On August 2, 1990, Iraq invaded its tiny neighbor, Kuwait. Five days later, the United States and our coalition allies began Operation Desert Shield. In the months to follow, efforts at diplomacy would fail, plunging the Middle East closer toward war. In January 17, 1991, the deadline passes for Iraq to withdraw, and American troops are pledged to combat. And all the world watches.
Twenty-two years later, American troops remain in Iraq. One the millions of Americans who served was Terry Cropf. And like many he served alongside, the United States Army was not where he ever imagined he’d end up. And it wasn’t often what he expected it would be. But, as with war itself, every setback can produce its own opportunities;
Combat Support: The True Burden of Sacrifice is intentionally not an Iraqi war memoir. It is not a period piece full of nostalgia. Nor is it a political manifesto, one of the hundreds to appear in print campaigning for or against the war. Rather, Cropf has delivered an open and honest portrayal of himself as a soldier, as a husband, and as a father—with the courage to put his life on the page without false bravado or hope for glory. It is, indeed, a soldier’s story in the truest sense of what it means to be a soldier.
“Terry Cropf’s account of his life leading up to, and through, his military service is so without moral judgment it often reads like a diary, so successful was he in avoiding the pitfalls that often plague memoirists which turn their works into social commentary,”
Terry Cropf is a practicing Physician Assistant in a rapidly growing neurosurgery practice in Danville, Pennsylvania, where he lives with his wife and four children. He is a current member of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and a former member of both the Utah Army National Guard and United States Army. His experiences as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, via a journal he kept during this time, formed the basis for these memoirs. Combat Support: The True Burden of Sacrifice is his first book.
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