I posted my aforementioned review of Combat Zone: True Tales of GI’s in Iraq, Vol. 1 TP to Amazon.com yesterday, as I do with anything I review that they happen to sell, and have already received two emails about it from people not thrilled with what I wrote. (Mind you, in the 2+ plus years of reviewing stuff there, I’ve only ever received one email in response!) The first was from someone in the 82nd Airborne assuring me that Zinsmeister’s stories were true, if combined, and was polite and straightforward in the process. The second one, not so much on the polite:
I am really pissed at your biased opinion of this Comic novel. Did you bother to research to see if the stories that were in the novel are in fact true to what took place?, were you there? I doubt it! So, why would you say “supposedly depicting real life accounts” And to compare it to the “Jessica Lynch” situation, come on!!
Karl Zinsmeisters Book “Boots on the Ground,” had you taken the time to read, is a true and accruate report on the 82nds time in Iraq during the first part of the war. The comic novel is taken some of the stories from that book and brought it pictorally(all be it cartoon like) to life for me. I say that because my son is a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne and was there when Karl was embedded with them. From day one of Operation Iraqi Freedom for a year and then back again for last years elections, the stories that my son has told are the same stories that are in both the book and comic novel.
There is no way it could have been made up. “A disservice to the men”? how many did you ask before making that assumption? My son appreciates the work that Karl put into this, to tell the story as it was, not how the media wants us to see it.
The next time you write a review of something of this nature you should do your homework before making yourself look stupid and ignorant. Or maybe just stick to reading your imaginary character comic books, and leave the more mature ones to some one with better knowledge of what he is talking about.
A proud father of a Soldier
serving with the elite 82nd Airborne.
Of course, I responded:
Thanks for writing. As to my “biased opinion” – are there other kinds of opinions? – perhaps if you read my entire review, you’d see that I wasn’t questioning the truthfulness of the accounts, but the presentation of them. By his own admission, Zinsmeister presents an amalgamation of stories which, in my opinion, undermines the credibility of the stories. Doesn’t make them untrue, per se, but brings them closer to docudrama than the documentary he was aspiring to. The Jessica Lynch comparison was valid – again, in my OPINION – because the original story of her rescue was similarly edited for dramatic effect and dutifully reported as fact. Presented as a “true tale,” if you will.
Finally, not that it should matter, but I too served in the Army, as a mechanic with the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), and though I thankfully never had to experience combat personally, I know quite a few people who have, both in the first Gulf War and the current one. Regardless of my feelings about the war itself, I extend my sincerest thanks and well wishes to your son and those he serves with, because I know personally the sacrifices that come with military service, in and out of combat. You have every reason to be proud of your son, but I’d suggest being a bit more open-minded when it comes to the opinions of others – biased as they always are – lest you do or say something for which he might feel less than proud of.
Guy LeCharles Gonzalez
Think he’ll write me back? Think my ratio of “people found the following review helpful” is going to be a bit skewed? Think I care?