"Ranger, Ranger, you die Somalia!" shouted the enraged Somali voices surrounding Blackhawk helicopter pilot Michael J. Durant, his bird shot down by a well-placed rocket-propelled grenade. With his devastating injuries, Durant would be lucky to survive the night.
"Mike Durant...Mike Durant..." came the disembodied voice floating above the war-torn streets of Mogadishu, mixed in with the steady drone of a large U.S. Army helicopter. "Mike Durant...We will not leave without you!"
Piloting a U.S. Army Special Operations Blackhawk, Durant was shot down and captured on October 3, 1993, in the battle depicted in Mark Bowden's best-selling book Black Hawk Down. Durant became a prisoner of Somali warlord Mohammed Aidid -- the man responsible for prolonging starvation in his country by hijacking United Nations food shipments. U.S. policy makers had determined that capturing Aidid was the only way to restore order. The simple snatch-and-grab plan, named Operation Gothic Serpent, turned into the biggest U.S. Firefight since the Vietnam War.
Durant's experience as a prisoner in Somalia grew increasingly bizarre, crystallizing a clash of cultures by turns frightening, melancholy, hilarious, and strangely familiar. Revealing never-before-told stories with the incisive thought and emotion of one who was there, In the Company of Heroes is one man's unforgettable, true story of going to hell and making it back alive.
©2003 Simon & schuster (P)2003 Michael J. Durant
While the world was riveted by "Blackhawk Down" as a movie, I met Mike afterwards because he & my wife were both Warrant Officers going thru training long after Somalia.... in person, he is just as genuine as he sounds in this gut wrenching narrative.... Men find amazing strength when they are presented with unfathomable challenges.... so true, Mike is just one of the few survivors of that crucible.
Holy f*cking sh*t
A great American
Him surviving captivity and the Red Cross worker
If you don't live you never know
This is one of those times when I wish someone else had done the reading.
With all due respect, Mr. Durant, you wrote an amazing story, but I think you should have let someone else read it and stick to flying helicopters. The author drones on, with almost no inflection, interminably. I got through it because of the story, but only just...
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