I listen to and have recently started to write reviews. I've found the reviews have helped me to select books.
Sean Parnell served in Afghanistan and this is his true account of what occurred while he served as the commander of a platoon of 40 elite infantry men. Sean and his platoon formed a family together. That was the only way he ever considered those he commanded. The men named themselves, The Outlaws and they were known by the army as the legendary 10th Mountain Brigade. They all grew to love one another and worked together as a unit when in combat with the opposing side as well as when they were at their base of command. Sean and his platoon watched out for one another at all times. On the very high, as well as low valley's that created the dangerous terrain that makes up the landscape of Afghanistan, the men were a team of brother's. There was a difference about the way the Afghanistan soldier's conducted themselves during the many conflicts that Sean and his platoon had to battle and not be defeated. It was realized quickly, that the Afghan soldier's that they were fighting against had been well trained in how to fight their opponent. Sean and his team of NCO's had to draw up specific plans of how they would have to fight a more aggressive and learned group of Afghan's than what they had expected. Many of their conflicts depended on calling in for extra support. A Delta Force returned from a battle against the Afghan army and they had lost. Their moral was so devastatingly low that they affected all of the other platoon's deeply. It was at this time that Sean and his men vowed to never retreat from battle. During one very intense battle, Sean and his platoon considered the need to retreat. However, all of their Humvee's had been too damaged and there was no escape. Until extra support arrived, Sean had to be their leader and devise an attack that would hopefully save his family. Baldwin had been seriously wounded and his fellow soldier, the medic, threw his body over Baldwin's to save him from death. The medic sustained a serious injury to his cheek when he was hit. Sean pulled Baldwin away from the fighting to safety with Baldwin saying, "I can't feel my legs." The medic gathered himself together, retrieved a weapon and went back to fight and to stop and attend to the wounded, when necessary. This team, group, platoon, family of soldier's would not quit while there was one man standing. They stood together and they would fight together until the bitter end, if necessary.
My favorite character was Sergeant Greg Greeson. He had been in the army for 20 years. When in battle, he conducted himself with such calmness that the other men were amazed. His calmness was felt by his comrades in arms and would bring them back down slowly but surely. He would always be seen with a cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth and a near beer grasped in his left hand. Greeson's voice was deep and gravely from his three packs a day of smokes. He told Sean, when he retired from the army that he would "work with guns and be an alcoholic." He was one man who knew where he belonged, in a foreign country, in the army and fighting for his country.
Ray Porter was an excellent narrator. Reading the book would never have brought justice to such a great book. His narration was spot on for all of the character's. This proved amazing to me because there were many character's in the book and I could recognize who was speaking. I will look for his name in the future and of course, add him to my list of narrator's who are worth listening to.
Captain, U.S. Army Ranger, Commander Sean Parnell and his Platoon of Extraordinary Men
I'd advise anyone who is interested in this genre of books to not hesitate to purchase this one. You will not be disappointed. The book was emotional, thought provoking and was written by a man who loved his men and wanted the world to know them.
This is a great story, and a great read by Ray Porter. (I think he might have also read Ghost in The Wires as well.) This is the kind of book you wish there was a part 3 and 4 too. I highly recommend listening to this book if you are interested in this subject matter. It makes you think as well as laugh out loud.
This book illuminates the fact that this country STILL produces great YOUNG citizens and warriors, despite not being considered the Greatest generation, etc. From my foxhole, this young leader and his Soldiers ARE the best generation, because what they are doing is relevant. My only complaint is that non-infantry Soldiers were characterized as lazy and unexposed to regular danger. Perhaps this is true, to some extent, but I know more than a few non combat arms soldiers what have been seriously injured or killed in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the taliban has little sympathy for anyone wearing an American flag; moreover, when they are killed, they are just as dead as our infantry, armor, and artillery brothers
This is a profound example of the grit and sacrifice asked of our troops. Lt. Parnell does an excellent job covering the details that forge the bonds of brotherhood and reveals the character of true leaders.
Having spent 4 years in USAF Security Forces, followed by four years with Army Infantry, I am deeply grateful for both the work of these men and for the depth of skill in relating their story.
Often intense moments mixed with context to fulfill what the author was portraying. Be warned, it hold very little to the imagination with some gruesome details. Only negative was some of the mundane descriptions throughout added length with little to add to the story but that was made up for when discussing the details those warriors had to endure.
I started listening to this book right after I finished listening to another book which I really liked. There was a contrast in writing style and narration that almost made me set it aside. After just a few minutes I was hooked. I found myself hanging on every word. I was drawn in and didn't even know it. It's a fantastic book with an amazing story.
As a veteran of the US Army, I have never been more proud. The soldiers , friends and families that gave back so much to our country should be praised and honored for their devotion and commitment to each other, this great nation and the people of Afghanistan whom they gave all to help.
Thank you to Sean and all the men of Outlaw platoon for your sacrifice. You have no idea how much what you do means to this country. This book is outstanding. Really lets you into the action... Must read