their tribes and loved him as a brother. "A Soldier's Dream "is a tribute to a man who loved Iraq-and a devoted soldier who made a crucial impact on the Iraq War.


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The incredible true story of a fallen American hero who was instrumental in turning the tide of violence in the Iraq War. Travis Patriquin, a young Special Forces officer, had already won a Bronze Star in Afghanistan before being transferred to Iraq. An Arabic linguist, Patriquin set out to establish a crucial network with tribal leaders built on mutual trust and respect. The incredible true story of a fallen American hero who was instrumental in turning the tide of violence in the Iraq War. Travis Patriquin, a young Special Forces officer, had already won a Bronze Star in Afghanistan before being transferred to Iraq. An Arabic linguist, Patriquin set out to establish a crucial network with tribal leaders built on mutual trust and respect. In 2006, Patriquin unleashed a diplomatic and cultural charm offensive upon the Sunni Arab sheiks of Anbar province, the heart of darkness of the Iraqi insurgency. He galvanized American support for the Sunni Awakening, the tribal revolt against Al Qaeda that spread through Anbar and eventually across the country-a turning point which led to dramatically lower levels of violence starting in mid-2007. Before his tragic death from an IED explosion, Travis Patriquin was so beloved by Iraqis that they adopted him into their tribes and loved him as a brother. "A Soldier's Dream "is a tribute to a man who loved Iraq-and a devoted soldier who made a crucial impact on the Iraq War.

30 review for A Soldier's Dream: Captain Travis Patriquin and the Awakening of Iraq

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    This was a decent book. It's the third book I've read about the Anbar Awakening in Ramadi, Iraq. The first book "The Sheriff of Ramadi" by Dick Couch was somewhat boring at times, but covered 3-5 years of US Military experience in Ramadi, Iraq and introduced us to all of the major players and the overall timeline leading toward the Anbar Awakening and its aftermath. The book focused on The Navy SEAL involvement and went into quite a bit of detail regarding the topography of the battlespace, esta This was a decent book. It's the third book I've read about the Anbar Awakening in Ramadi, Iraq. The first book "The Sheriff of Ramadi" by Dick Couch was somewhat boring at times, but covered 3-5 years of US Military experience in Ramadi, Iraq and introduced us to all of the major players and the overall timeline leading toward the Anbar Awakening and its aftermath. The book focused on The Navy SEAL involvement and went into quite a bit of detail regarding the topography of the battlespace, establishment of the different American military bases, and the creation of the various combat outposts. There was a lot of good information which was not examined in the subsequent books, so I'm very glad I read it. I would read other books by Dick Couch as I enjoyed his thorough approach, however, I fear that he may go into the complete history of the Navy SEALS since Vietnam in every book. The second book "A Chance in Hell" by Jim Michaels was probably my favorite of the three although still not of the caliber of a "We Were Soldiers" or "Black Hawk Down." A Soldier's Dream was really great in that it provided some details lacking in the other books, and a lot of personal anecdotes pertaining to Travis Patriquin and his various mentors. I loved the background information at the beginning, and the last few chapters were really great. Unfortunately, somewhere in the middle it felt a lot like a children's book...maybe a sequel to Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves in which Ali Baba decides to work with the Thieves instead of against them. I think some of those chapters would translate well into an Epic tale that the Iraqi's could pass on to their children. Maybe it has been translated into Arabic and is being used in this way...although they probably tell it better. Several statements, giving Travis Patriquin credit for thinking up everything that occurred were kind of silly and annoying. I think the audience is capable of understanding that this book was written to memorialize Travis and his contribution to American success in Ramadi, made possible due to his unique and outgoing personality, without having to start every major section with the phrase "Travis thought...","Travis knew...", or "Travis hoped..." I feel that attributing some of these thoughts and beliefs to others, or the leadership as a whole would not diminish the significance of Travis' work. Really awesome book nonetheless. It's a good story and I'm glad it was told. It was easy and mostly enjoyable to read. Added 3/23/13: I read on Amazon reviews that 'Scott' made the following comment: Scott said: "While the author claims that the Awakening might not have happened without Patriquin, he goes on to claim several events as the tipping point in Anbar, some of which Patriquin wasn't involved in...The book could have been great if it was written from a slightly different angle. Like how Patriquin is a model of how counter insurgencies should be fought. Or how he was very important and gave momentum to the Awakening. Or that he was the catalyst for the Awakening, and then prove it by making the writing more clear and concise and not point to different events as tipping points or the last straw." I like the way he put this, and would like to add that I really enjoyed reading about Travis, and do believe that his role was very important...possibly critical, but the author seems very heavy handed in his attempt to make this point...while simultaneously being confusing. At one point I was thinking of taking out a long roll of paper and charting out the timeline of events because he kept going forward and backward in time. The sequence of 'cause and effect' that the author tried to claim, made no sense in several places. It seemed at times, that something would happen in say, August, and the author would claim it was caused by something Travis did in September. I think the author may have needed more time. I don't think he really had his mind fully wrapped around these events. He didn't "own" this story. I think he's a good writer and if he had taken a slightly different angle and put in a little more time, he could've nailed it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Keith Schnell

    Like many people, I first heard of Travis Patriquin in December 2006, when I was required by my chain of command to read his presentation, “How to Win the War in al Anbar, by CPT Trav.” Even at that point, before his efforts in Iraq had truly begun to pay off, CPT Patriquin had secured his place in American military history by becoming the only human being ever to clearly communicate a strategically relevant idea using Microsoft PowerPoint – an achievement which remains unequalled. When I found Like many people, I first heard of Travis Patriquin in December 2006, when I was required by my chain of command to read his presentation, “How to Win the War in al Anbar, by CPT Trav.” Even at that point, before his efforts in Iraq had truly begun to pay off, CPT Patriquin had secured his place in American military history by becoming the only human being ever to clearly communicate a strategically relevant idea using Microsoft PowerPoint – an achievement which remains unequalled. When I found out a short time later that he had been Killed in Action in Ramadi, it seemed symbolic of a war that let thousands of less capable men spend entire tours in Iraq without once laying eyes on an Iraqi. U.S. Army Captain Travis Patriquin was a staff officer in the 1st Armored Division in al Anbar province who in 2006 spearheaded, in his own words, “a tribal revolt against al-Qaeda along the Euphrates.” This revolt eventually led to the Sunni Awakening, which proved decisive in managing the insurgency in Iraq and heading off an incipient civil war. William Doyle’s short biography draws on both official records and the memories of those who knew him in describing both Patriquin’s actions as he met and coordinated with the Sheiks of al Anbar and the life and career that made him uniquely suited to the role. It is a fitting tribute to a remarkable person. No man is an island, and wars are not won by even the greatest of great men. Even when he did his best work, Patriquin was part of a larger team, and thousands of Americans and Iraqis would spend years executing and building on the movement that he helped introduce. Their work is yet incomplete, as each day’s violent headlines show. While his death may have been a symbol of war’s tendency to put the best people in the most dangerous positions, his actions were a symbol of the countless men and women, both American and Iraqi, who worked with great skill and courage and without recognition in an effort to pull Iraq out of its downward spiral. Moustaches for everyone.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kent

    Doyle recounts an inspirational story of how an American soldier's determination and passion helped to spark the Iraqi Awakening in 2006. The Awakening in Anbar was the catalyst for eventual success in reducing violence in Iraq. It also led to local victories over AQI (Al-Qaeda of Iraq), which was the spark that turned around the dismal conditions in a splintered country. Capt. Travis Patriquin, rightfully, receives much praise and credit for developing good relations with Sheik Sattar and other Doyle recounts an inspirational story of how an American soldier's determination and passion helped to spark the Iraqi Awakening in 2006. The Awakening in Anbar was the catalyst for eventual success in reducing violence in Iraq. It also led to local victories over AQI (Al-Qaeda of Iraq), which was the spark that turned around the dismal conditions in a splintered country. Capt. Travis Patriquin, rightfully, receives much praise and credit for developing good relations with Sheik Sattar and other local Iraqi leaders, both tribal and civil. His friendship with Sheik Sattar is quite obviously the connection that put the Awakening on a successful course. Doyls'e telling of the story incorporates many eye-witness accounts of the events that led to the Awakening and the eventual murders of the key players. A sad outcome for the participants, but a passionate work was accomplished of which all Americans and Iraqis alike should be proud. I have personally met and dined with a couple of the people Doyle interviewed, American and Iraqi. I found their passion for this mission no less inspirational than Capt. Patriquin's. The reader will gain excellent insights as to how the American approach to the Iraq War changed during the Awakening. This new approach to counter insurgency will become the new classic textbook response for many years to come. Much of that change and the rewriting of military and political strategy is owed to the "dream" of Cat. Travis Patriquin.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    I read this book because Travis Patriquin was our nephew-in-law. He was killed in Iraq in 2006, but was very instrumental in bringing about the Anbar Awakening which changed the course of the war. He spoke several languages, including Arabic, and it was his friendship with Sheik Sattar, who adopted him into his tribe as a brother, that convinced the Sunni sheiks to begin working with the Americans, instead of against them. Travis would have loved that someone recognized his contribution and wrot I read this book because Travis Patriquin was our nephew-in-law. He was killed in Iraq in 2006, but was very instrumental in bringing about the Anbar Awakening which changed the course of the war. He spoke several languages, including Arabic, and it was his friendship with Sheik Sattar, who adopted him into his tribe as a brother, that convinced the Sunni sheiks to begin working with the Americans, instead of against them. Travis would have loved that someone recognized his contribution and wrote a book about him. He had a warrior's heart, but also a passion for Iraq and its people. The book calls him a modern day Lawrence of Arabia. We didn't know any of this until after he died and ABC news did a story and Newsweek and Time magazines. I must say we were impressed and, of course, proud. Intersting man.....

  5. 5 out of 5

    John Wilson

    I really enjoyed reading this book. Travis was incredibly skilled and resourceful.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Franz

    The Surge, the increase in the number American troops on the ground in Iraq, is often given the credit for turning the tide against the deadly insurgents and establishing a more civil society as a consequence. Underappreciated and of greater importance was the decision of the sheikhs in western Iraq in the summer of 2006 to switch their support from Al Qaeda in Iraq to the Americans. Al Qaeda in Iraq had become more disruptive and dangerous in the lives of the local people than the Americans mil The Surge, the increase in the number American troops on the ground in Iraq, is often given the credit for turning the tide against the deadly insurgents and establishing a more civil society as a consequence. Underappreciated and of greater importance was the decision of the sheikhs in western Iraq in the summer of 2006 to switch their support from Al Qaeda in Iraq to the Americans. Al Qaeda in Iraq had become more disruptive and dangerous in the lives of the local people than the Americans military. Crucial in this process helping the sheikhs, who were the tribal leaders, was the necessity for Americans to understand the Iraqi culture and mind. Captain Patriquin had such an understanding that came from a sincere love of Arabic, the Iraqi people and their culture. He forged relationships with the key sheikhs and helped implement the increase in the number of Iraqi policemen from the tribes in Anbar province, especially in the provincial capital, Ramadi. The police gradually wrested control of the streets and the countryside from Al Qaeda in Iraq, whose leaders and many of the foot soldiers were not Iraqi and thus mistrusted by the local population. This not only made life safer for the Iraqis, it also made it much less dangerous for Americans. Patriquin's organizational, cultural, and social skills proved to be the difference in making this work. The Iraqis trusted him to such a high degree that they welcomed him into their families and he was even given a tribal name. After his death just before he was to return home, one of the police headquarters in Ramadi was named for him, the only American to have a building named after him in Iraq. Many Iraqis wept. He's become known as the Lawrence of Arabia of Iraq. The happy outcome of the story is that through the effort of Patriquin and others just as dedicated and talented, Iraq became a safe enough place that eventually the Americans could withdraw. The ingenuity and courage of so many American military personnel placed in unimaginably difficult circumstances speaks volumes for their character and their skills. The tragedy is that many fine American men and women, some of our best, never returned home alive or returned damaged in mind and body. To what purpose did they pay the price of their loyalty? For an unnecessary, immoral, incredibly expensive war in both lives, American and Iraqi, and treasure begun by an arrogant and willfully ignorant American presidential administration and supported by a majority of equally ignorant Americans. Our men and women in uniform deserve better.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It was a superb book; I really enjoyed Mr Doyle's work. I got to know Travis from 2005-2006 when we were stationed together in Germany. Travis was a good man and he is sorely missed. Travis figured prominently in my very last act in uniform; a speech at a Memorial Day event: http://chris.casablog.com/2016/06/17/... It was a superb book; I really enjoyed Mr Doyle's work. I got to know Travis from 2005-2006 when we were stationed together in Germany. Travis was a good man and he is sorely missed. Travis figured prominently in my very last act in uniform; a speech at a Memorial Day event: http://chris.casablog.com/2016/06/17/...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Andrew815

    He was my uncle good book R.I.P.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bowmie

    An excellent quick read. War is a group effort but peace can start with one person. Inspiration is a necessary component. Well written.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Art Markman

    An excellent exploration of the life of Capt. Patriquin and his role in the Awakening movement in Iraq. Meticulously researched and engagingly written.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Joe Adams

  12. 4 out of 5

    Peter Graham

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ted

  14. 4 out of 5

    Wilson

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ricky Leischnig

  16. 4 out of 5

    John Shane

  17. 5 out of 5

    Martha

  18. 5 out of 5

    Steve Comstock

  19. 5 out of 5

    audiobook master

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

  21. 4 out of 5

    Richard Sandstrom

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mark R. Valanty

  23. 4 out of 5

    J & K

  24. 4 out of 5

    Micah Brown

  25. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

  26. 5 out of 5

    Luke Hutchison

  27. 4 out of 5

    Erika

  28. 5 out of 5

    Brian

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Fink

  30. 5 out of 5

    Brent

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