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Shadow of the Sword: A Marine's Journey of War, Heroism, and Redemption Hardcover – September 15, 2009
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"In writing this moving and incredibly honest book, Workman shows at least as much courage as he did in Fallujah. His story gives hope to anyone who struggles that they, too, can overcome if they just keep fighting—one day at a time, one battle at a time, one victory at a time."—Donovan Campbell, author of Joker One
"Workman shows unflinching honesty and gut twisting bravery by sharing with us his complicated journey to normalcy after his seemingly endless battle through hell. This may be the most important book of our Warrior generation and proves that Workman deserves to be in a separate class of American hero." —David Bellavia, author of House to House
"A searing account…In its depiction of combat, Shadow of the Sword ranks with Marcus Luttrell's Lone Survivor."—Wall Street Journal
"This superior addition to the literature on the Iraq War is an exceptionally vivid account of combat and its aftermath…[Workman] provides a harrowing level of detail about the combat…Workman's testimony gives hope that those suffering the nightmare of PTSD can free themselves sufficiently to avoid becoming additional casualties of the current war."—Booklist
About the Author
John R. Bruning is the author or co-author of ten books, including Ghost, The Devil’s Sandbox, House to House, and How to Break a Terrorist. He lives in Oregon with his wife and children.
Top Customer Reviews
Meanwhile, Workman weaves in his encounters with personal demons born in Fallujah. For his heroism in that grisly battle against Jihadists, Workman received the Navy Cross for heroism --- "the highest award for bravery" the U.S. gives to servicemen, and second only to the Congressional Medal of Honor. It was awarded to only 18 men since 9/11, most of them posthumously.
Like all survivors of trauma that killed family or friends, however, Workman felt unworthy. He felt that in reality, his deceased best friends, fallen in Fallujah --- Montana cut-up Raleigh Smith, Hoosier Lance Cpl. Eric Hillenburg and fellow Mustang-lover James Phillips --- had earned the medal given to him. So had the other surviving Marines --- Bronx-born Phillip Levine (who lost family on 9/11), Cpl. Steve Snell, Lance Cpl. Jason Flannery, Sgt, Sam Gardiola, Smith's best friend Jerrad Hebert, and Sergeant Jarrett Kraft (a non-commissioned officer whose WWII and FBI veteran grandfather blessed the returning Workman in Navajo "for protecting my grandson"), and others.
As heroic as were Workman's battlefield efforts, all the more so are his descriptions of the causes, effects and difficulties of recovering from post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD).Read more ›
This book is about the PTSD that affected one particular solider. He is a marine who fought in the tough urban environment of Fallujah in Iraq. As a Corporal, he commanded a section of Marines as they were engaged in house clearing operations in that city. On one of their patrols, his platoon ran into an intense fire fight that lasted over three hours and resulted in three of his mates being killed. Corporal Workman's heroism during the fire fight was astounding and resulted in him being awarded the Navy Cross which is the second highest medal given for heroism under fire, second only to the Medal of Honor. While Workman did all that he could possibly do, three Marines died and he suffered from PTSD as a result.
This entire book is written as a first person account of what PTSD feels like to one of its victims. The chapters are short and they bounce around between events in Workman's life after he comes back from Iraq, and flashbacks to those three hours of the battle. It actually starts with a nightmare sequence that Workman has when he is already in the States as a way to set the stage. The writing style is perfectly suited to the story it tells.Read more ›
I highly recommend this book without reservation to any and all readers who wish to gain a better understanding about the true nature of modern day combat, and of the dedicated men and women who choose to serve in the armed forces. "Shadow of the Sword" could not have been an easy book for Workman to write, and he is to be congratulated on a difficult and important job very well performed.
Superficially put, SHADOW OF THE SWORD is about the events that led to Marine S/Sgt. Jeremiah Workman being awarded the Navy Cross after his return from Iraq. In reality, however, it is two stories: what really happened that day in Fajullah, when his squad bumped into 40 heavily armed and coked-up insurgents ready to fight to the death; and how Workman deals with the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), called in other wars "shell shock", "battle fatigue" or, most notoriously, "lack of moral fibre." The reader will perhaps be a bit surprised (or maybe not) to know that while the military does the utmost to prepare its troops for combat, until very recently, it had neither understanding nor any particular interest in preparing them for the mental and emotional aftermath. So perhaps you could say SHADOW is three stories:
1. The fight against the insurgents.
2. The fight against PTSD.
3. The fight to educated the military and the general public about PTSD.
All three of Workman's battles are brutal and difficult to read about. The chaotic firefight in Iraq goes on and on in a hell of deafening noise and confusion. The terrible physical and mental effects of PTSD wreck Workman's marriage and push him to the brink of suicide. And the struggle to get the hypermasculinzed culture of the Marine Corps to acknowledge that even the toughest devil-dog may be driven to his knees by psychological stress...that may be the toughest one of all.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a poignant autobiography of a U. S. Marine who still suffers from PTSD as a result of his combat experience. Read morePublished 4 months ago by C E Voigtsberger Jr
An extremely tough story to read for it tells of the horrific battle and the aftermath it had on the author who experienced it all.Published 10 months ago by Joseph Fels
Riveting and insightful, I could not put this book down. Staff Sgt Workman, thank you for sharing your brutally honest story. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Kindle Customer
All of Congress should be required to read this book. It will make you cry.Published 14 months ago by Taco
Jeremiah is a good man. War changes people. We met before the combat. I wish him and his family the best.Published 19 months ago by Robert G. San Socie
As good as most first-person combat recollections go. Too much dwelling on PTSD for my taste as someone carrying a 80% disability rating from combat injuries as a Marine in VietnamPublished 19 months ago by Edward Burke
This is a must read book that is an eye opener into a life of a marine. It truly helped me to understand what they go through each and everyday. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Nikki