Shattered Glass: The Story of a Marine Embassy Guard

"Unlike most military memoirs, “Shattered Glass” offers both first-person combat reportage and penetrating insights into how military service impacts the psyche."
-- Dr. Paul Efthim, The New England Psychologist

"Finished the book in one day...riveting and will keep you turning the page wanting more."
-- James Curry, former Marine Embassy Guard

"Shattered Glass is well written and insightful...Matos is strikingly self-aware and that quality alone lifts this tale of military action above the rest."
-- Lewis Elbinger, U.S. Foreign Service Officer

when you’re a marine in the middle east, you have to be ready for anything.

What does life hold for you when you’re a Marine Embassy Guard stationed in the Middle East? In Shattered Glass, Sergeant Greg Matos answers that question. Through his personal experiences as an enlisted Marine in the early 2000s, evolving from boot recruit to decorated sergeant, Matos offers a compelling look at the diverse roles Marines play in today’s war on terror.

Although he enters the military with visions of glory and honor, Matos soon realizes the Marine Corps isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. Not everyone embraces the integrity and drive that Marines are known for, and at times, “the mission” takes a backseat to nightlife and romance. Yet it is in upholding his mission as a Marine Embassy Guard—to protect Americans in foreign countries—that Matos encounters his greatest conflict.

On December 6, 2004, the U.S. Consulate Matos has been charged to protect is attacked by members of al-Qaeda. It is up to Matos, standing guard at Post One, to orchestrate the defense of his fellow Americans. The events of that day leave an indelible mark on his psyche, and in the aftermath he must find a way to accept the rightness of his actions and move forward.

Matos’s story illustrates the complexities of life in the military, where men and women are tasked with being trained killers as well as human beings. The emotional struggles that Matos reveals are common to many, and the final reconciliation he finds—an understanding of what it means to serve your country with honor—is empowering.