Honoring the Unsung Heroes in the War on Terror
269 pages. Eight black-and-white photo pages. Index.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Preface - The Best Among Us
- Marine Captain Brian Chontosh; Rochester, New York; Navy Cross, Iraq
Marine Corporal Armand McCormick; Mount Pleasant, Iowa; Silver Star, Iraq
Marine Sergeant Robert Kerman; Klamath Falls, Oregon; Silver Star, Iraq
- Army Sergeant First Class Javier Camacho; Bayamon, Puerto Rico; New Port Richey, Florida; Silver Star, Iraq
- Marine Sergeant Marco Martinez; Las Cruces, New Mexico; Navy Cross, Iraq
- Air Force Master Sergeant William "Calvin" Markham; Waukesha, Wisconsin; Silver Star, Afghanistan
- Army Master Sergeant Patrick Quinn; Cromwell, Connecticut; Silver Star, Iraq
- Marine First Sergeant Justin LeHew; Temecula, California; Navy Cross, Iraq
- Navy Hospital Corpsman Third Class Luis Fonseca, Jr.; Fayetteville, North Carolina; Navy Cross, Iraq
- Army Sergeant Micheaux Sanders; Goldsboro, North Carolina; Silver Star, Iraq
- Army National Guard Sergeant Leigh Ann Hester; Bowling Green, Kentucky; Silver Star, Iraq
Army National Guard Specialist Jason Mike; Radcliff, Kentucky; Silver Star, Iraq
Army National Guard Staff Sergeant Timothy Nein; Henryville, Indiana; Silver Star, Iraq
- Air Force Staff Sergeant Stephen Achey; Sumter, South Carolina; Silver Star, Afghanistan
- Marine Captain Brent Morel; McKenzie, Tennessee; Navy Cross, Iraq
Marine Sergeant William Copeland III; Smithfield, Utah; Navy Cross, Iraq
- Army Lieutenant Colonel Mark Mitchell; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Distinguished Service Cross, Afghanistan
- Army Sergeant First Class Paul Ray Smith; Tampa, Florida; Medal of Honor, Iraq
- Marine Sergeant Rafael Peralta; Tijuana, Mexico; San Diego, California; Purple Heart, Nominated for the Medal of Honor, Iraq
Afterword - Have the Mainstream Media Ignored Our Heroes?
As you have guessed from the chapter titles, this book chronicles nineteen instances of heroism from the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The book is co-authored by the late Caspar W. Weinberger, a former U.S. Secretary of Defense, who died before the book's publication. The book's title comes from a line in the U.S. national anthem.
We wrote Home of the Brave because we believe deeply that this generation has, in fact, done America justice by living up to the sterling service and sacrifice of its predecessors. And that's no small feat.... Perhaps because of the seriousness of their life's calling, today's soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines are in touch with history in ways most civilians simply are not.
Each chapter introduces one or more members of the U.S. armed forces, often telling something about their background or their motivation for joining the service, and then relates the reason why they were honored with an award - this may be a single combat event, or a series of efforts throughout a campaign. Some of the awards were bestowed posthumously. Many chapters close by publishing the official citation that goes with the award.
Army Master Sergeant Patrick Quinn - SILVER STAR (p.79-80):
...Thr breadth of knowledge and varied skill set required of Special Forces officers makes these soldiers uniquely prepared to meet the complex challenges posed by terrorism. These "Renaissance men" of the American military have a unique credo, one that captures the overarching purpose of America's entrance into Operation Iraqi Freedom: De Oppresso Liber - To Free the Oppressed.
The depth of Master Sergeant Patrick Quinn's commitment to this code would be tested when, as the leader of his twelve-man team, he was charged with coordinating with a group of Kurdish militia to battle an Iraqi armored unit April 205, 2003....
Quinn's detachment faced off with the Iraqi Fourth and Sixteenth Infantry divisions, the Iraqi Ninety-sixth Infantry Brigade, and a battalion of Fedayeen Saddam (literally "Men of Sacrifice") fighters.
Some wargamers will, naturally, be inspired by these men (and woman) and want to recreate their situations on the tabletop. In some cases, the accounts are too compressed and lack sufficient detail (such as Master Sergeant Patrick Quinn's exploits mentioned above). This book also lacks maps and Orders of Battle. However, most of the accounts are detailed enough to base a wargame scenario on, and in some cases additional sources are listed.
Marine Captain Brian Chontosh etc. (pp.27-8):
Equally adept were McCormick's driving skills. He floored the Humvee while averting enemy fire before whipping the vehicle into a tight indentation in the berm that served as a makeshift "parking spot." The area inside the enemy nest was large, about 200 meters or so in size. A trench lay just across the way. Chontosh, Kerman and McCormick leapt out of the vehicle. Franklin stayed on the .50 caliber, Korte on the radio.
"I jumped out," said McCormick. "Franklin asked me for a can of ammo. 'Tosh' and Kerman are running down into the trench. I caught up to them and ran in there too. We ran almost 200 yards. That's when all hell breaks loose. There were guys everywhere. I was just shooting. There were enemy everywhere. There were people five feet in front of us. We had to run by and double tap to make sure they were gone as we made our way down the trench....I holstered my 9 mm and grabbed an AK-47 that was laying on the ground. But the enemy were on top of us. Just right there, right on us. There was nothing to duck behind," McCormick recalls.
The only negative aspect of this book, for some readers, will be the political content (chiefly in the Preface and Afterword). The authors, while championing these brave men and women of the armed forces, also are of the viewpoint that the news media are suppressing their stories for political reasons. Consequently, this book takes on a bit of a partisan political air. Fortunately, the politics is largely absent in the actual accounts of combat.
This book is highly recommended for anyone looking for reference material on the recent fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. The paperback version has made the rounds already in the dollar stores, while most of the book appears to be downloadable through Google Books
Reviewed by Editor in Chief Bill .