Synopses & Reviews
A legendary American marksman tells his story He could only watch as fires raged in the ruins of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. But on that day, standing in lower Manhattan, former U.S. Army Ranger Joe LeBleu knew what he had to doreturn to active duty. By the time he received another honorable discharge in 2005as a sergeant, paratrooper, and sniper team leaderhe had become known as Long Rifle” for shooting an Iraqi insurgent at 1,100 meters in Fallujah. That single shot remains the farthest by any American or British sniper in Iraq.
As 9/11 altered the terrain of so many lives, it shaped that of Joe LeBleu. Joe takes us with him from that haunting day in New York to the sweltering heat and ambush-rife conditions of desert and urban combat in Iraq. From here we enter a different world: the mountains of Afghanistan. Joes accounts of sniper missions against the Taliban and Al Qaeda are riveting. Finally, he trusts his gut and returns to civilian life, settling near Las Vegas and going on to serve as a firearms instructor and a technical advisor for a major motion picture.
Raw, gritty, passionate, and provocative, Long Rifle is both the first memoir by a U.S. Army sniper from the 9/11 generation and a stirring testament to the core values of American soldiers: integrity, honor, and courage. The authors journey to war and back also testifies to the enduring power of love: For six long years, Joe carried with him his dream to return to Natalie, his wife.
When fires raged in the ruins of the World Trade Center on 9/11, LeBleu, a native of Brooklyn and a retired U.S. Army Ranger, was in lower Manhattan. On that day he decided to return to active duty. "Long Rifle" chronicles his actions as the leader of a sniper team in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Native New Yorker Joe LeBleu, retired from the military, reenlisted after 9/11 and saw action of the leader of a sniper team in both Iraq and Afghanistan. This is his story.
About the Author
Joe LeBleu is a former U.S. Army Ranger and 82nd Airborne sniper team leader. His father's military service allowed him to grow up all over the world, he holds the record for the longest kill shot, 1,100 meters, in Fallujah, Iraq, in the fall of 2003. Now a civilian, he lives with his wife, Natalie, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Mike Tucker is a counterterrorism expert and Marine infantry veteranand the author of ten books, including Operation Hotel California, Hell Is Over: Voices of the Kurds After Saddam, and Among Warriors in Iraq (all Lyons Press); and five volumes of poetry. He has led and witnessed counterterrorist raids in Spain, Burma, and Iraq. He divides his time between Annapolis, Maryland, and Penang, Malaysia.
Table of Contents
Maps/Photos (Joe has over 200 photos to select from, in Iraq and Afghanistan)
Introduction: A day that changed my life forever
Introduction will cover Joes youth, growing up in Brooklyn,
tour of duty in US Army Rangers, return to NYC, and of course,
September 11thSeptember 11th is the anchor of the introduction and
Joes thoughts on September 11th weave throughout the book.
Book One: Insurgent at 1100 Meters, Lieutenant.”
Roger that. Take the shot.”
Joes combat in Iraq dominates this section, the guts of the book are all herethis is the section that will appeal most to the military reader. His affection for Natalie, which the reader will first get in the introduction, grows here and the general reader will stay hooked on the love groove. Joe saw a ton of action, including The Shot,” and the combat will no doubt draw in many readers. The witnesses to Joes seemingly-impossible shot will also recount that missionamong them are Captain Adam Bohlen, US Army 10th Mountain Division. Youre familiar with Bohlen, of course, from Among Warriors in Iraq, a book in which LeBleu appears also.
Book Two: Far Afghan Hills
Joe was on a lot of dicey, very high-risk sniper missions in Afghanistan, and his thoughts on fighting the Taliban and Al Qaeda are provocative, engaging, and intriguing. The grueling and very challenging nature of sniper missions in the rugged and remote mountains of Afghanistan provide the general reader with real contrast to the desert and urban missions of Book One. Again, Joes love for Natalie binds the narrative.
Book Three: Coming Home
The warrior at rest. Joe felt that his debt to America was paid, having served in the Rangers and the paratroopers, and trusted his gut. His transition to civilian life, back to The World,” as grunts like to put it, wasnt easy but Natalie certainly made it far less difficult than it wouldve been without her.
This section will also have Joes thoughts on training Mark Wahlberg for the film, Shooter, and his last words on the impact of September 11th on his life.