Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Some Authors are Just Crazy...
Some authors are just crazy...and lucky for readers that they are.
I have to admit that I had my doubts when my client, Patrick O’Donnell, called me up and said he was going to Iraq. He’s got a young daughter and he’s not in the military. So why would he voluntarily go to a war zone? When he returned, you could hear the adrenaline still running through his veins in every word he spoke. When he appeared on Fox to discuss his actions overseas, I was genuinely worried about the effect being in the war zone had on him personally.
Now, months and month later, the real effects of his experience are finally here for you, the reader, to see in WE WERE ONE: Shoulder-to-Shoulder with the Marines Who Took Fallujah, coming out this month from Da Capo Press. The raw emotion of the experience is there on every page.
Though, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t really Pat’s story. This is actually the story of one Marine unit that defines today’s military as the new “Greatest Generation.” This one platoon included four sets of best friends. Each of the four would lose a best friend forever.
Five months after being deployed to Iraq, Lima Company’s 1st Platoon found itself in Fallujah, embroiled in some of the most intense house-to-house, hand-to-hand combat since World War II. Civilians were used as human shields or as bait to lure soldiers into buildings rigged with explosives; suicide bombers approached from every corner hoping to die and take Americans with them; radical insurgents, high on adrenaline, fought to the death. The Marines of the 1st Platoon (part of 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment) were among the first to fight in Fallujah, and they bore the brunt of this epic battle. When it was over, the platoon had suffered thirty-five casualties, including four dead. This is their story.
America has really lost sight of the distant battle for Iraq. As we watch and read the news, we have become fatigued by the constant body counts and steady flood of bad news. And in this fatigue, we have lost our awareness that these are real men and women from families just like our own who are fighting and dying over there. And no one has put the human face on this war in quite the way that Patrick O’Donnell does in WE WERE ONE.
As we head toward November, the month of elections and Veteran’s Day, I urge you to read this book and keep those men and women and their families in mind, be it simply to show your respects on Veteran’s Day, or to inform your voting decisions. Either way, this is a book that will change your perspective on the war.
You can order a copy of it by clicking here.
Posted by Andrew Zack at 4:44 PM