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Two of the grittiest, most intense tales of courage and camaraderie under fire that I own are Black Hawk Down and Lone Survivor. Now I have a third: Outlaw Platoon. It’s the Black Hawk Down for the 21st Century. It is an absolutely gripping, edge-of-your-seat ride that follows these men when the fates foolishly attempt to stack the deck against them. This book has Hollywood blockbuster written all over it. But there’s much more than just the guns-blazing action. It is an epic tale of leadership, heroism, and the bond among warriors who ply their deadly trade with a deceivingly simple mandate—to kill the enemy and return home together alive. It’s an absolute must read!Brad Thor Interviews Sean Parnell
Brad Thor: What was your first day like on the ground in Afghanistan’s eastern frontier?
Sean Parnell: The moment I arrived at Forward Operating Base Bermel, the insurgents attacked the base with rocket fire. They missed the FOB, but hit a local village, killing and wounding a number of children. The villagers rushed their injured to our front gate, and I ran to help. Our troops wanted to help all of the children, but the Afghan fathers insisted the boys be treated first. I grabbed a little girl anyways and sprinted for the aid station. She bled out in my arms as I ran.
That was my introduction to combat. All I was, all I had been, changed in that instant.
Thor: What surprised you about the enemy in Afghanistan?
Parnell: We found an enemy that wasn’t a bunch of farmers with leftover weapons, but one of the finest light infantry forces in the world. These fighters were brilliantly led, seasoned warriors. Some had spent their entire lives in combat—stretching back to the Soviet War in the 1980’s. They were elusive, heavily armed and extremely well equipped with the latest armor-piercing bullets, anti-tank weapons, body armor, and other gear essential to ground operations.
They also had no mercy. None. Their objective was to overrun an American platoon, behead everyone and stick our heads on stakes. In battle, we heard them on the radio ordering their teams to do this, and we saw the huge knives they carried for the task.
They did their best to overrun us three times. But we were better. Just barely.
Thor: Describe the bond forged in battle—the loyalty and bravery you saw and why you think that’s vital to success.
Parnell: During my 16 months in combat I saw the noblest aspects of the human spirit, thanks to the bond that developed among the men. We realized that the only way we could survive this crucible was to remain committed to each other. Not for ourselves, but to ensure that we would survive to see our loved ones back home again.
Thor: How would you describe the men in your platoon?
Parnell: In a word: unique. Our army mirrors the country it’s sworn to protect, and I think the Outlaws reflected America’s greatest strength: diversity. My men came from all walks of life. They believed in American exceptionalism with every fiber of their being. And if they were similar in any way, it was in this ideal.
I great first hand account of a combat deployment to Afghanistan, as well as an expose on leadership and the comraderie built and shared between brothers-in-arms.Published 1 day ago by Lorelai_5
I read every book I can get my hands on about what happened and is still happening in Afghanistan because my son-in-law was deployed there when he was in the Army. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Tonya Felder
Very well written, the author painted a very realistic picture of life outside the wire.Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
Well written and an amazing narration of incredible soldiers. Highly recommended this book to anyone who wants to know about how what our guys go through.Published 6 days ago by Jackson Ware
Well done. An excellent exploration of bond between warriors.Published 11 days ago by Kenneth Alexander
Gritty, ground level account of combat in Afghanistan and the brotherhood of war. The story follows Sean Parnell from his first time as a young officer leading his platoon into the... Read morePublished 11 days ago by Amazon Customer
This is one of the finest accounts of what it is like to be in combat that I have read. Sean and John have put in words what it is like to make tough tactical combat decisions -... Read morePublished 12 days ago by william gentner
Reading this book is almost like being in their shoes. Also covers the political aspects of the war that the military must put up withPublished 16 days ago by Jay Yakeley