True stories of the men and women who put their lives in danger to defend the United States from terrorists. Combat-decorated former Marine North and former Marine and FBI agent Hamer take readers on a tension-filled ride from the battlefields of Afghanistan and Vietnam to the living rooms of the American men and women who serve and protect their fellow Americans. “This book is about celebration, not devastation,” writes North. “It’s about men and women and even children who triumphed over their individual tragedies.” What the authors reveal are the personal stories told by the enlisted and their spouses and families as they prepare to leave on long deployments as well as what happens upon their return. Trained to sweep for IEDs, the soldiers conduct some of the most dangerous work in Afghanistan, where any disturbed dirt might hide an IED. Living in sweltering heat and eating dried rations, each day on patrol is taut, and each story places readers on edge as the tension builds toward the inevitable, that one step that changes everything. The men and women venture out “whole” only to return missing one or more limbs or, in some cases, not to return at all. Often newly married or with a baby on the way, these warriors are suddenly confronted with new challenges as they face painful surgeries and amputations, months of hospital stays and rehabilitation, and the process of learning to live with multiple handicaps. Despite all this, they often agree to do it again. Supplemented by color photographs, the stories are straightforward, honest testimonials to the courage American troops display on and off the battlefield. — Kirkus Reviews
Oliver North is a combat-decorated Marine, the recipient of the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for valor, and two Purple Hearts for wounds in action. Assigned to the National Security Council staff in the Reagan administration, LtCol North was the United States government’s counter-terrorism coordinator from 1983-1986.