No Time for Ribbons
Author: Craig Trebilcock
Publisher: iUniverse (2008)
Binding: Paperback, 284 pages
War-weary Army Sergeant Gus Warden mistakenly kills an Iraqi civilian on his final mission. Returning home to Texas, guilt-ridden and unable to turn off the war, Warden struggles to rejoin a society where he no longer fits. When his manipulative brigade commander uses the shooting to nominate Warden for the Silver Star, Warden is trapped between becoming a fraudulent war hero and betraying the wartime buddies who covered for his mistake.
This thought-provoking novel is built upon the post-war experiences of US Army troops who served in the Iraq War. This is the second installment in the One Weekend A Month Trilogy.
Craig Trebilcock continues to relate the difficult life of the modern-day military reservist in his second book, No Time for Ribbons. It is a fast-paced emotional roller coaster that any returning veteran can relate to.
When Sergeant First Class Gus Warden returns home from his deployment to Iraq, he is a changed man. Though a civil affairs reservist, he and his team still saw plenty of action, and had their share of close calls. And on their final mission before rotating home, Gus faces a life or death situation that results in him killing an Iraqi civilian. Upon returning home, Gus finds he can't let the war or that killing go. And to make matters worse, the new commanding officer is bent on using the event as a public relations triumph to further his own career. So, in addition to dealing with adjusting to being a civilian again, and to having taken someone else's life, Gus has to deal with his Colonel, who has more rank than honor and only cares about his own rising star.
It's obvious that Trebilcock puts his own experience as an Army reservist to use in capturing the emotions of his characters. He really brings home the difficulties of being a soldier one week and a civilian the next, and how making the transition isn't always easy or seamless. And in addition to striking a blow for the overall plight of the reservist, he puts together a pretty solid and entertaining story to boot.
Reservists especially will relate to this book, but any vet (or friend/family thereof) will find it entertaining.
Reviewed by: Rob Ballister (2009)