This disturbing and powerful short story is extremely well written and researched. It is rare to come across a story that touches upon a wide range of issues - social, political, psychological, military - in such a subtle way as to never distract from the narrative and the plight of the characters. With a few well-chosen words, the author is able to create characters that are strong, believable, and inspire either our sympathy or our disdain. The plight of the main character draws you in from the start, and you are compelled to read the story right through to the end in one sitting, to find out what happens. The portrayal of combat is gritty and visceral, but this story is not just for readers interested in military issues (although such readers should greatly appreciate this story and probably be faced with issues they never considered before). It is a hard-hitting and in many ways shocking tale, which will grip readers interested in the dark side of human nature, but also all those who simply enjoy a good story. I look forward to reading more work by this writer.