Paul Avallone, USA "spent three-plus years in Afghanistan as a Green Beret then an embedded civilian journalist." Paul Avallone is the author of Tattoo Zoo: A Novel of the Afghan War.
According to the book description Tattoo Zoo "is a novel that could only have been written by a veteran of more than three years in the Afghan War -- as a Green Beret then a civilian embedded journalist. America's longest war is compressed into a charged forty-six hours with the GIs of the Tattoo Zoo platoon trapped fighting a fierce Taliban in a nowhere piece of picturesque real estate called Wajma Valley, as they are left hung out to dry by a politically correct four-star command hell-bent on prosecuting them for war crimes or just letting them die in place.
You will be taken into the heart and soul of the American soldier -- from private to general. You will be with the soldiers, you will be with the command, and you will be swept into the Afghan War on a visceral level of extreme verisimilitude. If you've been in the war, you will recognize and feel those hours and days and months, and you will want others to read this to understand what you lived.
If you haven't been to the war and only know Afghanistan from blips you've seen on TV news, It will put you there, and you'll know it. No need here to detail the characters, but you can count on remembering Wolfe and Doc Eberly and Redcloud and St Claire and Dove and Finkle and Victoria Marshall and a whole slew more. This is a big novel, and not meant for the casual reader expecting some throw-away weekend-read thriller. There is nothing pretentious or artificially artistic or overly intellectual about the language here; just the opposite, the reading is easy. In fact, there's enough character and story and conflict here that there's no need for false literary styling meant to impress other writers and professors of hoity-toity MFA programs."