Crawford’s Story

Everyone’s been raving about John Crawford’s war memoir The Last True Story I’ll Ever Tell, and his local paper, the Tallahassee Democrat, catches up with him.

One night, Crawford and Stephen Mitchell, who were both students at Florida State University in 2002 when their Florida National Guard unit was sent packing to fight in Iraq, were bored out of their skulls during a 10-hour vigil at the gas pumps. Mitchell persuaded Crawford to take a joy ride on an abandoned, ancient, rusty motorcycle that had a sidecar.

“He said it would be just like Indiana Jones,” Crawford, 27, said recently over a light beer and a late lunch. “He talked me into it. You’ll do anything to break the boredom.”

The two took off down the unlit street into the darkness. Then they realized the brakes did not work. They were stuck on a runaway motorcycle tearing through the night in one of the most dangerous places on Earth.

“The Americans act like kids, basically,” Crawford said. “And the Iraqi people thought of us as big children.”

Sounds about right, I’d say. I haven’t read the book yet. Is it any good?