SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) – It's his book, but it's their story, one told from intimate knowledge of a critical mission.
"Surging South of Bagdad'' is the first in-depth study of counterinsurgency operations in Iraq during the troop surge. It is also author Dale Andrade's look at the 3rd Infantry Division's role in the surge and its success.
"It was good to actually see the way these men and women conducted a war,'' Andrade said during a book signing with 3rd I.D. soldiers. "It was great to see an American division at war, which is a rare thing to see.''
Andrade saw the 3rd ID's work because he was with them in Iraq, a lone civilian among the troops with rare access and information that went even beyond the classified documents he was allowed to read.
"I saw the way General Lynch planned,'' he said. "I was in the meetings. Having the division open those doors for me gave me a perspective that would not have been there with just the documents.''
But now Andrade's book will be there, a source of history, insight and, for those in it, pride.
"I plan to read it and keep it,'' said Sgt. Inez Armas, of the 3rd BSB. "I had it autographed and I'm going to show it to my kids and hopefully they'll read it also, just to know what I did.''
"I think it's awesome how they documented especially our battalion in the book,'' added Sgt. Antony Powell, of the 30th Infantry 2nd Brigade. "I've got a lot of friends that paid that ultimate sacrifice and to know what they did wasn't in vain and it will be carried on forever is pretty heartfelt.''
Providing that feeling, as well as an inside look at the 3rd ID's service, earns author Dale Andrade a WTOC Military Salute.