[ISBN: 978-1-935982-20-3; 308pp; $21 in U.S.]
For eight months in 2008, U.S. Army Capt. Matt Zeller served as an embedded combat adviser with the Afghan security forces in Ghazni, Afghanistan. Watches Without Time is a compilation of the emails and letters he sent home to family and friends during that period-- so that, as he writes in the Preface, "should anything have ever happened to me, they would know what I went through."
Watches Without Time gives a granular and gripping account of the tough challenges that Zeller and his men encountered in Ghazni, and of the very complex missions they accomplished there. Written in clear and searingly intimate prose, it also highlights the many trials and emotion-laden experiences he underwent throughout his tour and after returning to the United States.
Zeller takes his readers with him on an emotional journey that will lead many to share the anger he felt at the many ways in which he saw the war being mismanaged, while stirring increased admiration for the soldiers tasked with conducting that war on the very difficult terrain of Afghanistan.
Watches Without Time has a Foreword by former Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs Amb. Edward S. ('Ned') Walker. It gives the reader a realistic, heartwarming, and terrifying look at the the challenges the U.S. military faced in Afghanistan, and the strain the war has placed on many U.S. soldiers.
In his Preface, Zeller also wrote:
The next time you hear that the United States is sending soldiers to war, chances are those soldiers will go through similar experiences, and I hope after reading this you’ll have a better understanding of what it means to send our countrymen off to fight.
Posted by Lawdog24 on 16th Oct 2012
I lived across the hall from Matt at FOB Vulcan and he has written a strong and at times unblinking narrative about our deployment to Afghanistan. I recommend this book to anyone that is looking for a better understanding about our war in Afghanistan.
Posted by MSG Albert Smith (ret) on 28th May 2012
Sensitively written from personal experiences, yet unnerving at times. Matt explores everything from combat to the frustrating burocracy of the military to the compassion for his fellow soldiers as well as the long suffering Afghan people. A remarkable work that brings his experiences to life with amazing reality.
A "Must Read".
Posted by Maureen Clark on 21st May 2012
Zeller is a sensitive and powerful writer. Personal experience is the best teacher and Matt shares his with grace, style, and wit. This book should be a mandatory read in history classes across the nation!
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