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Wednesday, January 08, 2014

If You Liked Lone Survivor, Try These Books

Which movies are on your must-see list this year? Perhaps one of them is Lone Survivor, which opens in wide release on Friday. Mark Wahlberg stars in this movie based on the best-selling autobiography of former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell. In June 2005, Luttrell alone survived when his four-man SEAL team was ambushed by Taliban fighters. He was rescued by a group of Afghan Pashtun villagers after an American rescue attempt ended in tragedy. The helicopter carrying the rescue party was shot down, killing all 16 soldiers onboard. Luttrell eventually made it to safety with the help of his protectors and penned a gripping account of his ordeal in Lone Survivor.

If you’re interested in reading more eyewitness accounts from the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan, check out these titles:

The Good SoldiersJournalist David Finkel spent eight months embedded with an Army infantry battalion during the “surge” in Iraq, and this remarkable work of reporting is the result. His fascinating and moving follow-up, Thank You for Your Service, chronicles the challenges those same soldiers face when they return from war and attempt to remake their lives back home.

Paradise General: Riding the Surge ata Combat Hospital – Dave Hnida was a family physician in Littleton, Colo., when he decided at age 48 to join the military reserves in the midst of the Iraq war. This account describes his second tour of Iraq when he headed the trauma unit at a Combat Support Hospital during the 2007 “surge”.

Adult and teen audiences will enjoy Ghosts of War: The True Story of a 19-year-old G.I. by Ryan Smithson, a 2012-2013 Virginia Readers’ Choice nominee. Smith’s memoir fills a void in the first-person narratives which tend to be written by those much older or with extraordinary stories. His experience is representative of the typical American soldier – a young man desperately trying to navigate the perils of war and return home safe to his family.

No Easy Day: The First hand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama Bin Laden – When Navy SEAL Team Six killed Bin Laden in Pakistan in May 2011, “Mark Owen” (his pen name) was on the ground. As a member of the 24-man elite team, Owen participated in the raid and provides a blow-by-blow account of it in this memoir.

Search here for these and similar personal narratives in the library’s online catalog.

- Ginger Hawkins, Centreville Regional Library

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