A raw and open account, Blood, Sweat and Tears describes the experience of Irish troops in Lebanon as never before. Through the eyes of a young officer on his first tour of duty overseas, the reader is brought to the Lebanon, to deal with a young man coming to terms with loss of innocence and loss of ideals in a time of war.
Irish troops have served 40,000 individual tours of duty over four decades in Lebanon. All over Ireland, in almost every family, there is a father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter or cousin who has come under hostile fire in South Lebanon. Some Irish soldiers never came home. Forty-seven Irish troops have died in Lebanon. Thousands more returned with physical and psychological injuries. Despite this intimate link with the suffering of our brothers and sisters in Lebanon and Israel, there is little public understanding of our military involvement in Lebanon. Blood, Sweat and Tears redresses that imbalance.
In Blood, Sweat and Tears, Clonan brings the reader on a tour of duty in Lebanon from 1995 to 1996. His vivid account brings you from a rain-swept Dublin Airport on a dark October night to the massacre of 118 innocent men, women and children in the village of Qana, South Lebanon on 18th of April 1996. For the first time, the experiences of Irish troops are told in the vernacular of the Irish soldier, warts and all. The reader shares in the bleak, black humour employed by Irish soldiers as a survival mechanism in combat conditions; is taken on patrol with the Irish army and comes under fire with them; shares their fears, frustration and pain.
Above all, Blood, Sweat and Tears is a story that deals with personal loss, loneliness and the psychological trauma of military service in a time of war. As the narrator comes to terms with the slaughter of innocents around him, he will ultimately be confronted with the loss of those closest to him at home in Ireland. Clonan writes eloquently on the squalor of modern warfare.