Praise for "Private Soldiers"
"Photographs, interviews, communiqués, letters, and poetry, all stitched together by sensitive prose into a full-bodied narrative, make 'Private Soldiers' a superb chronicle of an infantry battalion's year in Iraq. Reading it, I felt proud to be serving in the same Army with the 2-127th." —Lieutenant Colonel Art Bilodeau, Managing Editor, Military Review: The Professional Journal of the U.S. Army
"Wisconsin soldiers have served the state and nation proudly and with distinction since the Civil War and continue to do so in Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. 'Private Soldiers' will give readers a snapshot of 32nd Infantry `Red Arrow' soldiers on today's battlefield as they adapt to new battle systems and take advantage of progressing technology — yet their dedication to duty, sacrifices, and self-less service endure." —Brigadier General James A. Krueck, Commander, Wisconsin Army National Guard, who also commanded the 32nd Infantry Brigade from Oct. 2000 to Oct.2006
"Wisconsin Army National Guard units had not experienced combat since World War Two. Sixty years after the 32nd Infantry `Red Arrow' Division celebrated the end of its long and bloody fight in the Asiatic-Pacific campaigns, the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment began conducting combat missions in Iraq. The Soldiers of the 2-127th Infantry Battalion lived up to the proud heritage of their forefathers and wrote another distinguished chapter into the unit's official history.
"Benjamin Buchholz's 'Private Soldiers' provides an outstanding record of the 2-127th Infantry Battalion's wartime service in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Indeed, a picture is worth a thousand words. Buchholz's words, camera and his fellow Soldier's photographs portray the dedicated service and sacrifice of a few hundred of Wisconsin's Citizen-Soldiers engaged in ground combat in Iraq. Their mission provided convoy escort protection, route reconnaissance and security for U.S. logistical sustainment and force-rotation convoys originating from seaports and supply depots in Kuwait transiting the main supply routes in Iraq to combat units' forward operating bases and logistic support bases. The unit conducted thousands of missions, logged millions of miles and endured hundreds of enemy attacks as the men of the battalion convoyed throughout the length and breadth of Iraq. All of their convoys were round-trip missions, meaning that their return trips to Kuwait usually required them to pass through areas where they had previously been attacked. They called it `running the gauntlet.'
"Through 'Private Soldiers' we see the blood, sweat, toil and tears of the brave men of the 2-127th Infantry Battalion who volunteered to serve their fellow citizens, state and nation in wartime. Just like their forefathers, these men didn't ask for much, they didn't get much, but they gave a lot." —Brigadier General Charles J. Barr, Commanding General, 143rd Transportation Command, July 2005-June 2006
"Peel away the body armor and the cammo, ignore the alphabet soup that is military speak and these infantry men half a world away are just neighbors from up the street or the town next door, citizens one day, soldiers the next, missing homes and loved ones and the Packers and Dodge trucks, mourning for comrades killed or wounded and sharing the eternal truths of soldiering: In any group of eight dudes someone is bound to smell bad. Making public the experiences of private soldiers is revealing." —Dennis McCann, "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel"
"These are powerful soldier stories that bring the war in Iraq home to citizens of Wisconsin . . . an important historical record of the men and women of our state who served in combat as part of the Wisconsin Army National Guard." —Frederica Freyberg, Wisconsin Public Television
"If you have not journeyed into the Iraq war, this richly detailed narrative will take you there. If you have, this book will take you back." —Katherine M. Skiba, author of "Sister in the Band of Brothers: Embedded with the 101st Airborne in Iraq"