The inspiring story of a young American who volunteered to fight in the Israel Defense Forces, lost his arm in combat, and then returned to the battlefield.
Combining refreshing candor with self-deprecating wit, this inspiring memoir will encourage readers to live up to their aspirations despite seemingly impossible odds.
On January 8, 2009, Izzy Ezaguian American who had enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) at nineteenlost his arm in a mortar attack on the border of the Gaza Strip. In this stirring and wryly humorous memoir, Izzy recounts his tortuous trek through rehabilitation to re-enlistment as a squad commander in the IDF. He became the world's only one-armed Special Forces sharpshooter.
This isn't a typical war chronicle, full of macho bluster and the usual hero tropes. Izzy wrote this book with his fellow millennials in mindnot necessarily those with military ambitions, but everyone facing life's daily battles. His message is universal: if a self-described "nerd" and "one-armed basket case" like him can accomplish what he set his mind to, then anyone can become a hero in his or her own life.
Growing up in a religious household in Miami, Izzy's early life was plagued by self-doubt, family drama, and (far too few) girl troubles. His search for direction eventually led him to that explosion on the Gaza border, changing his life forever.
In the midst of disaster, Izzy discovered a deep well at his core, from which he could draw strength. Through his motivational speeches across the world, and now through this book, he encourages people to seek their own power, and to face whatever adversity life throws at them.
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About the Author
Izzy Ezagui, a decorated squad commander in the Israel Defense Forces, is the only soldier in the world who lost an arm in combat and returned to the battlefield. In 2011, former President Shimon Peres awarded him one of Israel's highest military honors. While he continues to serve in an elite unit in the reserves, Izzy delivers inspirational talks across the United States and internationally. He has appeared on Huffington Post Live, Al Jazeera America, and Fox News. Izzy also raises millions of dollars for hospitals, rehabilitation programs, and other charities, such as the Birthright Israel Foundation. He has worked with amputee organizations, schools, colleges, universities, hedge funds, and corporate events for companies such as Nike and Apple. He lives in Los Angeles, where he acts, writes screenplays, and wanders around with his dog, Punch.
Read an Excerpt
As a kid, I consumed comics like crack. Saw every superhero movie on opening night. And, like every kid, I aspired to heroism but found my cape always came up short. I mean, how can we mere mortals ever reach the same heights as, say, a Kryptonian with the power of flight? An alien who’d rocket past the stratosphere if he accidently stretched his arms too high while yawning?
Excerpted from "Disarmed"
Copyright © 2018 Izzy Ezagui.
Excerpted by permission of Prometheus Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1 A Half-Hearted Wave 9
Chapter 2 (One-) Armed and Dangerous 25
Chapter 3 Life and Limb 47
Chapter 4 Arm's Length 73
Chapter 5 Raise Your Hand, Young Man! 97
Chapter 6 Phantom Fuckface 127
Chapter 7 Forcing My Hand 145
Chapter 8 Twiddling My Thumb 179
Chapter 9 Itchy Trigger Finger 211
Chapter 10 Thinking on My Feet 249
Epilogue: The Fickle Finger of Fate 281
Author's Note 283