Join Us at the Wilton Library on June 3rd Monday evening at 7PM
Brian Castner served three tours of duty in the Middle East, two of them in Iraq as the head of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit. Whenever IEDs were discovered, he and his men would lead the way in either disarming the deadly devices or searching through rubble and remains for clues to the bomb-makers’ identities. And when robots and other remote means failed, one technician would suit up and take the Long Walk to disarm the bomb by hand. This lethal game of cat and mouse was, and continues to be, the real war within America’s wars in the Middle East. When Brian returned stateside to his wife and family, he entered an equally inexorable struggle against the enemy within, which he comes to call the “Crazy.”
This thrilling, heartbreaking, stunningly honest book alternates between two harrowing realities: the terror, excitement, and camaraderie of combat, and the lonely battle against the unshakeable fear, anxiety, and survivor guilt that he—like so many veterans—carries inside.
Castner, a graduate of Marquette University with an electrical engineering degree, served three tours in the Middle East as an officer of the U.S. Air Force—two of them leading an EOD unit in Iraq. In 2006, he received a Bronze Star for his service. Upon returning to the United States, he consulted as an independent civilian contractor, training military EOD units on tactical bomb-disposal procedures prior to their deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. He lives near Buffalo, New York, with his wife and children.