Monday, January 4, 2010

Leave No Man Behind by Michael Anthony, Author of Mass Casualties

We are honored to have as our guest blogger, Michael Anthony, author of Mass Casualties: A Young Medic's True Story of Death, Deception, and Dishonor in Iraq.

“Look around,” the drill sergeant said. “In a few years, or even a few months, several of you will be dead. Some of you will be severely wounded or so badly mutilated that your own mother can’t stand the sight of you. And for the real unlucky ones, you will come home so emotionally disfigured that you wish you had died over there.”

It was Week 7 of basic training . . . eighteen years old and I was preparing myself to die.

They say the Army makes a man out of you, but for eighteen-year-old SPC Michael Anthony, this fabled rite of passage is instead a dark and dangerous journey. After obtaining his parents’ approval to enlist at seventeen, Anthony begins this journey with an unshakeable faith in the military based on his family’s long tradition of service. But when he finds himself in a medical unit of misfits as lost as he is, Anthony not only witnesses firsthand the unspeakable horror of war, he experiences the undeniable misconduct of the military. Everything he’s ever believed in dissolves, forcing Anthony to rethink his ideals and ultimately risk his career—and his freedom—to challenge the military that once commanded his loyalty.

This searing memoir chronicles the experiences that change one young soldier forever. A seasoned veteran before the age of twenty-one, he faces the truth about the war—and himself—in this shocking and unprecedented eyewitness account.

Here’s what reviewers have to say!

“Michael Anthony’s memoir is not about the politics of Iraq. Instead it takes us deep inside the war, inside and outside the operating room, the barracks, the talk of the soldiers, the feeling of the situation. It joins the body of war literature in a unique and powerful way.”
Howard Zinn, Civil Rights Leader, Historian Author of: A People’s History of the United States

“Anthony’s painful account of his time at war is at times difficult to read. This coming of age war memoir details the very gut wrenching journey he takes into manhood in the backdrop of grueling combat. His voice is unique and deserves to be heard. We may not all agree with why we fight, but I am proud to be of a generation with Warriors like Anthony, who are compelled to share these important life altering experiences.” —David Bellavia, Iraq Veteran, Author of: House to House: An Epic Memoir of War

"Leave No Man Behind" by Michael Anthony

In the military we speak a different language than most. When we talk we use acronyms and creeds, we speak, when we do, abrupt and to the point. With that said; there's something we need to talk about.

Throughout the military there's a creed spoken that's called: "leave no man behind".

As the infantry soldier goes from house to house looking for weapon caches.

Leave no man behind.

As the medic grabs his bag and runs from patient to patient.

Leave no man behind.

As the pilot patrols the air and bombs the enemy.

Leave no man behind.

What the Military needs to keep sight of is that "leave no man behind" not only applies to the physical body, but also the mind.

What good is it to bring a soldier home alive, if two months later they kill themselves?

What good is it to bring a soldier home alive, if they spend the next thirty years of their life, homeless and alone on the streets?

What good is it to bring a soldier home alive, if when they come home they become addicted to drugs, and their only options are suicide, or homelessness?

War is no easy path and returning home doesn't equate the end of a veteran's journey or battles. There are many fights ahead for veterans, not all of them are glorious and some of them, people deny their existence: Veteran Post Tramatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Tramatic Brain Injury (TBI), Suicides, and Homelessness.

Statistically, 18 veterans kill themselves everyday.

Men left behind.

Statistically, between 25% and 33.3% of all homeless people are veterans.

Men left behind.

Statistically, between 1/5 and 1/8 veterans return home with PTSD.

Men left behind.

We need to remember that "leave no man behind" not only applies to the physical body but also the mind!

-Michael Anthony

Michael Anthony is the author of MASS CASUALTIES: A Young Medic's True Story of Death, Deception and Dishonor in Iraq (Adams Media, October 2009). The book is drawn from the personal journals of Anthony's during the 1st year he spent serving in Iraq. It is a non-partisan look at what really goes on within the military. (

Michael will be on a virtual book tour during the month of January to promote this book. You may follow his tour by visiting


J.W. Nicklaus said...

Much is made of the honor behind the noble concept of "Leave no man behind." I, like most other Americans, presumed there was an unwritten code of conduct between and amongst soldiers, that they took it upon themselves to look after one another. Quite a shock to see an inside take that shatters such a misconception.

Most assuredly there needs to be more done to address veteran care. We don't do near enough for those who fight for us. I hope your work can make some headway toward such ends.

Kim Smith said...

This book sounds like one that would wrench my heart to its very core. I do not like war. But this book sounds like one NOT to miss!
Thanks for sharing this Mr. Anthony!

Ogo Ogbata said...

Congratulations on your new book, Michael! And yes, war is a terrible thing. It would be so much better if we could all get along.