Exit Wounds: One Australian's War on Terror

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Melbourne University Press, 2013 - Afghan War, 2001- - 398 pages
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"John Cantwell, Queensland country boy, enlisted in the army as a private and rose to the rank of major general. He was on the front line in 1991 as Coalition forces fitted bulldozer blades to tanks and buried Iraqi troops alive. He served in Baghdad in 2006 and saw what a car bomb does to a crowded marketplace. He was commander of Australian forces in Afghanistan in 2010 when ten of his soldiers were killed. He came home in 2011 to be considered for the job of chief of the Australian Army. Instead, he ended up in a psychiatric hospital.
Exit Wounds is the deeply human account of one man's tour of the War on Terror, the moving story of life on a modern battlefield- from the nightmare of cheating death in a field strewn with mines, to the utter despair of looking into the face of a dead soldier before sending his body home to his mother. Cantwell hid his post-traumatic stress disorder for decades, fearing it would affect his career.
Australia has been at war for the past twenty years and yet there has been no stand-out account from these conflicts - Exit Wounds is it. Raw, candid and eye-opening, no one who reads this book will be unmoved."

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User Review  - Carpe_Librum - LibraryThing

Major General John Cantwell (retired) has written a sobering account of his career with the Australian Army in the first person, with the editing and guidance of Greg Bearup with the result being the ... Read full review

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About the author (2013)

Major General John Cantwell AO DSC joined the Australian Army as a private soldier in 1974 and rose to general-officer rank. He was a tank officer and commanded at every level. His senior management appointments included that of Deputy Chief of the Army. In 2009 he led the initial national efforts to recover from the deadly Victorian Black Saturday fires. He served in three distinct wars- combat duty in Operation Desert Storm in 1991; in Iraq in 2006; and as the commander of all Australian forces in Afghanistan and the wider Middle East area of operations in 2010. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his leadership in action in Afghanistan, has been made a Member of the Order of Australia and an Officer of the Order of Australia, and received the United States Legion of Merit, along with other commendations. He retired from the Australian Army in early 2012 after a career spanning 38 years.
Co-writer Greg Bearup has been a feature writer at the Good Weekend for the past ten years and has twice been awarded a Walkley Award for his writing. Prior to this he worked for the Sydney Morning Herald. In 2004/5 he took leave from his job and lived in Pakis

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