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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
"Memoirs of an Outlaw: Life in the Sandbox" is the story of author Robert M. Tanner III, who was with the Marines during the Iraq War and spent seven months on the ground in Iraq. It is also the story of each and every soldier in his company and, by extension, many of those Americans who found themselves serving in Iraq. The name Outlaws was chosen by Delta Company when it was formed, which is a Marine tradition and, according to the author, bonds the company into a working unit. Tanner shares his experiences from his first day as a Marine to the last day when he alone is not in uniform, and Captain Quinlan sends him off with a book of military short stories as a parting gift from the company. Quinlan says he hopes Tanner will add to that record of military stories, and he has done so in this book.
Tanner's book reads so easily and smoothly, and the people you meet in "Memoirs of an Outlaw" are so compelling that you might sometimes think you are reading a fictional account and be tempted to check the cover of the book to confirm that this is indeed non-fiction. From the very first page, the reader is drawn into the story of this company as they train together, take a nightmarish plane trip to Kuwait, settle into the day-to-day hardships and routines of being a Marine in Iraq and experience the grief of losing a companion to an IED or other attack. I found myself drawn to the story and reading a page or two whenever I had a free moment. It is really a remarkable work and, even if you don't normally read non-fiction, military stories or history, I think you'll still get as involved in the work as I did. You'll also finish the book having been made richer in experience. I highly recommend it.