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Reviews from
Child Soldiers in Combat


An Iraqi attack on its own

  29 total reviews 
Comment by
littlebit69
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Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
It a shame kids have to endure this kind life. My father was a soldier at the age of thirteen of world war two,he made Sergeant. Back in them days they took children at an early age. He got his toe shot off and cracked. They put him the nut ward. My mother signed him out. Him being around his family is how he recovered his mind. Listening to his war story I learned a lot about what he went through. As far as you being a hero...That is what you are. God used you to get his job done. To him you're the bravest of the brave. God bless you and may he keep on blessing you. Always remember you are a soldier of God.


 Comment Written 06-Feb-2016



reply by the author on 06-Feb-2016
    Thank you so very much for an excellent review, littlebit. I'm sorry to hear your father was a soldier at age 13 in world war two. Of course he would've suffered from PTSD. Your review is most appreciated my dear. Hugs to you.

    Gloria
Comment by
Allezw2
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Lady Gloria...

I regret that you did not explore the topic you presented in more detail. The description better fits the insurgents in Africa and the Spanish Americas. Consider that machetes are more a tool for hacking heavy brush, not dueling.
There is no dense forest in the high elevations of Afghanistan or Iraq that would require such a tool. These peoples developed the sword and saber, both quite different from a machete.

Still this is your universe and you can form it any way you wish, and presumably have, though lacking in verisimilitude when considered by a knowledgeable reader. The wonderful suspension of disbelief is quickly lost in that circumstance

Consider: This team would more likely be mercenaries when dispatched on such a mission. (The modern term since Gulf War I is contractors.) It seems unlikely that such a mission would be assigned to regular military, the U.S. involvement in this latest jailbreak notwithstanding.

You do not parachute from a helicopter. The ability to land nearly anywhere obviates such maneuvers. At most, a jump from ten meters or less into water, fast rappelling from a hovering helicopter ten meters up, or a meter high leap from a grounded machine, to make a fast exit.

The two most salient reasons are that there is less chance of an injury, especially on a landing at night. This team could also carry more equipment, especially ammunition.

Curiously, you have the helicopter's rotor cutting the heavy Arabian air while on a mission in Iraq.

There is no mention of night vision goggles. The U.S. special forces have used them since early in the Vietnam Conflict. "We rule the night," is their mantra. Even the Argentine invaders were equipped with them in the 1982 Falklands War.

Movement in the daytime is problematical due to the certainty of discovery.

Females under Sharia are punished by cutting off their noses or their ears; raped (often gang-raped) and too often forced to marry a rapist; and stoning. Of course, assuming a male relative has not murdered her first, for dishonoring the family.

Amputating hands is punishment for theft.

The limestone fence sounds more like a wall. The barricades you mentioned also seem more like walls as they are apparently not built to impede access into the village. You describe the vehicles driving into the village unimpeded by any fixed obstacle.

The team is unlikely to have carried a mortar with them. Even a 60mm with its ammo and base is heavy. Is it in the inventory left by the U.S.?

You describe the tubes rocking back on their wheels. Those definitely did not come with the team. Another gift from the U.S. cache?.

Those chemical shells; are they CS, CB or variants on the basic wapon?

Being savaged by snipers is hard to follow. There is no mention of counter-sniper fire though that should have been a primary consideration when preparing to defend such a position. Such a team would likely include a sniper with an appropriate weapon. After all, it was a Canadian sniper that was credited with the longest-ranged kill in Afghanistan, over one statute mile.

There is the old infantry maxim: "Take the high ground and hold it."

The time line is an anomaly. The battle begins at about 1200 hours, yet the objective of the raid is amazingly achieved under fire by the Canadians, and the involved personnel hustle to rendezvous with their extraction aircraft at 1300 hours, obviously at a distance and landing to retrieve the surviving team. That is cutting it too fine.

There is no mention of any communication between the command and the team to order such an extraction. On such a mission, with all of the imponderables, there would have to be radio or (more likely) satellite phone communication to call in such a flight. There is also a question of the ETA after that call. The unmentioned alternative is a set rendezvous, make it or break it. They will be left if they do not make the meet.

There is a question, too, of where the Syrian boy came from. That is a long way from the common border.

The end harks to Deguelo at the Alamo, and the FFL at Camerone.

Throughout, there is no explanation for either the girl's or the team's facility in language, obviously requiring interpretation for coordination of their efforts.

I feel that this piece has mined clichés and common bits from the media when describing the personnel and circumstances. There is also a feeling that the author either rushed this into publication and subjected it to heavy editing along the way, or dashed it off the top of the head. A lack of even basic knowledge of the subject is reduces it to a title and reference to a few individuals. There are no detailed descriptions anywhere.

There is the chilling photo in the title indicating a moving backstory to this post exists. It cries out for elaboration. I hope you will consider giving this topic its desserts.

For the SPAG, a four. I will not count off for anything else. Your several fans feel it deserves this applause, and disregard the anomalies, either from lack of knowledge, or interest.

For kicks, you should read another ATB, "Home At Last" a couple of titles down from your place on the list. It is also a questionable entry though the author swore it was true. This regardless of questioning by Vietnam vets who doubted him and his personal heroic claims incountry.

Live long and write well,

Fantasist

This rating does not count towards story rating or author rank.
The highest and the lowest rating are not included in calculations.


 Comment Written 02-Jan-2016



reply by the author on 02-Jan-2016
    Thank you for your detailed review, Allez. Hope you have a wonderful New Year! I shall examine your comments in greater detail later, but as I doubt I shall ever write another "boots on the ground" war story I think no research is required at this particular time as I've already spent far too long on this piece. Smiling at you. Gloria

reply by the author on 02-Jan-2016
    Just one question, are you the dude who reviewed Independence Day and found it not credible as a true invasion of aliens from outer space? Fiction is fiction dear. Have a good one.

reply by Allezw2 on 02-Jan-2016
    Actually, I am not a dude, in either the original, or current definition. I grew up in Wyoming on the various farms and ranches of my parents and other relatives. We knew what dudes were; make-believing tyros in those days. It is amusing to see how that noun has changed in definition and usage.

    As for Independence Day, I followed the details of the CGI with great interest. (I am a fan of SciFi from the immediate post-WWII era.) That was when starship navigators were still using slide rules in their calculations. Independence Day used a common theme, all the way from the two latest War of the Worlds films.

    The special effects were state of the art, for the time, and have been improving ever since. You watch those movies with a sense of wonder for the process, not necessarily the story line. In Titanic, Cameron used the CGI to enhance the story line. Independence Day used the CGI to carry the story line. It was fun, though pure fantasy. So, no, I am not the dude who panned Independence Day. People panned Star Ship Troopers based on our knowledge of the insect life on this planet that have absolute limits on size based on the strength of materials and their physiology. So let your imagination run and posit creatures that use stronger materials to overcome strength-weight limits. Who is to say that their anatomy might also have been better suited to their size?
    Fiction is fiction, which I mentioned in the piece. Your universe was far different than this one.

    Thank you for the best wishes.

    Fantasist

reply by Allezw2 on 02-Jan-2016
    You're quite welcome. I do appreciate your measured reply. It is always a challenge to try a new genre, and the part I enjoy most is the research. It helps to have access to primary sources. Fortunately, there is a growing canon of literature about the Korean and especially the Vietnam and SW Asia conflicts, both fiction and non-fiction.

    Live long and write well,

    Fantasist
Comment by
boxergirl
 
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Excellent
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Damn, I dont have a six for uou, Gloria...but this is an amazing story that was riveting from start to finish. It was do relevant for this day and time and your descriptive details made this read as if we were there in yhe middle of the whole rotten mess. Good stuff and congratulations on a winning entry...or at least it should be.
Merry Christmas and Happy holidays to you and yours!
Karen


 Comment Written 09-Dec-2015



reply by the author on 10-Dec-2015
    Karen!!!! Hey, I'm just thrilled to hear from you. So, have you been writing any more songs? You know I'm always looking for your oh so cool lyrics, so don't be shy.

    Thanks again my dear.

    Gloria
Comment by
Muffins
 
Review Stars
 
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
This story, the writing is liquid gold. The characters are so richly and compellingly drawn, you can practically hear them breathing from the page.

The action is written with an exceptional pen. It's stunning and shakes with the horrors of war and its sacrifice.

This is first place work. Amazing.


 Comment Written 09-Dec-2015


Comment by
barkingdog
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  Rank:  205
 
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This is an amazing entry, Gloria.
It's very realistic and I could picture the boy that Carl met on the march and then saw dying. Also the girl with no hands was very visual.
You also brought the smells of war to the page. Not at all pleasant, but a necessary part of the story.

Suggestions:
-informed of us(us of) the girl's amputations
-rescue mission(,) but the one thing war
-about this mission (,)and I sure
-with them(,) and we waited for the
-and shells(,) and I glassed

Good luck in the contest.

:) ellen



 Comment Written 08-Dec-2015



reply by the author on 10-Dec-2015
    Thank you so much for your excellent review, ellen. I made use of all your suggestions too, so much appreciation to you.

    Gloria
Comment by
Eric1
 
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Wow Gloria, this is a really good entry for this particular competition, This moving story seems so real!the use of description and imagery had me right there in that village alongside your hero, I truly wish you the best of luck in the contest my friend.


 Comment Written 08-Dec-2015



reply by the author on 08-Dec-2015
    Eric you are such a dear, dear man. Many thanks for your lovely review.

    Gloria

reply by Eric1 on 09-Dec-2015
    You are very welcome my friend.
Comment by
Mastery
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Semper Fi
 
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  Rank:  85
 
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Bravo! You did a wonderful job on this, Gloria. Truly realistic and well written from start to finish. My only regret is I don't have six stars left to give you. I cannot tell you enough how much I enjoyed it however.

Images like this made this story.

"My mortar man fired round after round until he ran out of shells; Isis fighters fell to the ground and thick clouds of black smoke dirtied the air. Enemy soldiers disembarked from their tanks armed with machetes and rifles. They ran through the streets firing chemical rounds through windows into houses. Civilians overwhelmed with fumes fled into the street. They were herded to the centre of town and lined up for public execution. Healthy children of fighting age were recruited in the back of a military truck."

Perhaps you should consider writing war action more often, my friend. Again, Bravo! And Good Luck in the contest. as far as I am concerned you won! Merry christmas, Bob


 Comment Written 08-Dec-2015



reply by the author on 08-Dec-2015
    Thank you so much for an excellent review, Bob. I always appreciate a visit from your quarter.

    Top of the season to you,

    Gloria
Comment by
mfowler
 
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Excellent
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When I started this I made the mistake if imagining you in the story and that was silly. But as the narrative progressed I began to feel the environment, the sense of desolation, the emotion Carl generates as he talks of the child soldiers. Before long I was totally there and in the action. Your action sequences and descriptive language seemed so realistic and propelled me as reader through the engagement. An ultimately sad and horrific story, but, heh, that is war. A terrific entry, Gloria. HOPE YOU DO WELL.
One possible spag:
to make a fortune for few rich oil barons. ...did you mean 'a few'?


 Comment Written 08-Dec-2015



reply by the author on 09-Dec-2015
    Mark! As always it is terrific to hear from you. This time I wrote from a male past tense POV. Many thanks for your awesome review. It means a great deal to me, Hope retirement is treating you well my friend.... appreciation, Gloria
Comment by
jmdg1954
 
Review Stars
  Rank:  459
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
Incredible. The way you wrote this story. Having it unfold before our eyes. I felt like I was there, among the platoon, fearing seeing these once innocent children. Especially white cobra.
Gloria, amazing. Extremely well written and detailed. John


 Comment Written 07-Dec-2015



reply by the author on 08-Dec-2015
    Wow, John! Thank you so very, very much. It is always such a treat to see you. Here's wishing you and your family a totally peaceful and joyous Christmas. You are wonderful.

    Gloria
Comment by
BOO ghost
 
Review Stars
 
 
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level
The photo is a real eye-ball catcher. i really dig it. Well orchestrated war plot and well written. Not a sloppy job. at all. You write a killer war story for a dame, he --he. You are giving the boys in the ditch a run for their doubloon. Christ, I am impressed, and it's in a contest, i see... I best move over for Gloria, excuse me for my wacky sense of humor today. Yokai, that means I understand or roger in Japanese. favorite paragraph: I signaled the orders, "Fire at will. Shoot everything that isn't us." We showered the courtyard with until it looked like a mass graveyard with dead bodies and parts everywhere mixed with the stink of death; the stench, the gruesome sticky sound of blood and guts. It might've been two minutes or it might've been an hour. I don't know. Finally my man radioed in.
Good job private Gloria. Guess I can give you six hand grenades for being a good journalist on the battle-field and reporting it to me. Parade rest, maggots, dismissed!


 Comment Written 07-Dec-2015


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