One Weekend a Month
Author: Craig Trebilcock
Publisher: Booklocker.com, Inc. (2006)
Binding: Paperback, 368 pages
An eight man Army Reserve team struggles to find meaning in the Iraq War, as their attempts to save a critically ill Iraqi boy are hampered by careerist superiors, enemy insurgents, and the unyielding Arab culture. Written by an Iraq War veteran.
MWSA 2008 Gold Medal for Fiction, Military, Army
This book is the Iraq War’s answer to frustration and cynicism we saw so many years ago in the movie **MASH**
First-time author – and decorated veteran – Craig Trebilcock has written a highly revealing and irreverent ‘memoir’ of the 2004-2005 war in Iraq. Drawing on his extensive time on the ground during both the 2003 invasion as well as 2004-2005’s poorly-planned and led post-invasion occupation forces, Trebilcock shows the reader how the Marines and soldiers tried to succeed in spite of the odds against them.
A JAG officer (lawyer) and Civil Affairs officer in real life. Trebilcock writes about the war through the eyes of an 8-man civil affairs team (Team Jaguar”) made up of Reservists. As a reservist himself, he experienced the disdain the regular Army hold for Reservists, despite this being the first war in which Reservists played such an important role as combatants.
Writing on his experiences in Iraq through the fictional persona of Major Trevanthan, the team leader, Trebilcock describes the incompetence and disinterest he and his team encountered through their year in Iraq. From senior officers only interested in their next promotion to officers too interested in paperwork to learn how to actually lead troops in combat, it is no surprise that not only did the Iraqi people quickly learn to think of America as an occupying power, but also that it’s no surprise that 2004-2005 are considered two wasted – and unnecessarily bloody years.
For as bad a light as One Weekend a Month portrays the REMF’s in the Green Zone and back in Washington, D.C, it shines a brilliant light on the efforts of the American Reserves and National Guard -- the citizen-soldiers who answered their country’s call. They gave the mission 150 % of their effort, blood, and dedication, even if their superiors did not. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by: Andrew Lubin (2008)