This Is Our War

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At three o'clock in the morning, in a mess hall in Iraq, a soldier from the Florida National Guard took a little plastic device from a lanyard around his neck and plugged it into GQ journalist Devin Friedman's computer. It was a flash drive containing at least a hundred pictures—of his battalion in convoy through the desert, of his sister back in Florida, of every man his unit had killed. At that moment, it became clear to Friedman that Operation Iraqi Freedom was our first digital war. Not because of all the hardware you see on TV—night-vision goggles and Tomahawk missiles and Nic Robertson's videophone—but because of the simple, inexpensive digital camera, a part of daily life for the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have served in Iraq. It's how American servicemen share their lives with their friends and family, with one another. And here, with readers.

This Is Our War presents 256 photos, culled from tens of thousands that GQ collected from American servicemen and women, in order to tell the story of America's Iraq experience with their pictures and in their own voices. From photographs of the strange everyday life in desert barracks to extraordinary images of combat, from glimpses of private moments to panoramas of incredible scenery, from brief interludes of joy to devastating moments of grief, here is a candid soldier's-eye view of war— of their war. It's the conflict the way they see it: apolitically, intimately, with honesty and humor and courage.

This Is Our War is a snapshot of history in the making.This is the first digital war, not because of computer-guided smart bombs or CNN videophones, but because of the simple, inexpensive digital camera, a part of daily life for Americans in Iraq and the way our soldiers share that life—with their friends and family, with one another, and now in This Is Our War. These photos and in-depth narrative captions were culled from the ten thousand images that GQ collected, creating a striking, moving, and revealing work of contemporary American history. Part Day in the Life, part Medal of Honor, and part War Letters, this book is an instant snapshot of history in the making.