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Stationed on a small mountain base in Afghanistan in the aftermath of September 11, Benjamin Sledge embraced the barbarity around him. Under constant threat of attack from rockets, suicide bombers, and even children deployed to stage ambushes, servicemen were tightly wound. A church-camp kid turned soldier, Sledge was no exception.
Back home from his first tour, suffering from PTSD, and haunted by his experiences overseas, Sledge inexplicably longed for the battlefield despite their horrors. Seeking to escape a country that no longer felt like home, he volunteered for another deployment to the deadliest city on earth—Ramadi, Iraq.
Sledge vividly captures the rocket attacks, reconnaissance missions, on-base hijinks, run-ins with local elders, and urban firefights that punctuated his Army career. But he also tells of overcoming the mental and physical wounds of war in a fifteen-year odyssey that led him back to where his nightmares began—the only place where redemption was possible.
Candid and colorful, this powerful memoir captures the spirit of the men and women whose capacity to fight without remorse and unconditional devotion to each other have defined the modern veteran of the “Forever Wars.”
Benjamin Sledge is a wounded combat veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, mostly under the Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command of the U.S. Army. He is the recipient of the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and two Army Commendation medals for his actions overseas. Upon returning home, he began work in geopolitical intelligence, then moved into mental health, where he holds multiple certifications.
Sledge has written several articles on masculinity, the military, relationships, and faith that have gone viral on social media, and his essays are featured regularly on Medium.com. He lives in Colorado with his wife, daughter, and son. You can learn more about him at https://benjaminsledge.com.