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

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

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by Tom Sileo, Tom Manion
     
 

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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,

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.

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

Brothers Forever [is]…a story of extraordinary courage, sacrifice, and love…a story of the price of freedom. All Americans should read it.”—Robert M. Gates, former Secretary of Defense

“This is much more than a book about war—this is also a book about friendship, family, military culture, and patriotism.”—Philadelphia Inquirer

“A deeply moving, true-to-life tale of two men, two brothers, two American heroes”—Gary Sinise, actor and veterans’ advocate

“A staggering book”—Nathaniel Fick, author of One Bullet Away

"This heartfelt and loving tribute...of two young men will instill awe, inspire humility, and introduce tears."—Military Times

"Will grip readers...[and] will hit you hard in the gut."—Leatherneck

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780306822384
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
05/13/2014
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
312
Sales rank:
79,176
Lexile:
1210L (what's this?)
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

Tom Sileo is a nationally syndicated columnist and editor of The Unknown Soldiers blog, which Military.com named the best military blog run by a U.S. reporter in 2010, 2011, and 2012. He lives in Marietta, Georgia.

Col. Tom Manion USMCR (Ret.) is an executive at Johnson&Johnson and Chairman Emeritus at the Travis Manion Foundation. He retired from the United States Marine Corps Reserve after thirty years of honorable service. He lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

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Brothers Forever: The Enduring Bond between a Marine and a Navy SEAL that Transcended Their Ultimate Sacrifice 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Regis_Schilken More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I heard about their story in a Parade magazine article over memorial day weekend, and soon aftrr read this. It is a moving story about the sacrifice of two friends, a marine and a navy SEAL. I highly recommend it. Support our troops and remember to thank them for defending our nation. ~God bless America~
Chrissy_W More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A tribute to our fighting men; the Naval Academy; and the families who suffer such great losses.
eyoung9 More than 1 year ago
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.       
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Moving story about friendship, war and the affect it has on people left at home.Great book......
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
 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.
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lakraft More than 1 year ago
While this book took me 3 tries and many days to complete it I can say that I am glad I took the time to finish this. The book gives you a deeper look into military and what these brave men and women do daily to protect us. I know that this was a hard book for me to finish just because of the emotions that run throughout this book. So sad yet on the other hand too many people are killed daily in the line of duty to protect and serve. This just helps open your eyes to it in a very real and emotional way. I truly feel for any family that has to endure what Travis and Brendans familys gave for our country. Such a touching tribute to two great and caring souls that gave their all to protect us. Thank you!!
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