The Only Thing Worth Dying For: How Eleven Green Berets Fought for a New Afghanistan
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- Jason Amerine.
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- The Only Thing Worth Dying For: How Eleven Green Berets Forged a New Afghanistan by Eric Blehm.
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Used by Visual Website Optimizer to determine if the visitor is participating in a design experiment. Incredible and heroic story. Apr 29, Ron Wroblewski rated it it was amazing Shelves: war-non-fiction. This is an excellent book about a green beret team that accompanied Harmid Karzai into Afganistan after Covers several combat actions as the group moved to take over southern Afganistan.
I didn't realize that this was the team that took friendly fire as a lb bomb from a B was mistakenly dropped on them, killing several and wounding the rest. This was because several higher ranking officers decided to break procedure and 'play' around with looking for targets were no enemy was and ca This is an excellent book about a green beret team that accompanied Harmid Karzai into Afganistan after This was because several higher ranking officers decided to break procedure and 'play' around with looking for targets were no enemy was and call down bombs on those positions.
What I didn't know, and it disturbs me, is that the nearest force to help evacuate those who needed medical assistance was a Marine force at Camp Rhino, 30 minutes away. General James Mattis, who I deeply respected, was the unit commander. He refused to send his heliocopters because he 'didn't know if a battle was going on'. Since when do Marines not head to a battle?
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Not in my Marine Corps. I have lost some respect for General Mattis because of this situation. The Air Force had to fly 3 hours to evacuate those injured, taking them to Camp Rhino, where no Marines were waiting to assist the wounded. Was that due to General Mattis also? Apr 05, Troy rated it really liked it.
Some striking parallels between this and "Lone Survivor", which I also just finished. Interestingly, this one takes place at the very beginnings of the Afghan war, with really interesting focus on Hamid Karzai before he took the international stage - and is full of optimism.
Both carry the theme of very capable, diverse and dynamic small teams of elite combat troops being tripped u Some striking parallels between this and "Lone Survivor", which I also just finished. Both carry the theme of very capable, diverse and dynamic small teams of elite combat troops being tripped up by the actions of political command decisions worried about media perceptions - in the case of "Lone Survivor", affecting the decision-making of the troops themselves, in this book driving decisions made by superiors who feel compelled to make a show of US dedication, above and beyond the actual combat actions.
Or would some would call the meddling of REMFs. Both stories leave you with a feeling of pride in our combat forces and what they can and do accomplish at the lowest, even individual, levels - and both end tragically, with a taste that somehow the system let these brave men down. Again, very happy to be finding some accounts of this war, as its true nature has been very hard to appreciate Feb 10, Paul Ruiz rated it really liked it. I haven't had much time to read so I try to be really selective before investing the time.
This book will primarily appeal to men, but I suspect many women will also find it an engaging read. The members of this A team, including a local guy I haven't had much time to read so I try to be really selective before investing the time. The members of this A team, including a local guy from Livermore, are introduced and the author, through research including interviews takes the reader behind enemy lines as this team encounters Taliban fighters, calls in airstrikes, makes very difficult life and death decisions, deals with military bureaucracy, leads Afghan guerillas, and ultimately sustains tragic, avoidable, casualties.
The nobility of these men come through in this book, and I was left with admiration, respect, and genuine affection for these soldiers and others like them doing a very difficult job far from home. Mar 08, Kyle Sheppard added it. Blehm's purpose for writing this book was to inform the readers of the sacrifices made by soldiers fighting the War on Terror after the attacks in America on September 11, This story was based on personal accounts and interviews of the members of the ODA Special Forces "A" Team, who were the first soldiers to infiltrate the southern part of Afghanistan.
Blehm was able to add credibility to this book by the personal insight and feelings of actual events as experienced by the Green Beret. Blehm retold the stories of the soldiers as they began the process to help Hamid Karzai form a government that would allow the people to vote on their leader. Throughout this book, Blehm developed the theme of loyalty. The loyalty of these soldiers included loyalty to America, the military and each other.
All eleven members of ODA were so loyal to America that they were willing to make many personal sacrifices to defend our country. The author made the readers aware and understand the level of loyalty they had as he retold the individual soldier's stories of sacrifice. Blehm further explained the belief that all Green Beret members have a partner and will never leave that partner in any situation. Actual events in this book showed that the loyalty to a soldier's partner was more important than personal safety. He also made the reader aware that many situations required the team to work together to get their objective met.
By using the actual stories as experienced by the soldiers involved, Blehm makes the audience feel what it is like to be in the war behind enemy lines.
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He does let the audience see the reality of the disasters that were caused by mistakes made by the higher ranking officials in the military and government. He also makes the audience look past those mistakes to see all the good that came out of this military operation. Showing the good and bad gives this book more credibility. I like this book because it is a true account of what life is like in the military, especially the special forces. It helps the reader to understand the personal sacrifices of soldiers fighting a war, instead of just what they might hear on the news.
I would not change anything in this book because Blehm does a good job telling the story through the soldier's eyes. This book is similar to other military special forces books I have read.
The Only Thing Worth Dying For
It has so much to say about the men who risked - and gave - their lives for a cause they believed was much bigger than themselves. And it has so much to say at this moment in our nation's hi Eric Blehm deserves every recognition he has received for the writing of "The Only Thing Worth Dying For.
And it has so much to say at this moment in our nation's history, when little men with by comparison little to lose, choose to disdain the men who fought for the freedoms they enjoy, and the flag that draped their bodies when they died heroes. Inept leaders, needless red-tape, and confused and frustrating government bureaucracy are represented with candor.
None of it is designed to make a political statement. It simply makes the decisions and the actions of the men on the ground stand out as they refuse to lose sight of their mission. When the mission ends both tragically and successfully, the character of the leadership of ODA stuns, as a decision is made to forward the mission, even though it meant absorbing undeserved blame. There is irony in this story that could not have been appreciated seven years ago when it was published, but I cannot point it out, because it would spoil the reading of the book. I wept and I am tearing up now as the story neared its end, and would not want to deprive anyone of feeling the full weight of a life lost.
But there is a valuable lesson in that loss for those who are trying to erase elements of our history because, like every other part of our history, it is tainted with human fallenness. It is possible to remember others for the good they did, while choosing to reject their flaws and live as better men.
How Eleven Green Berets Fought for a New Afghanistan
This will definitely be on my list of top reads for I highly recommend it. View 2 comments.
Jan 16, Patrick rated it it was amazing Shelves: response-to-jihad. Not having read T. Lawrence myself, I don't know whether the editor of "Valor" magazine was right to call this book "The greatest story of a small unit's battle through an untamed land since 'Lawrence of Arabia. Those Green Berets are, among other things, fine judges of character.
Blehm tells their story straight, touching on everything the team ODA thought and did. Blehm's Not having read T. Blehm's skill is such that readers will get the impression that he was "job shadowing" Captain Jason Amerine. Insights that Blehm offers into Hamid Karzai and his Afghan allies are also compelling. There are no epic fights in this book, but there don't need to be.
This is war in microcosm, as described by an author with sense enough to let warriors speak for themselves The reviewer for Publisher's Weekly who damned this book with faint praise by calling it "engrossing if glamourized" is partly wrong, by the way; Blehm injects no glamour into the story. I was skeptical of the book's subtitle when I started reading this, asking myself whether it was even possible for eleven men to forge a new country, but although things remain dicey in Afghanistan, Blehm makes good on that thesis. Significantly, former Afghan President Karzai would agree with him.
Apr 23, Diane Samdahl rated it it was amazing. I picked this book up because Blehm's first book The Last Season was so well written.
Jason Amerine - Wikipedia
Based on interviews with the men involved, Blehm recounts the story of a Special Forces troop green berets who were the first military to infiltrate southern Afghanistan in , protecting then-unknown Hamid Karzai as he rallied the Pashtun to overthrow the Taliban.
In spite of my aversion to books and movies about war, I was quickly pulled into this one and sat up late to finish it. This is not the story I picked this book up because Blehm's first book The Last Season was so well written.