Synopses & Reviews
The gripping memoir of Navy Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart recipient SEAL Lieutenant Mark L. Donald As A SEAL and combat medic, Mark served his country with valorous distinction for almost twenty-five years and survived some of the most dangerous combat actions imaginable.
From the rigors of BUD/S training to the horrors of the battlefield, Battle Ready dramatically immerses the reader in the unique life of the elite warrior-medic who advances into combat with life-saving equipment in one hand and life-taking weapons in the other. It is also an uplifting human story that reveals how a young Hispanic American bootstrapped himself out of a life that promised a dead-end future by enlisting in the military. That new life begins with the Marines and includes his heroic achievements on the battlefield and the operating table, and finally, of his inspirational triumph over the demons caused by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that threatened to destroy him and his family.
"After humbly eschewing the 'haunting label' of 'hero,' Donald, with the help of Navy vet Mactavish (The New Dad's Survival Guide), recounts his struggle to break free from an impoverished youth by joining the Marines and then the elite Navy SEALs, in whose service he fought and saved lives as a medic in Afghanistan. That experience left him with PTSD and an enduring desire to help veterans. Like most soldiers, he writes best about soldiering (the book is based on journals originally intended as part of his post-combat therapy), delivering a superb description of the infamously brutal weeding-out ordeal of SEAL training, the nuts-and-bolts duties of a medic, and the battle actions that won him the Navy Cross but claimed the lives of more than one close friend. Attempts to exorcise his personal demons back on the home front are less successful, but the suffering they point to is palpable. A few military memoirs like Anthony Swofford's Jarhead gloriously break the bonds of their genre; Donald's has no such ambition, but this is an admirable addition to the flourishing phenomenon of SEALs sharing their stories in print. Its audience will welcome the familiar macho elements no less than the original, often horrific medical details. 16-page color photo insert." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
One of Military Times 10 Best Military Books of 2013
"Although he doesn't like the term, Mark is a true American hero. Battle Ready is a well-written journey from training to combat to recovery."
—Howard Wasdin, New York Times bestselling author of Seal Team Six
“Battle Ready is a compelling account of a remarkable Americans journey in the military. Mark Donalds journey is unique and contains many lessons in life for everyone to reflect upon. There is no bravado and self-serving intent in this book. It is written from the heart from an American hero, and that alone makes it worth reading.”
—Wade Ishimoto, Former Senior Advisor to Assistant Secretary of Defense, Special Operations / Low Intensity Conflict
“This candid memoir by a NavySEAL medic is given a vigorous reading by Fred Berman…Most important, his overall performance winsomely conveys the authors humility.” - AudioFile Magazine
About the Author
MARK L. DONALD, the son of a retired U.S. Army Warrant Officer and a Mexican mother, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps before transferring to the Navy to train as a Corpsman. He subsequently completed Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training and served in SEALs until 1996 when he was selected for the Intra-service Physician Assistant Program. He graduated from the University of Nebraska and was commissioned a Medical Service Corps officer. Following the September 11 terrorist attacks, he was assigned as operational medical support to special operations where he served in a number of capacities until his retirement. Donald was awarded the Navy Cross, the highest medal awarded by the Department of the Navy, for extraordinary heroism while engaged in enemy action against Al Qaeda fighters in southern Afghanistan. He lives in Chesapeake, Virginia. SCOTT MACTAVISH is an author, filmmaker and veteran of the United States Navy. He does volunteer work for the Navy SEAL Foundation, and serves on the Advisory Team for the I:68 Foundation, a national non-profit organization that provides monetary relief to law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.