In combat, men measure up. Or don't. There are no second chances.
In this vivid account of the U.S. Army's legendary 10th Mountain Division's heroic stand in the mountains of Afghanistan, Captain Sean Parnell shares an action-packed and highly emotional true story of triumph, tragedy, and the extraordinary bonds forged in battle.
At 24 years of age, U.S. Army Ranger Sean Parnell was named commander of a forty-man elite infantry platoon - a unit that came to be known as the Outlaws - and was tasked with rooting out Pakistan-based insurgents from a mountain valley along Afghanistan's eastern frontier. Parnell and his men assumed they would be facing a ragtag bunch of civilians, but in May 2006 what started out as a routine patrol through the lower mountains of the Hindu Kush became a brutal ambush. Barely surviving the attack, Parnell's men now realized that they faced the most professional and seasoned force of light infantry the U.S. Army had encountered since the end of World War II.
What followed was 16 months of close combat, over the course of which the platoon became Parnell's family: from Staff Sergeant Greg Greeson, the wise, chain-smoking veteran who never lost his cool; to Specialist Robert Pinholt, a buttoned-down conservative with the heart of a warrior and the mind of an economist; to Staff Sergeant Phil Baldwin, the platoon's voice of calm and reason, a man who sacrificed everything following the events of 9/11 - career, home, financial stability - to serve his country. But the cost of battle was high for these men: Over 80 percent were wounded in action, putting their casualty rate among the highest since Gettysburg, and not all of them made it home.
A searing and unforgettable story of friendship in battle, Outlaw Platoon brings to life the intensity and raw emotion of those 16 months, showing how the fight reshaped the lives of Parnell and his men and how the love and faith they found in one another ultimately kept them alive.
This audiobook is enhanced with a downloadable PDF containing photographs from the hardcover edition.
©2012 Sean Parnell (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers
Want to know what combat is really like
The every day courage of our fighting men
we give countries (Pakistan) billions and get stabbed in the back, and the politicians let them get away with it.
With our "busy" lives, we forget that some Americans are duty.
Absolutely! Written performance and Ray Porter is the most engaging Narrator out there!
Side by side, by staff sergeant David Bellevue.
The 2nd lieutenant... Main character
When the main character was home on leave and how his perceived new family was still at war. Really accurate.
I like the story of service and the sacrifice of the men that every American should honor.
Stop the flash backs. Everytime the story gets into action the author flashes back and the story drags on. If they cut the flash backs out the book it would be a third shorter.
As long as there was no flash backs.
While thoughts exist, words are alive and literature becomes an escape, not from, but into living. Cyril Connolly, The Unquiet Grave
For any civilian who is interested in some of the challenges and experiences of our active duty soldiers, this book will certainly give you a birds-eye view. Some days were boring and some days were exhilarating, but there was never a day where the stakes weren't high. This first-hand account of the Outlaw platoon is written in a clear and concise manner that doesn't downplay nor inflate the heroic efforts of this platoon; the authors share the good the bad and the ugly and allow the reader to be the judge.
I was very engaged in this story and at times didn't want to stop listening. I was a very active listener in that I shed a few tears, I laughed and - at times - I talked back back to it.
As we all know, a narrator can make or break an audiobook. Ray Porter did a great job with the narration, so no complaints there either.
Altogether I was thoroughly pleased with every aspect of this book.
This book is a great read/listen giving you a first hand account of what our troops have gone through in Afghanistan. It's a real, raw gritty insight into the bonds that are forged through war. Hope they bring this story to the big screen soon.
Yes absolutely, Sean Parnell introduces all his men and you feel you know them. You get absorbed into their everyday lives and the futility of us being in Afganistan.
The funeral service at the end.
I'm not overly given to outbursts of emotion but as I was driving I had tears running down my face.
Our young men who fight as they are called by their country to do so, question our so called ally Pakistan.
Poor old USA and her allies who have gone into Afghanistan and try to help these people only to be faced with duplicitous politicians, traitors, charlatans, thieves and liars.
What a waste of our young men called to protect, I weep for the cream of our young men who serve us and are so shabbily treated by the politicians from our respective countries.
The timbre of his voice and the emotion he brought to the story - excellent
Weep for our young men who give themselves to an undeserving people.
Or, Try bringing peace to Islam - futile at best!
Literately - read it and weep.
Of my last 12 years of two books a month, this one is in my top ten.Great story flow, and narration.
The honesty and the blend of details. If you liked Black Hawk Down you'll love this.
the dogs - RIP
well done inflections and accents - didn't overdo it
Sean's relationship with his father is intense and visceral
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.
I look for books with ideas on multiple levels, a good story, and a bit of fun.
Stories of war frequently fall into simplistic clichés, with portrayals of faultless heroes fighting nameless evil. Sean Parnell though, has avoided all the clichés (well almost all) to write a lucid, engrossing depiction of war in the 21st century.
He provides a rich, complete picture of the infantryman's experience, both physical and psychological, when trying to enforce peace in the face of insurgency. Sean avoids the political issues of why US soldiers are in Afghanistan, but doesn't shy away from the realities that his soldiers face as a result.
The book's most important contributions comprise its examination of the motives of each soldier for going to war, and how the army's organisation, their training, and their battle experience builds the intense brotherhood between them. In this Sean has given a contemporary perspective on a profession as old as human civilisation, that of the warrior.
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