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Synopsis

In 2008, Ryan Flavelle, a reservist in the Canadian Army and a student at the University of Calgary, volunteered to serve in Afghanistan. For seven months, twenty-four-year-old Flavelle, a signaller attached to the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, endured the extreme heat, the long hours and the occasional absurdity of life as a Canadian soldier in this new war so far from home. Flavelle spent much of his time at a Canadian Forward Operating Base (FOB), living among his fellow soldiers and occasionally going outside the wire. For one sevenday period, Flavelle went into Taliban country, always walking in the footsteps of the man ahead of him, meeting Afghans and watching behind every mud wall for a sign of an enemy combatant. The Patrol is a gritty, boots-on-the-ground memoir of a soldier’s experience in the Canadian Forces in the 21st century. It is about why we fight, why men and women choose such a dangerous and demanding job, and what their lives are like when they find themselves back in our ordinary world.

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