The Last Deployment: How a Gay, Hammer-Swinging Twentysomething Survived a Year in Iraq (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Univ of Wisconsin Press, Jun 8, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 223 pages
2 Reviews

In 2003, after serving five and a half years as a carpenter in a North Dakota National Guard engineer unit, Bronson Lemer was ready to leave the military behind. But six months short of completing his commitment to the army, Lemer was deployed on a yearlong tour of duty to Iraq. Leaving college life behind in the Midwest, he yearns for a lost love and quietly dreams of a future as an openly gay man outside the military. He discovers that his father’s lifelong example of silent strength has taught him much about being a man, and these lessons help him survive in a war zone and to conceal his sexuality, as he is required to do by the U.S. military.

            The Last Deployment is a moving, provocative chronicle of one soldier’s struggle to reconcile military brotherhood with self-acceptance. Lemer captures the absurd nuances of a soldier’s daily life: growing a mustache to disguise his fear, wearing pantyhose to battle sand fleas, and exchanging barbs with Iraqis while driving through Baghdad. But most strikingly, he describes the poignant reality faced by gay servicemen and servicewomen, who must mask their identities while serving a country that disowns them. Often funny, sometimes anguished, The Last Deployment paints a deeply personal portrait of war in the twenty-first century.
  InSight Out Book Club selection   Bronson Lemer named one of Instinct magazine’s Leading Men 2011   QPB Book Club selection

Finalist, Minnesota Book Awards

Finalist, Over the Rainbow Selection, American Library Association

Amazon Top Ten 10 Gay & Lesbian Books of 2011    

What people are saying - Write a review

The Last Deployment: How a Gay, Hammer-Swinging Twentysomething Survived a Year in Iraq

User Review  - David Gibbs - Book Verdict

One of five brothers, Lemer joined the National Guard on a lark, mostly to stand out and give his parents something to be proud of. Never thinking he would be deployed overseas, he was sent first to ... Read full review

Review: The Last Deployment: How a Gay, Hammer-Swinging Twentysomething Survived a Year in Iraq

User Review  - Tc Whysall - Goodreads

Very good read showing how everyone becomes equal when donning a uniform while serving in our armed services. Narrative while in Iraq and back in the States are equally compelling. Very personal and real. Read full review


1 Olympic Hopefuls
2 Last Supper
3 Snow Bullets
4 Even Pawns Have Nice Legs
5 Click Click Click
6 The Mustache Race
7 All Sand and Stars
11 Baghdad in My Boots
12 Dont Tell
13 If Charles Bronson Were Here
14 How to Build Your Own Coffin
15 Two Toonies and a Loonie
16 Vets
17 Out Came a Spider
18 Dump Gulls

8 Wolves
9 This Is Our Comfortable Hell
10 Icarus in Iraq

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About the author (2011)

Bronson Lemer served in the North Dakota Army National Guard for six years, including deployments to Kosovo and Iraq. His writing has appeared in Blue Earth Review, The Rekjavik Grapevine, and Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers. He teaches English and humanities courses at Turtle Mountain Community College near Belcourt, North Dakota.

Bibliographic information