Here, that would be the personal re-telling of Colby Buzzell, who in his book My War: Killing Time in Iraq, details for the reader the events surrounding his service in the military during the current military operation in the nation of Iraq. Giving a firsthand account of what he saw, what he did, as well as how he felt during his time of service. A collection of words, that serve to give value, as well as to provide an effective perspective, on the issues that arise with being an enlisted member of the armed forces.
"I was in my room reading a book (Thin Red Line) when the mortars started coming down. Usually when we get mortared it'll only be one, maybe two mortars. But this mortar attack went on for almost 20 minutes. Each one impacting the FOB every couple of minutes. Something was up," (Buzzell, p.248). For a document to be beneficial for such means as furthering the readers connection to what it is they are reading, the usage of personal experiences can greatly benefit the overall cause of better understanding the personal side of those who take part in military life and are faced with the ramifications of such a career choice. While news reports by journalists are chalk full of time lines having to do with what would have occurred, good or bad, the personal accounts of those closest involved provide a far greater service, than simply providing a listing of mass produced details.
Giving a stronger image of what would have been the environment surrounding Buzzell at that moment, he writes that, "Sgt. Horrocks ripped open the door and yelled, "Grab your guys! And go to the motor pool! The whole BATTALION is rolling out!" Holy shit! The whole battalion! This must be big. So I closed my book and ran over to my guys' rooms and ripped open their doors and yelled, "Get your fucking shit on and head down to the motor pool! Time: Now!" I ran back to my room and grabbed my shirt and started running as fast as I could to the motor pool, hearing small arms fire off in the background. By now every swinging dick was running to the motor pool. Some putting their clothes on while they were running," (Buzzell, p.248).
The image of soldiers running frantically to their places, aids the narrative's purpose of providing the most personal, yet factual, account of the events that would have been occurring around Buzzell and the fellow members of his unit. Readers value that which they identify with and as such, are able to understand in some minute way. Human beings inherently understand fear and stress through experiencing it themselves and are drawn to those stories that show other people experiencing great fear and stress for themselves, even if it's due to circumstances that they would have not known themselves.
"While we were waiting for word to roll back out, we sat around and exchanged war stories over plates of food from the chow hall. I sat down on an ammo crate while Sgt. Vance sat down on a water cooler, and he told me all about 3rd Squad's heroics on the ground that day, about their vehicle that got shot by at least three RPGs the first time through Route Tampa. Each one that hit the vehicle knocked him down from the air-guard hatch. One of the RPGs took out the engine to their vehicle, and Spc Callahan, while it was still rolling, grabbed a fire extinguisher and tried to put out the fire. When they got to Bridge 5, Vance and Callahan were vomiting out of