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SUVs SUCK in Combat: Chaos & Valor--The…
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SUVs SUCK in Combat: Chaos & Valor--The Rebuilding of Iraq during a Raging…

by Kerry C. Kachejian

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First of all, I want to thank all of our troops for serving over in Iraq and Afghanistan in all aspects of the job. Your courage under fire was and is honorable.

When I watched the news about Iraq I remember the reporters talking about the dangers of the reconstruction effort, but reading Kerry Kachejian's account of the actual mission was very eye-opening.

Kachejian was part of the Gulf Region Division in charge of the reconstruction efforts in Iraq. The reconstruction began with about 2,300+ projects in 2004 and by 2009 there were over 4,500 projects completed. This number is phenomenal due to the fact that these projects were constantly under enemy attack, vehicles they were transported in were unarmored SUVs and most of the group were unarmed except for the few military personnel who road along with them.

Kachejian takes the reader into the chaos and mayhem of this mission where unarmored SUVs were used to transport everyone through enemy lines. He recalls the terrible and tragic incidents where insurgents were able to kill innocent people with car bombs and drive by shootings and, though he probably wouldn’t take credit for it, the readers will see how he tirelessly worked, many times through military bureaucracy, to make sure the civilian contractors were safe and could complete their jobs. His chapter on his own lessons learned from his deployment, though in his own opinion, is important documentation that I hope the U.S. will be aware of in the future.

One thing that may slow the readers down is all the acronyms, but Kachejian adds a glossary of military acronyms in the back for easy reference. He also includes an unofficial list of his classmates who fought in the “Global War on Terror”.

I applaud Kerry Kachejian and the members of the Gulf Region Division and the many civilian contractors who worked hard to Git’r Done.

Many thanks to Kerry Kachejian and Smith Publicity, Inc. for giving me the opportunity to review this book. ( )
  sherton | Sep 19, 2011 |
My brother and 4 nephews served in Iraq and Afghanistan. My brother sent my mother these sweet, innocent emails. He showed me the “real” side of Iraq through pictures he brought back with him. Many of the pictures he had taken, resembled pictures in the book. Reading the book and seeing the pictures brought back to my mind some of what my brother went through.
Kerry had gone through many personal trials throughout his life. He credits God “The Ranger in the Sky” with guiding him and giving him the strength he needed, to handle all situations. Although he comes across as a humble leader, it is obvious he was a great leader. His candor when discussing the challenges he and his men faced daily while trying to rebuild Iraq’s infrastructure, was refreshing. I had heard about the SUV’s being so unsafe, yet the most popular vehicle. The majority did not have the proper armor protection needed. They would weld steel to the frame or put sandbags under their seats, even hang body armor over the sides of the vehicle to put a layer of protection between them and their enemy. They were often stalked by the enemy waiting for the right moment to take them out.
In my own opinion this is a must read book. I really enjoyed it because it gave me the opportunity to learn more about a topic I feel I know little about. The pictures brought the book visually alive for me. I will recommend it to my friends at school as we talk so often about the war. This is a book every American should read. Maybe if they did they would not be so critical of our presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Maybe we need to send those in charge who don’t seem to care enough about the men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan this book, or better yet maybe we should put them in one of those less protected SUV’s and see how fast they get the necessary and proper equipment for our people who stand on the front lines.
To learn more you can visit Kerry’s website at kerrykachejian.com ( )
  skstiles612 | Sep 16, 2011 |
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Through the years, I've noticed Americans usually rally around fellow citizens that were held hostage. During these times, patriotism would really spike.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0984551107, Hardcover)

It was an unbelievable mission - to rebuild Iraq while the U.S. military was fighting a raging insurgency. In 2004, the soldiers and civilians of the Gulf Region Division (GRD) answered the call to duty and began the largest and most complex reconstruction project ever undertaken by our nation. They made great personal sacrifices that few of their fellow Americans would dare endure. This book tells the rest of the inspiring story - much of which was ignored by the mainstream media as "not newsworthy" or reduced to mere sound bytes. In the face of imminent danger, the GRD team braved daily car bombs, rocket attacks, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and kidnappings to rebuild thousands of projects throughout a chaotic war zone. These projects spread throughout a hostile country included schools, hospitals, police stations, oil production, electrical power and water treatment plants. Despite the odds, GRD was able to complete its critical strategic mission, and its members were awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation. A few of the amazing stories include: - A massive car bomb on author's first day in Baghdad that leveled a nearby hotel. - High speed "Mad Max" drives through the streets of Baghdad in unarmored SUVs. - The dependence on security contractors who performed with great valor while protecting American civilians. - The perilous war waged on the reconstruction mission that was largely invisible to U.S. combat forces and the American public. - The accidental rescue of an American hostage. - Living and working in Saddam's great palaces. - How a Yahoo email message was used to send an urgent plea for help. - A daring rescue mission in the Tigris River that ended in tragic loss. - The parade of Congressional Delegations that diverted precious combat resources from the war effort. - The unbelievable (but true) story of how a Yahoo email account is used to send an urgent message to the author to "PLEASE SAVE US". About the Author: Kerry Kachejian is one of the nation’s most qualified soldiers and engineers, having served in and supported reconstruction operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan as well as relief operations during Hurricane Katrina. A 1982 graduate of the US Military Academy (West Point), Kachejian also holds a Master’s Degree in Systems Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute. He is a Distinguished Graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces earning a second Master’s Degree in National Resource Strategy. Kachejian has numerous military decorations, awards, and qualifications, including the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal and the Combat Action Badge. He was presented the Bronze de Fleury Medal by the Army Engineer Association and the Reserve Award for Leadership Excellence – a national award presented annually by the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA). He is Airborne and Ranger qualified. Kachejian recently retired from the Army Reserve, holding the rank of Colonel. He currently supports the U.S. defense industry. He has spoken at a number of major conferences and private events on topics, including the Reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan, the Psychology of Terrorism, Contractors on the Battlefield, and Critical Infrastructure Protection. Kerry, a native of West Chester, Pennsylvania, lives with his wife Alice and three children near Springfield, Virginia.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:49 -0400)

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