Published by Nal
Published on May 26th 2015
Source: Author, Review Copy
Now from Brandon Webb, Navy SEAL sniper and New York Times bestselling author, comes his personal account of the eight friends and fellow SEALs who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“Knowing these great men—who they were, how they lived, and what they stood for—has changed my life. We can’t let them be forgotten. So read about these amazing men, share their stories, and learn from them as I have. We’ve mourned their deaths. Let’s celebrate their lives.”—Brandon Webb
As a Navy SEAL, Brandon Webb rose to the top of the world’s most elite sniper corps, experiencing years of punishing training and combat missions from the Persian Gulf to Afghanistan. Among the best of the best, he led the SEALs’ clandestine sniper training program as course manager, instructing a new generation of the world’s top snipers. Along the way, Webb served beside, trained, and supported men he came to know not just as fellow warriors, but as friends and, eventually, as heroes. Among Heroes gives his personal account of these eight extraordinary SEALs, who gave all for their comrades—and their country.
Here are the true stories behind the remarkable valor and abiding humanity of those “sheepdogs” (as they call themselves) who protect us from the wolves of the world. Of Matt “Axe” Axelson, who perished on the Lone Survivor mission in Afghanistan. Of Chris Campbell, Heath Robinson, and JT Tumilson, who were among the thirty-eight casualties of Extortion 17, the Chinook helicopter shot down in August 2011. Of Glen Doherty, Webb’s best friend for more than a decade, killed while helping secure the successful rescue and extraction of American CIA and State Department diplomats in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012; and other close friends, classmates, and fellow warriors.
In Among Heroes, Webb offers eight intensely personal profiles of uncommon courage—who these men were, what they stood for, and how they came to make the ultimate sacrifice. These are men who left behind powerfully instructive examples of what it means to be alive—and what it truly means to be a hero.
Sometime ago I read The Red Circle, a non-fiction book about the life of an American Sniper. I don’t usually read that types of book but I really loved that one, surprisingly. Now he has this new book, its about the story of eight of his friends, his memories with them, their struggles and heroism. This book should have alienated me from it, there’s nothing in it that is familiar to me, I’m an introverted Filipina who just likes reading books, I don’t have any connection to the kind of life that author lives. It suspect its a vastly different life, a different culture – the military life, and it comes off the pages of the book, the trainings they went through, it requires mental and physical toughness and intelligence. But what also comes off the page very clearly that I could relate to is the friendship, the bonds he formed with these men. Friendship is universal, I think every human being can relate to that, regardless of culture, geographic location, gender or nationality. Humans are social animals, and friendship is one of the things that binds us together and makes life more meaningful. Although we all know intellectually that life is a cycle, that we live and we die, sometimes we think we are invincible and so our beloved friends, we have this dream of going through the world together, that they will always be there, to laugh with, cry with, to just be with – until they are not anymore. And in this I find the commonality with the author.
The stories in the book are about eight of his close friends, his memories of being with them and their heroism. I got to know each one of them closely with every chapter, it would make you laugh at some parts and cry on others. After each chapter, I felt like I lost an older brother and my heart would break a little for their family and friends. It made me wish that people would not die before they are old, gray and had lived a full 100 years. But life isn’t fair, and people die earlier than we expect them to, and it hurts when that happens. Pain is also universal, and it’s heartbreaking losing one, let alone eight. The authors does a masterful job of telling his friend’s stories, its a great tribute to them, their memories would live on after their deaths.
This wasn’t an easy read for me because it’s about the life and death of people who after reading, you would wish were still alive. But it was worth reading, because it reminds us to value our friendships and live as much as we can. #
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