From Publishers Weekly
Flynn (Land of Radioactive Midnight
) draws on his experience as a company commander with the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment of the New York National Guard—the Fighting 69th of Civil War, WWI and WWII fame—for this riveting account of the unit's service following 9/11. Considered the worst unit in the National Guard, at the turn of the 21st century, according to Flynn, the 69th was under-trained, under-resourced, and under-led. Activated on 9/11, its soldiers were the first to arrive at ground zero, and then guarded New York City's bridges and tunnels and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. In 2004, after retraining, the unit was flagged Task Force Wolfhound and certified for overseas deployment, but was barely functional in the field. In Iraq, the 69th provided route security along a six-mile stretch known as 'The Most Dangerous Road in the World,' the main highway between the airport and downtown Baghdad. Learning on the job, the 69th effectively neutralized the roadside bomb threat that has caused a high percentage of the war's casualties, but paid a heavy price in its own killed and injured. Drawing on combat journals, operations orders and interviews with survivors, Flynn fashions a tale equal to the making of the new, contemporary heroes of the Fighting 69th who, against all odds, restored a previously distinguished unit to its former glory. (Jan.)
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About the Author
Sean Michael Flynn served as the Fighting 69th assistant operations officer during the unit’s service at Ground Zero, commander of Alpha Company during its homeland defense duty at West Point, and commander of Bravo Company during the 69th’s service in Iraq. A captain awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his services in Iraq, Flynn is one of the few Irish-Americans remaining in the once all-Irish 69th and a direct descendent of Civil War veterans of the Regiment. Before joining the Army National Guard as an infantryman, Flynn served on active duty in the U.S. Air Force. Flynn has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland at College Park.
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