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Private Soldiers: A Year in Iraq with a Wisconsin National Guard Unit

Private Soldiers: A Year in Iraq with a Wisconsin National Guard Unit
Private Soldiers: A Year in Iraq with a Wisconsin National Guard Unit
Hardcover: $29.95
200 pages, 250 photos, 1 map, 9.25 x 9.25"
ISBN: 9780870203954

Published by Wisconsin Historical Society Press

Orders for Trade, Library or Wholesale
Price: $29.95
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Product Details
By Benjamin Buchholz
Photographs by Joseph Streeter and Nathan Olson


In April 2005 they received the official alert: The Wisconsin Army National Guard's 2-127th Infantry Battalion was being mobilized. After training at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, the 620 soldiers of the Gator Battalion would serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom, providing armed convoy escort and route security throughout all of Iraq, from Umm Qasr in the south to Mosul in the far north. Their mission would take them into the most dangerous regions of Iraq, and during the next year the battalion would withstand hundreds of attacks, see dozens wounded, and lose three members killed in action.

Private Soldiers
chronicles the 2-127th's year-long deployment from the unique perspective of the soldiers themselves. Written and photographed by three battalion members, the book provides a rare first-hand account of war and life in Iraq. Fascinating soldier interviews reveal the effects of deployment on the troops and on their families back home, and interviews with Iraqi civilians describe the Iraqis' perceptions of life, war, and working alongside Wisconsin troops. Brilliant photography illuminates the 2-127th's year, from training to "boots on the ground" to their return home. And candid photos taken by battalion members capture the soldiers' day-to-day lives and camaraderie. An extremely timely and relevant account of soldiers' lives, Private Soldiers honors Wisconsin's participants in the Iraq war and helps readers understand the war's human side.

An extremely timely and relevant account of soldiers' lives, "Private Soldiers" honors Wisconsin's participants in the Iraq war and helps readers understand the war's human side.

All royalties from sales of Private Soldiers will go to the 2-127th's family support groups and to funds established in memoriam of the battalion members who gave their lives in the Iraq war.


Captain Benjamin Buchholz was the 2-127th Infantry Battalion's civil affairs officer during deployment. He works full time for the Wisconsin National Guard as the 2-127th's training officer. A widely published writer of fiction and nonfiction, Ben lives in Brandon, Wisconsin, with his wife, Angie, and sons Wesley and Jack.

Staff Sergeant Joseph Streeter has been a member of the Wisconsin Army National Guard for over twelve years. While deployed in Iraq he served as a squad leader in the 2-127th's C Company. He also works as the system administrator at the Wisconsin Joint Force Headquarters and runs a sports photography business. He lives in Madison.

Lieutenant Nathan Olson has been a member of the Wisconsin National Guard for more than sixteen years. During his time in Iraq he served as a platoon leader in C Company, 2-127th Infantry. He also works for the Wisconsin National Guard as the environmental assessment and reports manager for the state. Nathan and his wife, Ann, own an event and portrait photography business in Columbus, Wisconsin.