Brothers Forever: The Enduring Bond between a Marine and a Navy SEAL that Transcended Their Ultimate Sacrifice

( 11 )

Overview


Four weeks after Navy SEALs had killed Osama bin Laden, President Obama stood in Arlington National Cemetery to deliver his Memorial Day address. He extolled the heroism and sacrifice of the two men buried side by side in the graves before him: Travis Manion, a fallen US Marine, and Brendan Looney, a fallen US Navy SEAL. Although they were killed three years apart, one in Iraq and one in
Afghanistan, these two former roommates and best friends...
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Brothers Forever: The Enduring Bond between a Marine and a Navy SEAL that Transcended Their Ultimate Sacrifice

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Overview


Four weeks after Navy SEALs had killed Osama bin Laden, President Obama stood in Arlington National Cemetery to deliver his Memorial Day address. He extolled the heroism and sacrifice of the two men buried side by side in the graves before him: Travis Manion, a fallen US Marine, and Brendan Looney, a fallen US Navy SEAL. Although they were killed three years apart, one in Iraq and one in
Afghanistan, these two former roommates and best friends were now buried together—“brothers forever.”

Award-winning journalist Tom Sileo and Travis’s father, Colonel Tom Manion, USMCR (Ret.), tell the intimate and personal story of how these Naval Academy roommates defined a generation’s sacrifice in Afghanistan and Iraq. From Travis’s incredible bravery on the streets of Fallujah to Brendan’s anguished SEAL training in the wake of his friend’s death and later acts of heroism in the mountains of Afghanistan, Brothers Forever is a remarkable story of war and friendship.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
03/24/2014
Retired U.S. Marine Colonel Manion and Sileo, editor of The Unknown Soldiers blog, deliver the tragic tale of the former’s son Travis and Travis’s friend Brendan Looney, who met in 2001 when they served as midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy. The men, both former football players, became best friends and roommates, although they eventually chose different military career paths: Manion joined the Marine Corps like his father; Looney opted to become a U.S. Navy SEAL. Travis Manion died on April 29, 2007, at age 26 ,while fighting in Iraq; Looney lost his life in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on September 21, 2010 at age 29. The moving story of these “two American heroes,” Tom Manion writes, is “representative of an entire young generation of men and women who answered the call to serve after the attacks of September 11, 2001.” This moving story is told well, albeit with the heavy use of reconstructed quotes, and it succeeds as a testament to the courage and dedication of two young men who are now buried next to each other at Arlington National Cemetery. Agent: E.J. McCarthy. (May)
From the Publisher

Advance Praise for Brothers Forever

"First Lieutenant Travis Manion and Lieutenant Brendan Looney are true American heroes. Both were killed in action while I was Secretary of Defense, and I attended Brendan's funeral at Arlington National Cemetery. I was told there of Travis being re-interred next to him so that these best friends and Naval Academy roommates might spend eternity together—a bond unbroken by death. Their story is one of extraordinary courage, sacrifice, and love. It is a story of the price of freedom. All Americans should read it and understand the unimaginable debt we owe to such men, the best America has to offer."
—Robert M. Gates, Secretary of Defense under Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush

"Brothers Forever by Tom Sileo and Col. Tom Manion provides an intimate portrait of two patriots who are compelling examples of a generation of young Americans who have sacrificed in the defense of our freedoms following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001."
—Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense under Presidents George W. Bush and Gerald Ford

"Brothers Forever is the story of two warrior brothers-in-arms who are bonded forever by their love of country, their shared need to serve, their selflessness, their courage, and war. This is the story of a deep and lasting friendship that lives on in the hearts of all who knew and loved them. A deeply moving, true-to-life tale of two men, two brothers, two American heroes, who now rest with the angels, side by side at Arlington cemetery. God bless them both."
—Gary Sinise, award-winning actor and founder of the veterans-supporting Gary Sinise Foundation

"Brothers Forever is—literally—a staggering book. It drives home the price of a decade of war through the stories of a Marine and a SEAL whose memory will live forever."
—Nathaniel Fick, author of One Bullet Away

"Brothers Forever is more than the shared story of two American heroes, it encapsulates the pride, adrenaline, ethos, and anguish of the entire military community. The best way for our country to honor the sacrifices made by our fallen and their families is to never forget them. We can begin by reading this incredible book."
—Siobhan Fallon, author of You Know When the Men Are Gone

"If you want to understand the warrior spirit of an American generation, please read this powerful and unforgettable book. . . . Brothers Forever is, at heart, a testament of what it means to live a good life."
—Eric Greitens, Navy SEAL and New York Times bestselling author of The Heart and the Fist

"For those who might question America's character, this account of two remarkable young men will restore confidence. So long as our country breeds committed warriors like Travis Manion and Brendan Looney, we will pass down our freedoms intact to the next generation. Their story is the stuff of legends, yet for them it was very real."
—General James Mattis, USMC (Ret.), former commander of US Central Command

"Brothers Forever is an incredible story of brotherhood and heroism that every true American patriot should read. Brendan and Travis represent the very best of a generation that answered the call after 9/11. Their story captures the heart, inspires a whole new generation to serve, and stands as a testament to the unbreakable bond formed among US Armed Forces as they fight alongside each other and lay down their lives."
—Lieutenant Commander Leif Babin, US Navy SEAL and Silver Star Recipient; Instructor and Teammate of Lieutenant Brendan Looney

Publishers Weekly, 3/24/14
“This moving story is told well…and it succeeds as a testament to the courage and dedication of two young men who are now buried next to each other at Arlington National Cemetery.”

Kirkus, 4/15/14
“Inspirational narrative…Enthusiasts of military heroics should enjoy this grueling account of valor.”

Military Times (Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force Times), 4/7/14
“Their bond binds this heartfelt and loving tribute…The school years, service and sacrifice of two young men instill awe, inspire humility and introduce tears.”

Blogcritics.org, 5/13/14
“[A] heartfelt and devastating story…A powerful read…Capture[s] the pain of the family when the two soldiers lose their lives for their country…The book is a stark reminder of what the last 13 years of fighting these two wars have been about. It’s also a look at how proud are enlisted members are to serve us all.”

Roanoke Times, 5/11/14
“This is a tale of two lives, and more than two lives. It is a heart-touching story, and more than a little troubling.”

Weekly Standard, 5/19/14
“I particularly recommend the just published book, Brothers Forever. [It’s] a gripping account of friendship, war, sacrifice, and valor.”

Leatherneck Magazine, June 2014
“Their story will grip readers—even after they’ve finished the book…This well-written, well-conceived book will hit you hard in the gut.”

Examiner.com, 5/26/14
"This powerful book reinforces the belief that there are still young people out there who will put their needs aside and do what they feel is right."

Huffington News Network, 5/23/14
"A magnificent book that I couldn't finish without tears streaming down my face."

A Soldier’s Perspective, 5/23/14
"Brotherly love is a powerful thing. Even more powerful is the love of a father who refuses to let his sons’ sacrifice and legacy be forgotten. I am a better person having read Brothers Forever and I think you will be too."

Kirkus Reviews
2014-03-31
Inspirational narrative focused on the friendship between Marine Travis Manion and Navy SEAL Brendan Looney, Naval Academy roommates who fell in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2007, co-author Manion, who wrote this book with columnist Sileo, endured the nightmare of any military family: the loss of his son. Following Looney's death, Manion writes, "it became clear that the story of these two American heroes was representative of an entire young generation of men and women who answered the call to serve." Manion and Looney were competitive athletes at Annapolis when their futures were reshaped by 9/11: "[With] the stakes for Travis and Brendan much higher, their frequent runs became even more intense." Manion was first to serve multiple tours, prior to his death while protecting others from a sniper in Fallujah. His loss traumatized the survivors, including Looney, who redoubled his efforts to join the elite SEALs. After his death in a helicopter crash in 2010, their grieving families decided to re-inter Manion to lie alongside Looney at Arlington. The symbolism of their mutual sacrifice was even marked by President Barack Obama in a 2011 address. Readers will undoubtedly respect the dedication of the book's subjects and the loss borne by Manion, but the storytelling does not match the gravity of its subject. The prose relies on mawkish repetition, emphasizing the heartbreak that came with military service following 9/11: "Americans were still dying in Afghanistan and Iraq almost every week, and many more funerals were expected." While focused on the anguish caused by the losses of Travis and Brendan, the authors examine Iraq and Afghanistan as a campaign of professional warriors versus evil, a stance that becomes dissonant—though the authors acknowledge the widening gulf between soldiers' experiences and the perspectives of politicians and the public. Enthusiasts of military heroics should enjoy this grueling account of valor.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306822377
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 5/13/2014
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 19,995
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author


Tom Sileo, a nationally syndicated columnist and editor of The Unknown Soldiers blog, lives in Marietta, Georgia.

Colonel Tom Manion, USMCR (Ret.) is chairman emeritus at the Travis Manion Foundation. He lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 19, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Brothers Forever Tom Sileo and Col. Tom Manion   The bond betwee

    Brothers Forever
    Tom Sileo and Col. Tom Manion
     
    The bond between sister and brother or brother and brother can indeed be strong and enduring. In my mind, it is so profound and powerful that one person would readily sacrifice his/her life for the other if necessary.
     
    In Brothers Forever, two young men who are not biological brothers achieve a deep longstanding friendship that follows them to their graves. The bond between them grew during years of intensive training through the Naval Academy. Both continued to serve in the US military. What makes Brothers Forever so fascinating is that one hero had trained as a US Marine, the other as a Navy SEAL.
     
    The battle for the city of Fallujah in Iraq claimed a host of civilian lives and those of Iraqi and US soldiers. It is hard to imagine how Marine Travis Manion endured the heat of battle dressed in full protective military gear in a geographical area where the heat of day could easily climb well over one hundred degrees. 
     
    The mental and physical duress must have been terrific when Manion and his squad found themselves pinned down in their broiling Humvees in one of the narrow alleys of Fallujah. Desperately, they needed to eliminate the snipers who had the advantage of shooting down from roof tops or windows high above the bullet riddled Humvees. 
     
    Using their vehicle as a barricade, the men climbed out to take positions behind it so they could engage the snipers if only they could spot them. In an effort to draw fire hoping to expose the hidden shooters, for a few seconds, Manion moved a few feet out into the open. Shortly after, another Marine looked toward Manion and “…confronted an image that would stay with him for the rest of his life.”
    -----
    Several years later and miles away in Afghanistan, Navy Seal Brendan Looney flew in a helicopter for his fifty-ninth combat mission toward a high mountain landing area. Ready to jump from the lowering copter, the SEALs had unhooked their safety belts. They wore all their protective military gear, carried their weapons and were ready to leap to the ground. “Suddenly, a terrible, piercing sound stunned everyone aboard the helicopter …!” 
     
    Although three years separated their deaths, Brendan Looney and Travis Manion were buried together in Arlington National Cemetery. Brothers Forever gives readers a thorough reenactment of how these brave men died and why they were interred together. In a positive way, it summarizes their lives and also gives readers a glimpse of the mental obligation to their country these two men experienced only two days after the collapse of the Twin Towers.
     
    If you are a person seeking insight into what our young men and women go through serving militarily in a foreign land, read Brothers Forever. This book will grab your interest from its first few pages. For example, on page three, it tells that after a violent explosion, “…two Americans flew out of an armored Humvee and landed on the street.” The vehicle had struck an IED (improvised explosive device).
     
    In Brothers Forever, you will discover how true heroes think—defending freedom is a true American ideal even if it means helping foreign peoples achieve it.
     
    I would highly recommend this book to all, particularly high school students and collegians, who might be thinking of serving their country like the two heroes, Brendan Looney and Travis Manion who stared death in the face. Surely, they will find the book deeply moving, inspiring, and maybe just a bit troubling.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2014

    Exceptionally well written book with love at its core

    This book expresses the American values of honor, compassion and trust in human kindness that transcend nationhood and culture. It speaks to the human quest for goodness and rightness that tests every generation and claims victory for each of us. Thanks to Tom Manion for this message.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2014

     

     

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 11, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Inspirational and heartbreaking Did I enjoy this book: This bo

    Inspirational and heartbreaking


    Did I enjoy this book: This book is both inspirational and heartbreaking. It should be mandatory reading for every freedom-loving American. Brothers Forever shows us the meaning of the saying “freedom isn’t free.”




    This is a story of honor, family, patriotism, and sacrifice. For First Lieutenant Travis Manion and Lieutenant Brendan Looney, serving their country and protecting freedom is a passionate calling – one that costs both of them their lives.




    My favorite part is when Brendan is on the phone with his wife who is feeling overwhelmed managing the finances, the dogs, and a full-time job. Brendan asks her, “Did anyone try to shoot you today?”




    That really put life into perspective for me. The next time you want to complain about your country, government, job, or whatever, think about Travis and Brendan. Remember their heroism and sacrifice. And be grateful.
     
    Would I recommend it: Absolutely. It should be mandatory reading for every freedom-loving American.




    As reviewed by Belinda at Every Free Chance Books. 




    Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2014

    A Moving story

    A tribute to our fighting men; the Naval Academy; and the families who suffer such great losses.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2014

    highly recommended

    Moving story about friendship, war and the affect it has on people left at home.Great book......

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 18, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Brothers Forever is an exceptional book, powerfully written, wel

    Brothers Forever is an exceptional book, powerfully written, well researched with American values of honor, family and service at its core.  I recommend this riveting book to anyone who cares deeply about America.  
    With each page turn I continued to wish for a different outcome.  Captivating and tragic this is a story of hope and dreams; for a future beyond this time....  to a place and time where leading a nation into democracy can be accomplished by brotherhood, caring and love.       

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2014

    Amazing story about two true Patriots!  These brothers in arms a

    Amazing story about two true Patriots!  These brothers in arms and best friends have such an incredible story.  I'm not even from a military background and this book just spoke to me.  They both came from normal, All-American families and could have been any boy down the street.  All Americans should read this book not only to see the true sacrifice of the military and their families, but their incredible resiliency in the face of unbelievable tragedy.  If you love this country ... you will love this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2014

     have been anxiously waiting for this book to release. I have ha

     have been anxiously waiting for this book to release. I have had the pleasure of meeting Tom Manion and the family of Travis Manion as well as the wife of Brendan Looney at the "If Not Me Then Who" 2013 Gala where I took photos. This book was very emotional and portrayed the bond and brotherhood that was formed between these two men and the courage they had. This book was beautifully written and I will gladly encourage anyone to read it. My boyfriend is deployed at the moment and I will be sending him a copy of this book.




    This book and the Travis Manion foundation has forever touched my heart.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2014

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