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Outlaw Platoon: Heroes, Renegades, Infidels, and the Brotherhood of War in Afghanistanby John Bruning
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.
The epic story of Daniel Rodriguez, a soldier who fought in one of the bloodiest battles in Afghanistan, and against all odds, lived to pursue his dream of playing Division 1 college football
A high-ranking generaland#8217;s gripping insider account of the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and how it all went wrong.
A high-ranking generalandrsquo;s gripping insider account of the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and how it all went wrong.
Over a thirty-five-year career, Daniel Bolger rose through the army infantry to become a three-star general, commanding in both theaters of the U.S. campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. He participated in meetings with top-level military and civilian players, where strategy was made and managed. At the same time, he regularly carried a rifle alongside rank-and-file soldiers in combat actions, unusual for a general. Now, as a witness to all levels of military command, Bolger offers a unique assessment of these wars, from 9/11 to the final withdrawal from the region. Writing with hard-won experience and unflinching honesty, Bolger makes the firm case that in Iraq andand#160;in Afghanistan, we lost andmdash; but we didnandrsquo;t have to. Intelligence was garbled. Key decision makers were blinded by spreadsheets or theories. And, at the root of our failure, we never really understood our enemy. Why We Lost is a timely, forceful, and compulsively readable account of these wars from a fresh and authoritative perspective.
The unforgettable story of a young soldier who survived one of the bloodiest battles in Afghanistan and lived to pursue his dream of playing Division I college football
At 5-foot-8, 175 pounds, Daniel Rodriguez was an unlikely recruit for the gridiron. But on the battlefield, under the daily rain of sniper fire, he made a promise to his best friend. and#8220;When I get out of this shithole, Iand#8217;m going to play college football.and#8221;
Daniel had joined the army just weeks after graduating from high school, having recently suffered a devastating loss. At age nineteen he had no idea what war really was; he just wanted to get out of town. Almost immediately, he was deployed to Iraq (and would later serve in Afghanistan).and#160;And he grew up fastand#160;and#8212; stopped sleeping, started smoking. Killing became second nature. He fought in the infamous Battle of Kamdesh and for his bravery he was awarded a Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. But his best friend was not so lucky.
Against all odds, Daniel returned home and#8212; broken, but still alive. Stuck in the clutches of PTSD, Daniel remembered that fateful promise to his friend and knew he had to make good on it. He embarked on a grueling training regimen and when he postedand#160;a video of his efforts, it went viral overnight.and#160;By some mix of grit, determination, and the power of the Internet, he earned a spot on the Clemson University football team.
A powerfully delivered narrative of a young soldier, his unlikely dream, and how he found his way out of darkness, Rise is inspiring, quintessentially American, and will resonate with anyone who has ever fought for what they what they wanted.
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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