Commentary

June 29, 2012

In bookstores

Fly Over – ‘War Reporting for Cowards’

Last Starbucks before Baghdad

by Airman 1st Class Kate Vaughn

Imagine going to basic training, and during your first week, you’re told it’s time to go to war, for real.

When Chris Ayers, “The Times” (London) reporter received a call from his boss asking, “Do you want to go to war,” he knew the answer would change his life, forever.

In “War Reporting for Cowards,” Ayers shares his hilarious autobiography, introducing us to the “long line of cowards” he comes from and acquainting us with his hypochondriac outlook on life.

Torn from the comfy, cozy world of celebrity gossip, palm trees and martinis, Ayers finds himself in a land far away from Los Angeles, getting ready to accompany a U.S. Marine Corps battalion as they (little did Ayers know) prepare to invade Iraq.

Before Iraq, however, Ayers got his first big break in New York City as a Wall Street correspondent for “The Times.” This is where the book takes a not-so-light-hearted turn as Ayers recalls the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

Standing on Greenwich Street, gawking in horror at the events unfolding before him, Ayers’ only thought is of one thing: “My only comfort, out there in the ash and the smoke, was that wherever the war was declared, I wouldn’t be there to cover it.” Little did he know what the future held for him.

Shortly after the first Anthrax outbreak, in the very building where his office was located, Ayers decided it was time to leave New York City.

Obsessed with the longing for safety and comfort, Ayers takes a much-coveted assignment to Los Angeles as a celebrity reporter. This assignment, naturally, doesn’t last very long.

After arriving in L.A., and all too quickly, Ayers finds himself on a plane headed to Kuwait.

After spending a week or so in one of Kuwait’s nicest hotels, it was time to head north to Camp Grizzly, where he met his unit: the 2nd battalion, 11th Marines, and wondered if they would be pleased to see him. He doubted it.

Lacking any military training whatsoever, the simplest of military maneuvers turned into a daunting task for Ayers.

“Then came another miserable chemical attack drill,” Ayers said. “I got the feeling the Marines were just yelling ‘GAS! GAS! GAS!’ for kicks. Still, I needed all the practice I could get.”

Between the moments of sheer panic, and the moments of absolute hilarity, Ayers keeps the reader both entertained and on their toes the whole way.

The book has its dark moments, and Ayers holds back nothing when it comes to the sights and sounds of tagging along with the Marines.

If you’re looking for an honest portrayal of the military through the eyes of a civilian, you’ll want to pick this
one up.



About the Author

Kate Vaughn
Kate Vaughn
Kate Vaughn is a full time radio and television broadcast producer and fan of self-help books and historical biographies. Some of her favorite writers include David McCullough, author of "1776" and "John Adams," as well as columnists George Will and David Brooks. Her favorite movies include "Game Change" and "The Dark Knight."


All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Samuel Price

RMO, stakeholders keep eye on sky

Samuel Price The road used to get onto the Barry M. Goldwater Range lies beneath the running water July 9, 2014, that resulted from monsoon rains. With data from the additional recently installed weather stations, personnel wil...
 
 

Resource management — Doing more with less

Since I joined the Air Force in 1992, our manpower and resources have been gradually reduced with no obvious change to the mission we support. While this has been labeled “doing more with less,” I don’t believe we’re truly doing any more than we did when I entered the military 22 years ago. We seem...
 
 

Situational awareness

Throughout my career, the importance of situational awareness has been driven into my head. This became exceedingly clear to me when I landed in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia. It was March 17, 2003, about 48 hours until Operation Iraqi Freedom kicked off. We were busy building tents, making bunkers and preparing to execute the mission. Doing...
 

 

Air Force OSI agents prevent online exploitation of children

QUANTICO, Va. — Child sex crimes are not unique to any particular base but are a perpetual problem across the Air Force and society. Online exploitation of children continues to be a problem and is routinely investigated by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. As part of this effort, AFOSI field units have partnered...
 
 

News Briefs February 27, 2015

MDG appointment line upgrade Patients calling the 56th Medical Group at 623-856-2273 Wednesday afternoon to schedule an appointment may reach a busy signal and may have to call back if all booking agents are on the line with other callers. The queue function allowing patients to wait on hold for the next available booking agent...
 
 

Airmen get T-bolts to give blood, win award

Tech. Sgt. Alisa Frisch, 56th Medical Group unit training manager, and Capt. Sharlott Uriarte, 56th Medical Support Squadron, were among the top 3 percent of award-winning blood drive coordinators recently honored by United Blood Services, earning a Hero Award for providing the largest impact on the blood supply. Of the 1,080 organizations that sponsored blood...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin