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Falcon's Cry: A Desert Storm Memoir by…
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Falcon's Cry: A Desert Storm Memoir

by Michael Donnelly

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0275964620, Hardcover)

Michael Donnelly's diary entries offer a matter-of-fact account of his 44 combat missions during the Gulf War, but his descriptions of dealing with doctors after coming home are more frightening. Diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, Donnelly is convinced what he has is "Gulf War syndrome"--brought on by exposure to low levels of nerve and poison gases during the war. "I don't know what to believe, where to turn for help," he writes. "All the while my body continues to deteriorate, heedless of the possible causes of its slow degeneration." Although he had served in the military for 15 years, Donnelly had to hire a lawyer and appeal to the Air Force Medical Evaluation Board to force the air force to pay him full disability benefits. And though the government denied any responsibility for his illness, we learn that U.S. officials both in Washington and at the front were aware of Iraq's chemical-weapons capability--and continued with their plans regardless: "Troops came upon camels lying dead and decaying in the desert ... dogs and rodents and other small animals died, suddenly, inexplicably, shortly after those tens of thousands of 'false' chemical weapons alarms rang out. The alarms were so common, some commanders even ordered their troops to disable or disregard them." Falcon's Cry is a story of courage and betrayal, a war story in which the casualty doesn't occur until after the fighting stops. --Linda Killian

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:50 -0400)

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