Jarhead: The Movie & The Book Highlighting Anthony Swofford’s Personal Experiences As A U.S. Marine

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We saw the movie Jarhead a couple weeks ago — it’s was so-so (…more about that below).

But what REALLY intrigues me about the Jarhead movie is the person that the movie is about: Anthony Swofford.

I remember hearing about his story on some talk show years ago — and back then, I made a note to check out his book, movie, or whatever might come from this.

Turns out, BOTH have come to fruition — a movie AND a book.

After seeing more interviews with Swofford recently (…see below), where he “tells it like it is” and gives us a behind-the-scenes look at war, and being a Marine… I can’t wait to read his book.

Here’s more about the movie “Jarhead” and Anthony Swofford’s book:”Jarhead: A Marine’s Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles”…


My Take On The Movie Jarhead

The movie, “Jarhead“, takes you through one guy’s journey from boot camp to active duty in the Marines. Anthony Swofford was a lance corporal in Operation Dessert Storm.

The boot camp part was (of course) stereotypical and (of course) quite harsh. With Jim’s nephew a new enlistee in the Marines, this was particularly interesting to watch.

Beyond that, the one thing that sticks in my mind is the fact that none of the military equipment these Marines were given to use during the war ever worked. Okay… we got the point! After the third reference to this fact, I began rolling my eyes and realizing what the agenda was here in the making of this movie.

I can’t say that I learned much from watching the movie Jarhead. I did appreciate the opportunity to see what it’s like to be at “war” from this perspective, but overall I was disappointed. (Here’s a bit more.)

I STILL intend to read Anthony Swofford’s book though. From the interviews (below), and the book reviews (below), it seems there’s much more to Anthony Swofford’s story than could be told in a 2-hour movie. THAT’s what I’m after… the story behind the story!


One-on-One With Anthony Swofford About Jarhead

For the record, here’s what Anthony Swofford thinks of the movie’s portrayal of his story.

Jarhead dog tags.
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Listen to an NPR interview with Anthony Swofford.


Jarhead: The Book

After reading more about Anthony Swofford and hearing his take on the movie, the war itself, and his book I’ve come to the realization that the movie was mostly Hollywood’s way of telling the story, and the book will surely shed more light on Swofford’s own personal experiences there.

“Swofford was a lance corporal in a United States Marine Corps scout/sniper platoon who saw combat in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait during the Gulf War. Specifically, he was fired upon by both the enemy and his own side, but didn’t actually kill anyone himself. His war was short, and it only takes up the last third or so of this slender book. Of necessity, Swofford devotes more pages to his childhood and youth, his training in the U.S. and overseas, and the several months he spent stationed with his platoon in the Arabian desert waiting for the war to begin.” Source

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A personal interview with Anthony Swofford about his time spent at war in the Gulf. (It’s excellent… Now THIS is the “real” perspective I was hoping to see in the movie. Instead, the movie just glossed over much — though not all — of the “real” stuff.)

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Here’s dialogue between Anthony Swofford and readers of his book, many of them fellow Marines.

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More questions and answers between Tony Swofford and his readers.


Reviews of Anthony Swofford’s Jarhead Book

Other Books About Recent Wars

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I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money -- so I write about "outside the box" ideas that most wouldn't think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed over 10 years before switching gears to pursue activities that I'm truly passionate about. I've worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo -- to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).

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