Book Review: Into Helmand with the Walking Dead

“Into Helmand With the Walking Dead” is a newly released memoir of the war in Afghanistan, written by my friend Miles Vining (whom you may recognize from Silah Report, among other places online). It is an intimate look at one Marine’s experience from enlisting right out of high school, going through training, and deploying twice to Helmand Province. This is not a strategic history of the war, but rather a grunt’s-eye view of what life was really like – often boring, sometimes strikingly beautiful and sometimes terrifying. Vining does not shy away from tough subjects like veteran suicide and the transition from combat to civilian life, but he does so without the booking dragged down. It is an engaging story, and one that I think is well worth reading for anyone who wants to get a better understanding of life in modern war.

The best place to purchase a copy is through Silah Report, where you can get it autographed by Miles and his co-author’s widow, and where a portion of all sales is donated to a veteran reintegration charity.

If those are sold out, it can also be found on Amazon in physical or Kindle form:


    • Thats a fair sized bomb thrower the DPRK has knocked up in your link isn’t it, hope they don’t fire the fucker. Merry Christmas!

      • Same to you PDB and all readers/ chatters. Let’s talk peace for change; it s good to have a bit of it time to time 🙂

  1. When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
    An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier.
    Go, go, go like a soldier,
    Go, go, go like a soldier,
    Go, go, go like a soldier,
    So-oldier of the Queen!

    • This jives with what I heard from a British man about earlier imperial wars in the area (west India, now Pakistan). Captured enemy soldier was passed on women to finish him off. It was better to know beforehand what will follow and make ‘responsible’ decision.

  2. I’ve always looked forward to Miles ‘s articles and videos on TFB as well as the Sliah report. His enthusiasm is genuine.

  3. Just received my autographed copy. Looking forward to getting into it. Miles is an interesting guy, with quite a story to tell. Thanks, Ian for reviewing and recommending this book. All the best to each of you as we approach Christmas and the new year; 2020 has been a challenge,
    to put it mildly.

  4. I was at school when the USSR invaded Afghanistan at Christmas 1979. The next term, we got talking to one of our masters, who had been an officer in the Indian Army before the war. He had served on the North West Frontier, in the Waziristan Campaign against the rebellion led by the Fakir of Ipi, so he knew the area and the people.

    I always remember what he said, “The Pathan is a fearless warrior and will not be beaten. The Russians will leave within ten years.” And so they did. He later served in North Africa and Italy during the war, and was captured at Monte Casino. You don’t get teachers like that any more.

    Keeping to the British Empire theme, is that an Enfield revolver I see on Ian’s bookshelf? Maybe it’s time for a review of this unloved pistol?

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