Spare Parts: From Campus to Combat
A Marine Reservist's Journey from Campus to Combat in 38 Days
A compelling look into the world of reservists--more than just the "spare parts" of our nation's military--as seen through one manís transformation from weekend warrior to combat marine
In 1989, Buzz Williams walked into a marine recruiting office to follow in the footsteps of the deceased older brother he grew up idolizing by signing up to join the Marine Reserves. Over the course of the next year, he would earn money to pay his college tuition by devoting one weekend a month and two full weeks in the summer to the grueling and often dangerous rigors of military training, while enduring the jarring readjustment that occurred each time he returned to civilian life.
But Williams had no idea that even the newest reservists could find themselves on the frontlines of a battlefield in a matter of weeks. On August 2, 1990--the day that he graduated from Light Armored Vehicle School--Saddam Hussein's forces invaded Kuwait, and Williams' life would change forever.
Spare Parts tells the story of Williams' harrowing deployment to the Persian Gulf, where he would be thrust into battle only 38 days after being called up. Enduring both the condescension of full-time Marines and the danger of his limited training, he managed to form a core group that the struggles to gain respect from a military machine that viewed them as mere "spare parts." In gripping, you-are-there detail, Williams brings to life the physical and emotional trials he would face on the killing fields of Kuwait--where some of the woefully underprepared Marines are able to rise to the challenge and others are broken by the horrors of battle.
A powerful portrait of one man's experience in battle--and of the reservists who stand ready to leave civilian life to defend our nation at a moment's notice--Spare Parts adds a moving new perspective to the literature of war.
- Penguin Publishing Group, March 2004
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