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In a Time of War: The Proud and Perilous Journey of West Point's Class of 2002
by Bill Murphy Jr.

Published by Henry Holt

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The dramatic story of West Point's class of 2002, the first in a generation to graduate during wartime.

They had joined an army at peace, but in their time at the United States Military Academy the world around them changed forever. Just after the cadets in West Point's bicentennial class began their senior year, terrorists attacked America. The following June, when President George W. Bush spoke at their graduation and declared that the United States would “take the battle to the enemy,” the men and women of the class of 2002 knew they would be fighting on the front lines. In this stirring account of the five years following their graduation, the Army's newest, youngest officers lead their soldiers into harm's way and experience both the rewards and the costs of answering their country's call.

In a Time of War tells the story of the soldiers and their families who have proudly served and sacrificed so much, among them:

• Todd Bryant, the rowdy, funny Californian who follows his parents and siblings into the armed forces, but who longs for the young wife he left behind;
• Drew Sloan, the studious son of liberal parents from Arkansas who chooses West Point, the infantry, and Ranger School and finds purpose on the arid plains of Afghanistan and in the urban battles of Iraq;
• Tricia LeRoux Birdsell, the high-spirited athlete who follows her mother into the military, serves with her infantry officer husband in Iraq, and searches diligently to discover her calling in the Army;
• Tim Moshier, the gentle giant, consummate team player, and natural Apache helicopter pilot who leaves his wife and baby daughter behind to help patrol the skies over Baghdad; and
• Will Tucker, the taciturn, tough, and intelligent Alabama native who becomes a courageous armor officer and fights again and again to win battles in Iraq and to find his way home to the wife and child he loves.

Meticulously reported, sweeping in scope, Bill Murphy Jr.'s powerful book follows these brave and idealistic officers—and their classmates and families—through more than five years of war. Vivid, inspiring, and sometimes heartbreaking, In a Time of War is a story about courage, honor, and what war really means to the men and women whose lives it defines.

pub date: 2008-09-16 | hardcover | 9780805086799