Blood Brothers: Among the Soldiers of Ward 57 (Paperback)
This "expert piece of journalism by a brave man about brave men" follows three soldiers and a reporter through eighteen months on Ward 57, Walter Reed's amputee wing (The Washington Post)
Time magazine's Michael Weisskopf was riding through Baghdad in the back of a U.S. Army Humvee when he heard a metallic thunk. Looking down, he spotted a small object inches from his feet and reached down to take it in his hand. Then everything went black.
Weisskopf lost his hand and was sent to Ward 57 at Walter Reed Medical Center, the wing reserved for amputees. There he met soldiers Pete Damon, Luis Rodriguez, and Bobby Isaacs, alongside whom he navigated the bewildering process of recovery and began reconciling life before that day in Baghdad with everything that would follow his release.
Blood Brothers is the story of this difficult passage—a story that begins with healthy men heading off to war, and continues through the months in Ward 57 as they prepare for a different life than the one they left. A chronicle of devastation and recovery, this is a deeply affecting portrait of the private aftermath of combat casualties.
About the Author
A senior correspondent for Time magazine, Michael Weisskopf is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and winner of the George Polk Award, Goldsmith Award for Investigative Reporting, National Headliners Award, and the Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism. Weisskopf lives in Washington, D.C.
“This book is a modern masterpiece. The spirit, wit, and searing honesty that have marked Michael Weisskopf's life and career as a world-class correspondent shine through on every page as we follow his passage among the amputees of Ward 57. Blood Brothers is an unforgettable account of what happened, physically and emotionally, to Weisskopf and these men after the war.” —David Maraniss, author of They Marched into Sunlight
“Blood Brothers is unsparing, unsentimental, and unflinching, a story of pain but also a tale of redemptive courage. Michael Weisskopf has written a book unlike any other to emerge from the long war in Iraq. Read it and weep.” —Rick Atkinson, Author of In the Company of Soldiers and An Army at Dawn
“This is a real war story. It is not about victory or defeat, or the heroism of men in combat, it is about loss and pain and learning to live with a body terribly maimed. The story of Time correspondent Michael Weisskopf's grave injury and survival parallels the experience of many soldiers: He went to Iraq with a specific short-term task, and came home with his body and his life permanently altered. Like the fine writer he is, Weisskopf understands that parallel, which is what makes Blood Brothers something much more than a story of injury and survival.” —Mark Bowden, author of Guests of the Ayatollah and Black Hawk Down
“Walter Reed's Ward 57 is often in the news, but always viewed from the outside in. Blood Brothers gets it right because its author actually shared in the torments of the amputee warriors he befriended during his stay. Weisskopf's story is theirs, with the unyielding pain, the acute sense of loss, and the deep need to recover a personal narrative that makes that loss bearable.” —Garry Trudeau