Michael P. Farrell Schenectady Ryan Smithson wrote his way out of Iraq after he returned home. The soldier from East Greenbush worked as a heavy-equipment operator in Iraq in , when an insurgency formed and turned against American troops. It was dangerous work.

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This book is his Non-Fiction memoir about his life as a high school junior through the age of This drastically changed his life; all he could think about his senior year was enlisting. Smithson tells this story in a unique way; he splits up the books timeline into three segments. In the first phase he talks about the end of his high school career, the brutal first three weeks of Boot Camp, and his first two to four months while on tour.

The second and third phases follow the same general layout. Ryan Smithson did his training in Missouri. When he was deployed to Iraq he flew to Kuwait, and then convoyed into Iraq. While he was in Iraq he was only stationed at a few places. In his general location in Iraq it was as hot as degrees during the day, and dropped to almost 20 degrees at night.

For the rest of the book Ryan mostly talks about the philosophical parts of war. He also covers the day to day routines, and tasks he performed while overseas.

All in all, he covers almost every aspect of war and conflict, and if you read until the very end, he says why it was all worth it.


Ghosts of War: The True Story of a 19-Year-Old GI

Works Cited Character Summary Being that this is a Non-Fictional memoir, there are not many main characters in the story. There are however three mostly developed main persons in this book. Ryan Smithson: The main character and narrator of the story is a slightly smaller than average built Blue-eyed blonde-haired guy from Albany, New York. During his four years of high school he wrestled. He is a more laid back, indifferent kind of person. Ryan is a realist, many times in the novel he admits that their survival is far from guaranteed, and accepts that death may loom just around the corner. He is also a pessimist, he seems to tell the story from a perspective that almost everything sucks.

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Ghosts of War

I just finished "Ghosts of War [My tour of duty:]" and am stunned at how it ambushed my emotions! I picked this up in the YA section of the library. My husband is a Army Infanty Vet with 2 Iraq tours under his belt, and he hardly ever speaks of his experiences, so I read anything I can get my hands on. Before I knew it I found myself swept into the dry deserts and Wow Before I knew it I found myself swept into the dry deserts and laughing along with Ryan Smithson on his excursions. This book is pleasing in that it is not too gory, as he is just a "Joe Schmo" equipment operator.


Ryan Smithson, Iraq veteran from East Greenbush, to see book 'Ghost of War' performed at Proctors




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