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Seal of Honor: Operation Red Wings and the Life of Lt. Michael P. Murphy, USN Paperback – April 5, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gary Williams is a graduate of the University of Dayton with a master's degree in public administration. Married with six children, he is a career 30-year employee with the State of Ohio. He is the author of the Siege in Lucasville.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (April 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591149657
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591149651
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (408 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gary Williams was born in Upper Sandusky, OH. The son of a Korean War combat veteran, he and his siblings were raised with a near reverent respect for those who wear our Nation's uniform. He is a retired career public servant and holds a B.S. in Human Resource Management and Leadership from Franklin University and a Master's of Public Administration from the University of Dayton.

He is an award-winning author having published: Siege In Lucasville: An Eyewitness Account and Critical Review of Ohio's Worst Prison Riot in 2003; SEAL of Honor: Operation Red Wings and the Life of LT Michael P. Murphy, USN in 2010; Heart of A Lion: The Leadership of LT Michael P. Murphy, U.S. Navy SEAL in 2012; co-produced the critically acclaimed documentary MURPH: The Protector and released Guardian of Guadalcanal: The World War II Story of Douglas A. Munro, United States Coast Guard in 2014.

SEAL of Honor is listed on the U.S. Navy's Essential Reading Program and Guardian of Guadalcanal is listed on the Coast Guard Commandant's Professional Reading List. In 2015 Guardian received the prestigious Benjamin Franklin Silver Medal from the Independent Book Publisher's Association and the Military Writer's Society of America's Silver Medal for biographies.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

133 of 145 people found the following review helpful By A.J. Tata Author of Foreign and Domestic on May 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
SEAL of Honor is a compelling read chock full of lessons learned for military and civilian alike. It is a tearjerker from the very beginning and Gary Williams does an excellent job of capturing the duality of our everyday peaceful lives here in the United States and the exceptional heroism and harrowing tragedies that occur overseas. He does this by highlighting the daily rhythm of the families involved that remain relatively unchanged until the news seeping out of Afghanistan provides a clue that Michael Murphy might have been near the action. All of the key figures in the book had continued on their daily regimen, worried, certainly upset that warriors had been killed and wounded, but of course thinking it had to be someone else. Then, with the news that Michael was involved, the world stopped for his loving parents, fiancé, friends, peers, and extended family around the Long Island and the Naval Special Warfare communities. This book works on many levels. First, it is an evenhanded account of a young man's drive to become a Navy SEAL despite several other life path opportunities. Some men and women just want to serve their country and Michael Murphy was of that noble gene pool. Second, SEAL of Honor captures the agony of those on the home front as they pine for their loved ones in harm's way and pray that the government vehicle doesn't stop in front of their house and officers in full dress uniform don't appear on their doorstep. Importantly, SEAL of Honor is also a trove of leadership lessons that future generations of service men and women can read, debate, and study as they formulate their own unique leadership styles. As an author of thriller fiction I always study heroes, real life and fictional, and the best heroes are humble, selfless, hard working, and determined.Read more ›
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Seal Of Honor is the rest of the story of Lt. Mike Murphy, who was with Marcus Luttrell in the mountains of Afghanistan when their SEAL team was detected and attacked by Al-Qaeda/Taliban forces in 2005 (as relayed in 'Lone Survivor').

This book is in some sense the sequel to 'Lone Survivor' with very little overlap between them. It is in many ways a memorial in that so much time/space is spent on the memorial service/funeral of Mike Murphy at the beginning and again at the end, including details on each person lost, his brief history, his awards and decorations, and his final resting place.

Actually only 25 pages of 216, (from pgs 128-150) actually talk about Murphy's time in Afghanistan. So if you are looking for a page-turner to take on the plane or beach, this is NOT it.

The book rather spends it's time talking about Murphy's family and fiancee and how they heard the news of his death, his memorial and funeral arrangements and procession, then goes on for quite some time about SEAL training and structure,...after the 25 pages about the battle, the next 20 pages cover the other soldiers and SpecOps forces that were lost one-by-one, then we travel back to Mike's family as they visit other memorials up to accepting the Medal of Honor from the President and setting up a series of memorial funds that benefit other families and aspiring SEALS.

The book has a hushed tone and indeed I felt that way myself reading through it. However, it feels 'long' as memorial services and funerals usually do. No disrespect is meant here, but not knowing any of the families personally, one feels as if you were in the back row trying to grasp/understand while feeling badly for the families up front.
Recommended for those who love the SEALS and want to honor a great soldier by feeling as if they too are there, honoring a brave and loved son and SEAL and friend.
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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Joel R. VINE VOICE on May 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"Seal of Honor", by Gary Williams, is the biography of LT Michael P. Murphy, USN, the first man to be honored with the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions in the mountains of Afghanistan. The actions of LT Murphy and his heavily outnumbered SEAL team are documented in Marcus Luttrell's outstanding book "Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10". "Seal of Honor" reaches far beyond the battlefield to offer the reader insights into how this hero came to be.

Ingrained into every SEAL, is the ethos that the team is more important than self. Williams appropriately begins the the book by focusing on a SEAL's first team - his family. Reconstructing the events as told through personal interviews with the family, Williams exposes the reader to the uncertainty, the shock, and the disbelief experienced by LT Murphy's parents, siblings, and fiancee as they relive the casualty notification process - the process by which they learned their beloved Michael was at first missing and then recovered from the unforgiving mountains of the Hindu Kush. The reader also experiences the incredibly emotionally moving tribute given to LT Murphy by fellow warriors as his remains are transported from Afghanistan back to the United States. The reader then follows the solemn procession as Michael is transported to his final duty station at Calverton National Cemetery. As the reader is awed by the massive outpouring of community support, you begin to wonder how such a young man made such a huge impact on the community.
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