Justin T. Eggen
Roundtable Publishing 2017
'Outside The Wire: A U.S. Marine's Collection Of Combat Poems & Short Stories' is a body of work that brings modern warfare, poetry, and short stories into a beautiful storm that truly expose inner workings of life on the front lines of southern Afghanistan.
This book is a collection from the authors mind, and he breaks the book up into 3 parts.
In Book1 the author exposes the reality of being home with PTS and the daily struggles coming from within. Everyone who has been wounded in combat either physically or mentally has scars. The healing process is a long one, and the combat inside your soul is a fire that can hardly be contained, Book1 offers the readers an in-depth, personal look at this.
Book2 mirrors the author's first deployment as a combat replacement headed to Marjah in 2010. Full of poems and short stories, Book2 brings the readers to a dark but uplifted sense of eagerness and innocence of forward deploying to a combat zone.
Finally in Book3 it gets deep, it gets darker and violent within the writings. Book3 is generated by the authors experience in Sangin Valley the summer of 2011. It is the darkest book in the collection. It is cold, painful, violent, and intense at times but offers a real look into combat on the front lines.
Poetry is a way for the author to channel the violent and darker memories into something truly elegant. The poems force the readers to explore the nature of combat and what lies in store. "Outside the Wire", a poem worthy of the title, explores the nature of combat, living outside the wire and patrolling through foreign fields with the enemy keeping a close eye. "Not Today" is truly deep in that tries to bring the average mind inside the mental confusion and all around feeling of being in an I.E.D. blast.
The short stories are a way for the author to bring the lighter side of deploying to a combat zone to paper. 'A Warm Welcome' is a the story about a combat replacement arriving to join with a platoon who has been on the front lines for months and being greeted with open arms. 'The Storm' shows off the devastating wonderful beauty that is rolling sand storms and the Marines who encounter them.
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