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Outlaw Platoon: Heroes, Renegades, Infidels, and the Brotherhood of War in Afghanistanby Sean Parnell
Synopses & Reviews
In combat, men measure up. Or don't. There are no second chances.
In this vivid account of the U.S. Army's legendary 10th Mountain Division's heroic stand in the mountains of Afghanistan, Captain Sean Parnell shares an action-packed and highly emotional true story of triumph, tragedy, and the extraordinary bonds forged in battle.
At twenty-four years of age, U.S. Army Ranger Sean Parnell was named commander of a forty-man elite infantry platoon—a unit that came to be known as the Outlaws—and was tasked with rooting out Pakistan-based insurgents from a mountain valley along Afghanistan's eastern frontier. Parnell and his men assumed they would be facing a ragtag bunch of civilians, but in May 2006 what started out as a routine patrol through the lower mountains of the Hindu Kush became a brutal ambush. Barely surviving the attack, Parnell's men now realized that they faced the most professional and seasoned force of light infantry the U.S. Army had encountered since the end of World War II.
What followed was sixteen months of close combat, over the course of which the platoon became Parnell's family: from Staff Sergeant Greg Greeson, the wise, chain-smoking veteran who never lost his cool; to Specialist Robert Pinholt, a buttoned-down conservative with the heart of a warrior and the mind of an economist; to Staff Sergeant Phil Baldwin, the platoon's voice of calm and reason, a man who sacrificed everything following the events of 9/11—career, home, financial stability—to serve his country. But the cost of battle was high for these men: Over 80 percent were wounded in action, putting their casualty rate among the highest since Gettysburg, and not all of them made it home.
A searing and unforgettable story of friendship in battle, Outlaw Platoon brings to life the intensity and raw emotion of those sixteen months, showing how the fight reshaped the lives of Parnell and his men and how the love and faith they found in one another ultimately kept them alive.
"Former Army officer Parnell and collaborator Bruning (Shadow of the Sword) reprise Parnell's 16 months as an infantry platoon leader in Afghanistan in this heartfelt memoir. In 2006, Parnell and his 10th Mountain Division platoon, the self-styled Outlaws, arrived in Afghanistan's Bermel Valley, which borders Pakistan. Their mission was 'to stanch the flow of enemy troops and supplies into Afghanistan.' Besides their 32 Purple Hearts, the platoon — which 'usually patrolled with about 30 men... loaded into six Humvees' — earned seven Bronze Stars and 12 Army Commendations for Valor, making it one of the most decorated units in the Afghan war. Parnell vividly captures the sounds, sights, and smells of combat, and proves most eloquent when describing the bond — 'selflessness was our secret weapon' — that developed among his men. Studiously nonpartisan, Parnell still raises important questions about Afghan president Hamid Karzai's integrity, the competence of the Afghan police, and the sincerity of our Pakistani 'allies.' Parnell balances sentimentality with sincerity and crisp prose to produce one of the Afghan war's most moving combat narratives. Agent: Jim Hornfischer, Hornfischer Literary Management." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A riveting story of American fighting men, Outlaw Platoon is Lieutenant Sean Parnells stunning personal account of the legendary U.S. Armys 10th Mountain Divisions heroic stand in the mountains of Afghanistan.
Acclaimed for its vivid, poignant, and honest recreation of sixteen brutal months of nearly continuous battle in the deadly Hindu Kesh, Outlaw Platoon is a Band of Brothers or We Were Soldiers Once and Young for the early 21st century—an action-packed, highly emotional true story of enormous sacrifice and bravery.
A magnificent account of heroes, renegades, infidels, and brothers, it stands with Sebastian Jungers War as one of the most important books to yet emerge from the heat, smoke, and fire of Americas War in Afghanistan.
About the Author
Sean Parnell is a former U.S. Army airborne ranger who served in the legendary 10th Mountain Division for six years, retiring as a captain. He received two Bronze Stars (one for valor) and the Purple Heart. He is currently working on his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Duquesne University. He lives with his wife and two children in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
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