Book review: An Ordinary Soldier
AN ORDINARY SOLDIER
Author: Doug Beattie MC
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Aust
AN Ordinary Soldier is a chilling account of what it is like to be in today’s army in a war zone post 9/11.
Doug Beattie joined the forces after he accidentally shot his best mate Frank while skylarking with his father’s revolver. Luckily for Doug (and Frank) his friend survived but the friendship didn’t.
Beattie sought redemption, realising that if he was going to have any pride in his life then it was up to him to decide where it was going. He joined the army.
An Ordinary Soldier tells the story of his days as a raw recruit guarding one of history’s most wanted men Rudolph Hess through Beattie’s time in Bosnia, Iraq, then finally to his posting in Garmsir, the Taliban gateway. In 2006, 40-year-old Captain Beattie of the 1st Battalion Royal Irish Regiment was charged with helping retake Garmsir from the Taliban. It was two weeks of bloody conflict against a ferocious enemy. For his bravery Beattie received the Military Cross.
He has seen more horror in his life then can be imagined and if the opening few chapters of this book don’t shock you, I will be surprised.
But Beattie’s story is not only a fascinating insight into the war in Afghanistan. It is also is a personal account of a man’s struggle to be a father and husband as well as a soldier.
He has received every commendation awarded, deservedly so. And his story shows that, despite what the title of the book says, he is no ordinary soldier.