Award Winning Finalist in the 'Non-Fiction: Narrative' category of the 2013 International Book Awards"
Winner Best First Book Award 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards
U.S. Air Force Pararescue is the most skillful and capable rescue force in the world, taking on some of the most dangerous rescue missions imaginable. PJs (short for para-jumpers), are members of an elite unit whose commando skills are so wide-reaching they often seem like something out of science fiction. They routinely tackle perilous operations that are beyond the capabilities of other rescue organizations, and sometimes dare the seemingly impossible.
Since their inception in 1947, PJs have saved more than thirty thousand lives. They can pluck near-frozen climbers off jagged mountaintops as well as recover shot-down jet pilots stranded deep in hostile territory. In the dead of night, the PJs parachute into ominous black waves that loom twenty feet tall to save distressed seamen, and brave the cruelest and most desolate deserts to recover victims. U.S. Air Force pararescuemen have played a prominent role in every armed conflict since the Korean War, rescuing thousands of soldiers from behind enemy lines.
Guardian Angel provides a rare glimpse at a PJ’s mind-blowing adventures. You follow Sgt. Sine’s trek across exotic lands and share his encounters with mysterious cultures. Learn what it takes to lower from a helicopter onto the slippery decks of storm-tossed ships to rescue dying sailors. Feel what it’s like to be caught in the middle of a bomb blast so powerful that it tears high-rise buildings in half, and flattens armored vehicles hundreds of yards away. Soar high above towering jungle trees and experience the danger of swinging on a slim cable below a helicopter while performing a mid-air rescue of a pilot, dangling from his chute a hundred feet above a mountain slope. Go to war in Afghanistan and parachute onto a nocturnal battlefield surrounded by land mines to help a mortally wounded soldier. This is a deadly serious business: when things go wrong, they can go terribly wrong. Aircraft crash into mountainsides, killing all onboard, while some PJs live through horrendous helicopter crashes only to struggle with freezing temperatures, snapped limbs and torn flesh in a desperate fight for survival.
This book presents true stories of uncommon courage told from the perspective of the actual men in the arena. PJ’s belong to an exclusive brotherhood and forge unbreakable bonds of loyalty, commitment, and sacrifice. They do these things for their country, to protect their brothers in arms, and to honor their motto: “That Others May Live.”
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Senior Master Sergeant Bill Sine entered the U.S. Air Force after graduating from high school in 1975. He immediately volunteered for pararescue duty and completed the rigorous training in 1976. Sergeant Sine has over twenty-five hundred flying hours and is an accomplished military scuba diver, mountain-rescue instructor, and confined-space and structural collapse technician. He retired from active duty in 2003 after twenty-eight years of distinguished service. Sergeant Sine's decorations include a Distinguished Flying Cross. In 2005 he returned to the PJ community becoming the first civilian PJ instructor in history. He currently serves as the Assitant Director of Operations at the Pararescue and Combat Rescue Officer School, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Into the Valley 13
Chapter 2 Pararescue Selection 32
Chapter 3 England 54
Chapter 4 Okinawa 68
Chapter 5 Philippines 82
Chapter 6 Ethiopia 101
Chapter 7 Iceland 116
Chapter 8 Khobar Towers 132
Chapter 9 Trouble Comes in Threes 154
Chapter 10 Casualties of War 175
Chapter 11 To Boldly Go 191
Chapter 12 Yemen 203
Chapter 13 Warrior Down 211
Chapter 14 Life After Pararescue 231
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite Guardian Angel is William F. Sine’s memoir of his service as a U.S. Air Force Pararescue Jumper, or PJ, as they are familiarly called. The rigors of training required of a PJ is not for everybody, as Sine explains in his introduction, but very few of those who are willing to try for a spot in this elite force actually make the grade. Those who do, become stronger, faster, and more resilient than they ever dreamed they would become. They also must complete the medical training required for all PJs. The PJ motto is “These things we do that others may live.” The things they do are the stuff of heroism, not least of which is parachuting into armed conflicts to rescue and treat wounded soldiers, children, anyone who calls for help. PJs are involved in rescues at sea, in the desert, and on ice. Their training is a lifelong schooling in new skills designed to help them survive the dangers of their service. Sine’s descriptions of his PJ compatriots reveal a group of incredibly dedicated men, who will go over-the-top in training, performance, and also fun. They’re the consummate daredevils who seek non-stop excitement and are not above silly pranks and stunts. Reading Guardian Angel will make a number of readers wonder if they’d make the grade and get to have the adventures that Sine writes about, and that, indeed, is Sine’s avowed motivation in writing this book. Guardian Angel is a fabulous read, filled with heroism, history, and hi-jinks, as author William F. Sine recounts his life as an Air Force Pararescue Jumper. Sine was there in one of the Kobar Buildings when it was bombed and gives a harrowing, first-hand account of the event. There are also pictures of the building that will make any reader shake their head in disbelief that anyone could survive such an encounter. Reading this book will give you a history of an elite group of servicemen that few have ever heard of, unless you’re involved with the Armed Forces yourself, in which case, you would have been quite pleased to hear a PJ was coming to help you out in an emergency situation. Sine’s writing style is fluent and dynamic, helping the reader visualize the foreign places where he served and empathize with the PJs as they handle yet another daring rescue. It’s good to know these men are out there doing what they do, and I’m very glad that William Sine was there to let the rest of us in on the details. I highly recommend this book.
I had the privelege of knowing and working alongside several USAF Pararescuemen during my assignment to Elmendorf AFB, Alaska. My job was to maintain the aircraft that these brave airmen flew into some of the most harrowing rescues that you'd ever want to know about. No superlatives are adequate to describe the professionalism and sheer heroism of these elite warriors and lifesavers. To know them is to know the very best that the Air Force has to offer. I consider it a privilege to have known just a select few of these heroes. Bill Sine has told their stories well, and from first-hand experience. I can't think of anyone more qualified to tell such a story than one who has "been there and done that" and lived to tell the tales. I =highly= recommend everyone who has ever worn the Air Force uniform to read this book!
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