Montgomery Granger takes us inside Guantanamo Bay (Gitmo) as only a person who has been there can do. This book was not written after the fact, after his deployment ended. It comes straight from the pages of a personal journal he kept. He takes us from when he first learns of his deployment to Gitmo, through the days and nights until he arrives back home.
On February 8, 2002 at 1210 hours, he arrived at U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Little did he know that on February 9, 2002 less than a day after his arrival, "a day that will live in infamy" Granger would be allowed to watch the in-processing of 38 new "detainees."
"Radical thoughts flood my mind and psyche as they are individually taken off the buses. Hatred and empathy collide in an emotional train wreck."
You don't have to look hard to find stories in the media regarding the (mis)treatment of the people being held in Gitmo. Most are not favorable. They paint a picture of inhumane treatment and torture.
"I am reminded that when Donald Rumsfeld was here in late January, he said that although the Al-Qaeda detainees were not entitled to the protections of the Geneva conventions, he expected us to treat them within the spirit of the conventions."
He speaks to the high level of professionalism that our troops maintained day in and day out. What you will find in this book is a behind-the-scenes look at how our military treated these prisoners, the interactions of their guards, the medical personnel. Just how did the guards respond when human waste was thrown on them by the prisoners? I came away wondering why the press conveniently forgot to mention this. Just what is the definition of torture? Granger includes this at the beginning of his book, clarifying this for the reader. He talks about President Obama's decision to close down Gitmo and much more.
After beginning to read this book, I found out that the target audience is the military, not a civilian like myself. That wasn't a problem for me. I found the book hard to put down, and easily became outraged over the fact that these prisoners were often treated better than the military personnel who guarded them, who cared for them when they became ill. Say what?? Yep, this book opened my eyes to the struggles that our service men and women were facing as they worked with and around these prisoners.
Saving Grace at Guantanamo Bay is about much more than the prisoners at Gitmo. You read the most personal thoughts of Granger as he struggles with being away from his newborn child, missing not only his children but his wife. One thing that struck me about this book is the raw emotions pouring out of the pages. Frustration, sadness, anger and love!
You might be wondering who Montgomery J. Granger is?
Montgomery J. Granger, Major (Ret.), Medical Service Corps, United States Army Reserve Joint Detention Operations Group (JDOG) Medical Service Officer.
I would most definitely put this high on my list of books to read!
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