American Heroes: On the Homefront

American Heroes: On the Homefront

4.5 7
by Oliver North
     
 

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From the New York Times bestselling author of Heroes Proved, a moving and inspirational chronicle of our national heroes’ sacrifices and triumphs in Iraq and Afghanistan, after their return to the homefront.

Combat-decorated Marine Oliver North delivers a riveting firsthand account of the extraordinary young American volunteers—the best and

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Overview

From the New York Times bestselling author of Heroes Proved, a moving and inspirational chronicle of our national heroes’ sacrifices and triumphs in Iraq and Afghanistan, after their return to the homefront.

Combat-decorated Marine Oliver North delivers a riveting firsthand account of the extraordinary young American volunteers—the best and bravest of their generation—who stepped forward to defend us from radical Islamic terror. For more than a dozen years North and his award-winning documentary team from FOX News Channel’s War Stories have traveled to the frontlines of the War on Terror to profile the dedicated men and women who serve our nation in harm’s way and chronicle what it truly means to be a hero. This time, he follows them from the battlefield to the homefront and finds extraordinary inspiration in their triumph over life-altering adversity.

In this new volume of his New York Times bestselling American Heroes series, North describes in vivid detail the breathtaking courage, steadfast commitment, and resilient strength of those who serve—and those who love them. The term “selfless devotion” may be a cliché to many in our modern culture—but not to the men and women on the pages of this book. Their stories resound with bravery, a warrior ethos, and spiritual strength that ought to encourage us all.

Heroes are people who knowingly place themselves at risk for the benefit of others. They give of themselves, literally and physically. Since the terror attack of 9-11- 01, more than 2 million young Americans have volunteered to serve in difficult and dangerous places. No military force in history has been asked to do more than those who have served and sacrificed in this long fight. They are American heroes. So too are their loved ones here at home. These are their stories.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
2013-10-20
True stories of the men and women who put their lives in danger to defend the United States from terrorists. Combat-decorated former Marine North (Heroes Proved, 2013, etc.) and former Marine and FBI agent Hamer take readers on a tension-filled ride from the battlefields of Afghanistan and Vietnam to the living rooms of the American men and women who serve and protect their fellow Americans. "This book is about celebration, not devastation," writes North. "It's about men and women and even children who triumphed over their individual tragedies." What the authors reveal are the personal stories told by the enlisted and their spouses and families as they prepare to leave on long deployments as well as what happens upon their return. Trained to sweep for IEDs, the soldiers conduct some of the most dangerous work in Afghanistan, where any disturbed dirt might hide an IED. Living in sweltering heat and eating dried rations, each day on patrol is taut, and each story places readers on edge as the tension builds toward the inevitable, that one step that changes everything. The men and women venture out "whole" only to return missing one or more limbs or, in some cases, not to return at all. Often newly married or with a baby on the way, these warriors are suddenly confronted with new challenges as they face painful surgeries and amputations, months of hospital stays and rehabilitation, and the process of learning to live with multiple handicaps. Despite all this, they often agree to do it again. Supplemented by color photographs, the stories are straightforward, honest testimonials to the courage American troops display on and off the battlefield. Authentic narratives of the men and women of the armed forces who have sacrificed for their country.
Publishers Weekly
North is a retired Marine infantry veteran of Vietnam and was a key player in the Iran-Contra affair. This book is a mostly workmanlike presentation of his experiences as a war correspondent for FOX (which shares copyright on this book) as the U.S. invaded Iraq. Any political uproar it may cause is likely to stem largely from Pavlovian responses to the name of the author, a response that ignores that he has written both fiction and nonfiction as well as having been a Marine officer. So it is hardly surprising that he does excellent work covering a Marine aviation unit, one appointed to transport assault troops and evacuate wounded in aging helicopters-never without risk and sometimes with bloody incidents. These are vividly and knowledgeably described, as is the Marines' courage and professionalism. Nor is it surprising to witness the empathy between a retired Marine about to become a grandfather and younger Marines about to see combat. The briefer coverage of the armored units of the 4th Infantry Division is a little frustrating, and the polemics against antiwar journalists and politicians, while unlikely to offend readers who share the author's views, feel redundant. So does the capsule history of Iraq in the appendix, although well-written enough to give the author credibility as a popular historian. Even the larger issue of the linkage between a correspondent, a network and a publisher who are all politically simpatico can hardly be made into anything especially sinister without the same kind of political partisanship that the book exhibits in its less inspiring moments. DVD of Fox News North special not seen by PW. (Dec.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781476714325
Publisher:
Threshold Editions
Publication date:
11/05/2013
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
728,945
Product dimensions:
7.66(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.96(d)

Read an Excerpt

American Heroes

1

TWO FINGERS TO HOLD


Jesseca and Brian Meyer

The radio in the Combat Operations Center (COC) crackled with a garbled message followed by the nine-line EOD order. The Marine watch officer monitoring the communication traffic shouted through the hole in the primitive mud wall, alerting Staff Sergeant Brian Meyer and members of his Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team. A suspected improvised explosive device, commonly known as an IED, had been discovered by a squad of Marines on routine patrol and now an EOD response team was needed somewhere outside the wire of Patrol Base Almas.

In the sixth month of his seven-month combat deployment to Afghanistan, Brian had made about eighty such trips beyond the confines of PB Almas to dispose of IEDs, the terrorists’ weapon of choice. He didn’t know at the time that this would be his last trip and his longest journey.

Her radiant smile and stunning features captivate you immediately. Even though she is just five feet one, her father’s Aztec blood and her mother’s Spanish heritage make Jesseca Meyer stand out in any crowd.

They met in August 2008 at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Jesseca, a college junior majoring in sports management, was working at the Pepsi Center as a security supervisor and was assigned to accompany a Marine Corps bomb team tasked with sweeping the third level of the arena for any explosive devices. Four Marines paraded in with their equipment and their egos. Brian, a member of the team, was immediately drawn to her beauty. He sensed she’d spent a lifetime around tough guys, so he decided to turn on the charm rather than the testosterone. His efforts paid off and before the convention ended a friendship was formed as she stayed in Denver and he returned to Camp Pendleton, north of San Diego. The relationship progressed as the couple talked by phone daily and texted in between calls.

A few months later, Brian asked Jesseca to come to San Diego for a Halloween celebration at his house. At the time, Brian and three other Marines, Justin Schmalstieg, Bryan Carter, and Mark Wojciechowski, known to his friends as Tony Wojo, all assigned to 1st EOD Company, rented a home outside Camp Pendleton’s back gate. As Jesseca would learn, life in the Marine Corps is fragile. All four roommates would go on to earn Purple Hearts; two would die in combat. Just six months after the party on April 30, 2009, twenty-five-year-old Staff Sergeant Mark Wojciechowski was killed in action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, three months into his second combat deployment.

Brian and Jesseca’s friendship grew into love. The first week of May 2010, they flew to Florida for the annual EOD Memorial Ball, an event honoring members of their brotherhood who made the ultimate sacrifice.

During one of the presentations, a ranking member of the EOD community praised the wives for the extraordinary role they played in supporting their husbands while doing some of the most dangerous work in the military. As thoughts flashed through her mind about what Brian and his men did on each and every assignment, Jesseca knew she wanted to be that support and spend the rest of her life with him.

Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado, where Jesseca and Brian first met in 2008. Chamber of Commerce

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