In the Shadow of Greatness: Voices of Leadership, Sacrifice, and Service from America's Longest War

In the Shadow of Greatness: Voices of Leadership, Sacrifice, and Service from America's Longest War


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In the Shadow of Greatness: Voices of Leadership, Sacrifice, and Service from America's Longest War by U.S. Naval Academy Class of 2002

Their stories needed to be told. And classmates working together, under a blanket of trust and friendship, was the only way to allow people to open up. It was a three year journey into the hearts and souls of America’s youngest heroes to gather these important historical accounts, but it was worth every hour spent. Inside this book are the voices the first Annapolis graduates into a decade of war and they remind us that America is in good hands.

They were walking to class on 9/11, wearing Naval Academy “summer working blues”, when the towers were struck. The campus went to general quarters, battle stations. They would be the first class after this attack to graduate into a nation at war and would be faced, like so many past graduates, of rising to the challenge to keeping America great. President Bush and Vice President Cheney articulated a world at the crossroads, and the U.S. would preemptively in seek enemies who threatened the national interest, America would not again be terrorized.

In the Shadow of Greatness addresses issues that go beyond one USNA class, it explains the trials of most military veterans of this era. Understanding how a young person enlists to serve, deploys to the fight, and returns home is unknown to most Americans. Veterans pack up their uniforms, but never lose the call for service when the return to civilian society.

The profiles in this book represent the “Next Great Generation” of American leaders. Men and women who lost their innocence in battle and their youths to a decade of deployments, throughout which they never gave up hope. In exchange for down range scars, they gained an unbreakable sense of purpose to America’s ideals—freedom, equality, and democracy.

The compilation is the most authentic and raw narrative to emerge from the Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and beyond. The reader enjoys a spectrum of stories, each patriotic and honorable. The narratives are meant to inspire, educate, and reveal a world many don’t understand. Its contents are readable and easy to appreciate.

The Class of 2002—and more broadly, the one million veterans of the Long War—are America’s leaders of tomorrow. Read this book to learn what they endured and why they are prepared.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781682472477
Publisher: Naval Institute Press
Publication date: 08/15/2017
Pages: 264
Sales rank: 553,322
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

JOSHUA WELLE, Class President of USNA 2002, is a technology entrepreneur and public policy expert. Welle is also a Commander in the Navy Reserves.

JOHN ENNIS is a sales manager with CenturyLink. Ennis last served in uniform as Chief Speechwriter to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations.

KATHERINE KRANZ JORDAN is the Director of Women's Programs for Veterans Campaign. Kranz served in the Navy until 2014, most recently as a special assistant to the Commander of Naval Forces Europe/Africa.

GRAHAM PLASTER is the CEO of Previously, he was the Assistant Dean of Students for the Naval War College and a Military Liaison for UN Peacekeeping missions.

Table of Contents

List of photographs xi

Foreword David Gergen xiii

Introduction: Non Sibi Sed Patriae 1

Part I Four Years by the Bay 3

Inside the Gates of Annapolis 5

Part II Use Leadership Laboratory, Fleet Tested 21

Honor at Sea Will Can 24

Selflessness from the ICU Anita Susan Brenner Rachel Torres 29

Ship, Shipmate, Self Mike Johnson 36

Fulfilling a Top Gun Dream Meagan Varley Flannigan 41

Find a Way, or Make One Meghan Elger Courtney 46

Part III Courage under Fire 51

A Lovely Afternoon over Baghdad Jay Consalvi 54

Bad Karma Wes Pass 61

We Serve Where We're Needed Johnathan Van Meter 69

The Real Hurt Locker Eric Jewell 76

Evacuating the Injured Rocky Checca 81

From the Cradle to the Grave Anonymous 88

Dhow in Distress Patrick McConnell 93

From Fallujah to Now Zad Benjamin Wagner 98

Part IV Beyond Battlefield Bullets 105

Military Diplomats Graham Plaster 109

Shaking the Hand of Fate Courtney Senini 113

Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure: Unsung Heroes Jason Jackson 119

Lending a Hand in Tsunami Relief John Cauthen 125

Training with the Enemy: Iraq and U.S. Naval Partnerships Travis Bode 131

UN Peacekeeping in Practice Dave Augustin 136

Casey vs. the Volcano Casey Bruce 141

Inland Sailor Joshua Welle 148

Part V Integrity, Teamwork, and Sacrifice 157

Sacrifices for Country Alex Katauskas 161

Sometimes Dreams Do Come True Carol A. Andersen 166

Forward Deployed to… Louisiana? Kevin Stepp 171

Working Where the Land Meets the Sky Katherine Kranz 175

On Building Submarines and Building Character Lucas Adin 179

Lost at Sea Glyndell Houston 185

Dual Military Couples: Twice the Challenge Brooke Waller 190

When No Ones Watching Lisa Freeman 194

Part VI The Next Great Generation 201

One Wild and Precious Life Joshua Awad 204

Serving Beyond the Uniform Elizabeth Kreft 209

Pings of Courage and Love: Fighting for Gay Rights in the Military Gary Ross 217

Command, Citizenship, and Government Seth Lynn 224

Part VII Conclusion 231

Epilogue Adm. Mike Mullen, USN (Ret.) 237

In Memory of the Fallen Naval Academy Graduates since September 11 241

Acknowledgments 245

Read More Online 247

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In the Shadow of Greatness: Voices of Leadership, Sacrifice, and Service from America's Longest War 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
BookHound12 More than 1 year ago
Inspiring book for so many audiences - if you know anyone who has served, either pre- or post-9/11, if you know a spouse or family member who would like to know more about their loved one who serves, if you enjoy knowing what makes these heroes tick.... this book is for you! Amazing stories of leadership, sacrifice, humble will have you wishing you could serve alongside them. Thank you Mr. Brokaw for recommending this book... I'm so glad I read it! I decided to order extra copies for my grandfather and uncles, and I found out on the book Web site you can get them signed by the authors. What a great Christmas gift for anyone who has respect for our military!!!!
academymom More than 1 year ago
I read In the Shadow of Greatness well into the night, and could not put it down. The courage (not just in battle, but to take the next step), the perseverence, the triumphs through their academy days and on into their lives, the failures which often make us stronger, and the losses, combined to create a book that should be read and appreciated by all Americans.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing book - so powerful and gripping. Unique and illuminating stories highlight the incredible experiences of our military men and women for the last decade. Tom Brokaw said "This is a must read for all Americans" – and he's right!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing to think it has been 11 years since the dreadful attack on our country. In The Shadow of Greatness is a true and telling testament to all the man and woman who served and continue to protect our great nation. The authors give amazing insight and share truly inspiring stories of leadership, sacrifice and service. A true must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This remarkable collection of stories by young men, women Naval Academy graduatesand parents will make you proud that we have such selfless, brave people amongst our younger generation. This is book you cannot put down. Cannot wait to read the other stories on line.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ever meet someone that changes the direction of your  life?  It is a very powerful experience to meet such a young person who can inspire  you to look above the fray and move to the realm of  the unknown. To become a leader and define what is right. I had the pleasure of  meeting  contributing author, Jason Jackson - USNA 2002. Like his classmates he embodies the spirit  of " the calling to serve". This book is a great  read, so many stories from a core perspective forge in the human bonds of a college experience , the search for personal development is something we all relate  to. To mothers of the "Fallen Heroes" who made the ultimate sacrifice, your stories are a testament to the greatness of your sons lives. From a great full nation
shepherdess56 More than 1 year ago
If you get a chance to catch one of the upcoming signings across the country...check it all the stories will renew your faith in our nation and of those who will and are leading our country in the Armed Forces. This book is a demonstration of what true heroism and leadership is in our day and time! These are the MANY stories of the USNA Class of 2002 who have served and have given their lives and of those who have taken up their cause and continue to serve our country with distinction. You will learn that there are 'no easy days' ever when you are fighting a war AND you will learn of the loyalty and honor that those who can tell their story and of the importance of those who refused because of their dedication to the team and mission, past and present, is absolute. These are the many stories of those who now rest and of those who continue to serve...whose lives where changed forever by 9/11. Buy the book...check out the will be glad that you did!
Fysh46 More than 1 year ago
I bought this book the moment I heard about it weeks ago. Not only were the stories of these men and women informative, motivating and heartbreaking: the book also helped me understand our children go from kids to being adults and officers in the Navy and Marine Corps. My daughter is currently a Firstie at USNA and when I bought my copy of the book from Mr. Welles I also bought her a copy hoping that these stories will give her some insight as she moves towards Commissioning Day next May. Again, as Tom Brokaw said, this book is a must read for everyone of us.
NatashaSistrunkRobinson More than 1 year ago
As a member of the Naval Academy Class of 2002, it is a honor reading the personal, inspirational stories of those who accepted the call to serve in an all volunteer military, particularly during a time of war. These are the stories of those who protect the liberties of our country and they are again selflessly laying down their lives by donating all of the proceeds of this great compilation to veteran organizations. It goes to show that the Naval Academy has trained us well concerning the responsibilities of command and citizenship, leading and serving, and looking out for our shipmates above ourselves. Capt Natasha Sistrunk Robinson, US Marine Corps
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Makes me feel like I actually went to the Naval Academy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great collection of stories displaying all aspects of service in the Navy and Marine Corps team. Can't wait to read the rest of the stories on line. Buy the book and help raise money for some amazing veterans charities. I guarantee you won't be able to put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a granddaughter of a Navy veteran of World War II, this book means more than I can put into words. I often wondered about his service and wish I had asked him more when he was alive. This book gives all Americans the opportunity to understand what service and leadership really mean to this country and its future. The book details in first-hand accounts the trials and tribulations, as well as the great successes of the young men and women who selflessly serve this nation. This is a must read for people of every generation. Our country's preparedness and resilience were tested on 9/11/2001 -- this book explains how courageously this generation answered that infamous call to arms and demonstrates that it truly is the next greatest generation.
SharonHamilton More than 1 year ago
As a mother whose son also took up the call to join the military on 9-11, but who was in Junior High at the time, I was focused on the 9-11 event and the way it was affecting our country as a whole. Later, I would learn how this event would transform our family, and make my son into the man he is today. I wanted to read this book if, for no other reason than a selfish one, to understand and be connected to other young people who felt compelled to DO SOMETHING. These are poignant stories told by both men and women, who love this country enough to sacrifice for it. Their race, religion and political affiliations are not as important as the red blood that flows through their veins and the shared higher calling to serve others they will never meet. In a day and age when spin has become the buzzword for something "acceptable", when we are bombarded by soundbites and half-truths, it is indeed refreshing to read about these heroes and their individual paths. Helps us focus on what is real and what is good about this country. Sharon Hamilton