Lions of Kandahar

Lions of Kandahar
Author: Rusty Bradley,Kevin Maurer
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780553386165
Available:
Release: 2015-05-19
Editor: Bantam
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

One of the most critical battles of the Afghan War is now revealed as never before. Lions of Kandahar is an inside account from the unique perspective of an active-duty U.S. Army Special Forces commander, an unparalled warrior with multiple deployments to the theater who has only recently returned from combat there. Southern Afghanistan was slipping away. That was clear to then-Captain Rusty Bradley as he began his third tour of duty there in 2006. The Taliban and their allies were infiltrating everywhere, poised to reclaim Kandahar Province, their strategically vital onetime capital. To stop them, the NATO coalition launched Operation Medusa, the largest offensive in its history. The battlefield was the Panjwayi Valley, a densely packed warren of walled compounds that doubled neatly as enemy bunkers, lush orchards, and towering marijuana stands, all laced with treacherous irrigation ditches. A mass exodus of civilians heralded the carnage to come. Dispatched as a diversionary force in support of the main coalition attack, Bradley's Special Forces A-team and two others, along with their longtime Afghan Army allies, watched from across the valley as the NATO force was quickly engulfed in a vicious counterattack. Key to relieving it and calling in effective air strikes was possession of a modest patch of high ground called Sperwan Ghar. Bradley's small detachment assaulted the hill and, in the midst of a savage and unforgettable firefight, soon learned they were facing nearly a thousand seasoned fighters—from whom they seized an impossible victory. Now Bradley recounts the whole remarkable story as it actually happened. The blistering trek across Afghanistan's infamous Red Desert. The eerie traces of the elusive Taliban. The close relations with the Afghan people and army, a primary mission focus. Sperwan Ghar itself: unremitting waves of fire from machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades; a targeted truck turned into an inferno; the death trap of a cut-off compound. Most important: the men, Americans and Afghans alike—the “shaky” medic with nerves of steel and a surgeon's hands in battle; the tireless sergeant who seems to be everywhere at once; the soft-spoken intelligence officer with laser-sharp insight; the diminutive Afghan commander with a Goliath-sized heart; the cool maverick who risks all to rescue a grievously wounded comrade—each unique, all indelible in their everyday exercise of extraordinary heroism. From the Hardcover edition.

Lions of Kandahar

Lions of Kandahar
Author: Rusty Bradley,Kevin Maurer
Pages: 280
ISBN: 9780553807578
Available:
Release: 2011
Editor: Bantam
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

An insider's account of the Afghan war by a Special Forces commander, published with the support of the Army and Special Operations, traces the against-all-odds Operation Medusa victory in the fight for Sperwan Ghar in the vital Southern region. 35,000 first printing.

Lions of Kandahar

Lions of Kandahar
Author: Rusty Bradley,Kevin Maurer
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780440423454
Available:
Release: 2011-06-28
Editor: Bantam
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

“A raw and authentic war story about untamed Green Berets in action.”—Dalton Fury, New York Times bestselling author of Kill Bin Laden Southern Afghanistan was slipping away. That was clear to then-Captain Rusty Bradley as he began his third tour of duty there in 2006. The Taliban and their allies were infiltrating everywhere, poised to reclaim Kandahar Province, their strategically vital onetime capital. To stop them, the NATO coalition launched Operation Medusa, the largest offensive in its history. Dispatched as a diversionary force in support of the main coalition attack, Bradley’s Special Forces A-team watched as the NATO force was quickly engulfed in a vicious counterattack. Key to relieving it was possession of Sperwan Ghar, a modest patch of high ground. Bradley’s small detachment assaulted the hill and, in the midst of a savage and unforgettable firefight, soon learned they were facing nearly a thousand seasoned fighters. Now Bradley recounts the whole remarkable story as it actually happened and brings to life the men who impossibly won the day—Americans and Afghans alike—each unique, all indelible in their everyday exercise of extraordinary heroism. Praise for Lions of Kandahar “A powerful and gripping account of a battle that helped shape the war in Afghanistan . . . With crisp writing and page-turning action, Lions of Kandahar is one of the best books written about the conflict.”—Mitch Weiss, Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist and co-author of Tiger Force: A True Story of Men and War “One of the most important documents to emerge from the war in Afghanistan.”—The Seattle Times “Powerful . . . a riveting account of a strategic battle that doesn’t glorify war or focus on heroic deeds . . . Make room on your military bookshelf for Lions of Kandahar.”—San Antonio Express-News “Bradley takes the reader into battle.”—Time

Gentlemen Bastards

Gentlemen Bastards
Author: Kevin Maurer
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781101611371
Available:
Release: 2012-09-04
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of No Easy Day comes an insightful, inside look at the Green Berets—a legendary corps of soldiers whose exploits made military history. But now, its very identity and role as a fighting force may be forever changed. Until the war in Iraq, Special Forces were the military’s counterinsurgency experts. Their specialty was going behind enemy lines and training insurgent forces. In Afghanistan, they toppled the Taliban by transforming Northern Alliance fighters into cohesive units. But since that time, Special Forces units have focused on offensive raids. With time running short, the Green Berets have now gone back to their roots. Award-winning journalist Kevin Maurer traveled with a Special Forces team in Afghanistan, finding out firsthand the inside story of the lives of this elite group of highly trained soldiers. He witnessed the intense brotherhood, the rigorous selection process, and the arduous training that makes them the best on the battlefield. Here, Maurer delivers a compelling account of modern warfare and of a fighting force that is doing everything in its power to achieve victory.

No Lack of Courage

No Lack of Courage
Author: Bernd Horn
Pages: 203
ISBN: 9781554887668
Available:
Release: 2010-10-04
Editor: Dundurn
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

No Lack of Courage is the story of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's first battle. It is a revealing account of Operation Medusa, the largely Canadian action from 1 to 17 September 2006, to dislodge a heavily entrenched Taliban force in the Pashmul district of Afghanistan's Kandahar Province. At stake, according to senior Afghan politicians and NATO military commanders, was nothing less than the very existence of the reconstituted state of Afghanistan, as well as the NATO alliance itself. In a bitterly fought conflict that lasted more than two weeks, Canadian, Afghan, and Coalition troops defeated the dug-in enemy forces and chased them from the Pashmul area. In the end, the brunt of the fighting fell on the Canadians, and the operation that saved Afghanistan exacted a great cost. However, the battle also demonstrated that Canada had shed its peacekeeping mythology and was once more ready to commit troops deliberately to combat. Moreover, it revealed yet again that Canadian soldiers have no lack of courage.

No Way Out

No Way Out
Author: Mitch Weiss,Kevin Maurer
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9781101560761
Available:
Release: 2012-03-06
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

In a remote, enemy-held valley in Afghanistan, a Special Forces team planned to scale a steep mountain to surprise and capture a terrorist leader. But before they found the target, the target found them… The team was caught in a deadly ambush that not only threatened their lives, but the entire mission. The elite soldiers fought huddled for hours on a small rock ledge as rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine-gun fire rained down on them. With total disregard for their own safety, they tended to their wounded and kept fighting to stay alive. When the battle finally ended, ten soldiers had earned Silver Stars—the Army’s third highest award for combat valor. It was the most Silver Stars awarded to any unit in one battle since Vietnam. Based on dozens of interviews with those who were there, No Way Out is a compelling narrative of an epic battle that not only tested the soldiers’ mettle but serves as a cautionary tale. Be careful what you ask a soldier to do because they will die trying to accomplish their mission.

Kill Bin Laden

Kill Bin Laden
Author: Dalton Fury
Pages: 352
ISBN: 1429960760
Available:
Release: 2009-09-15
Editor: St. Martin's Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The mission was to kill the most wanted man in the world--an operation of such magnitude that it couldn't be handled by just any military or intelligence force. The best America had to offer was needed. As such, the task was handed to roughly forty members of America's supersecret counterterrorist unit formerly known as 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta; more popularly, the elite and mysterious unit Delta Force. The American generals were flexible. A swatch of hair, a drop of blood, or simply a severed finger wrapped in plastic would be sufficient. Delta's orders were to go into harm's way and prove to the world bin Laden had been terminated. These Delta warriors had help: a dozen of the British Queen's elite commandos, another dozen or so Army Green Berets, and six intelligence operatives from the CIA who laid the groundwork by providing cash, guns, bullets, intelligence, and interrogation skills to this clandestine military force. Together, this team waged modern siege of epic proportions against bin Laden and his seemingly impenetrable cave sanctuary burrowed deep inside the Spin Ghar Mountain range in eastern Afghanistan. Over the years, since the battle ended, scores of news stories have surfaced offering tidbits of information about what actually happened in Tora Bora. Most of it is conjecture and speculation. This is the real story of the operation, the first eyewitness account of the Battle of Tora Bora, and the first book to detail just how close Delta Force came to capturing bin Laden, how close U.S. bombers and fighter aircraft came to killing him, and exactly why he slipped through our fingers. Lastly, this is an extremely rare inside look at the shadowy world of Delta Force and a detailed account of these warriors in battle.

Outlaw Platoon

Outlaw Platoon
Author: Sean Parnell,John Bruning
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9780062066411
Available:
Release: 2012-02-28
Editor: Harper Collins
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A riveting story of American fighting men, Outlaw Platoon is Lieutenant Sean Parnell’s stunning personal account of the legendary U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division’s heroic stand in the mountains of Afghanistan. Acclaimed for its vivid, poignant, and honest recreation of sixteen brutal months of nearly continuous battle in the deadly Hindu Kesh, Outlaw Platoon is a Band of Brothers or We Were Soldiers Once and Young for the early 21st century—an action-packed, highly emotional true story of enormous sacrifice and bravery. A magnificent account of heroes, renegades, infidels, and brothers, it stands with Sebastian Junger’s War as one of the most important books to yet emerge from the heat, smoke, and fire of America’s War in Afghanistan.

Not a Good Day to Die

Not a Good Day to Die
Author: Sean Naylor
Pages: 448
ISBN: 9781101204610
Available:
Release: 2005-03-01
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Award-winning combat reporter Sean Naylor reveals how close American forces came to disaster in Afghanistan against Al Qaida—after easily defeating the ragtag Taliban that had sheltered the terrorist organization behind the 9/11 attacks. At dawn on March 2, 2002, over two hundred soldiers of the 101st Airborne and 10th Mountain Divisions flew into the mouth of a buzz saw in Afghanistan's Shahikot Valley. Believing the war all but over, U.S. military leaders refused to commit the extra infantry, artillery, and attack helicopters required to fight the war's biggest battle—a missed opportunity to crush hundreds of Al Qaida's fighters and some of its most senior leaders. Eyewitness Naylor vividly portrays the heroism of the young, untested soldiers, the fanaticism of their ferocious enemy, the mistakes that led to a hellish mountaintop firefight, and how thirteen American commandos embodied "Patton's three principles of war"—audacity, audacity, and audacity—by creeping unseen over frozen mountains into the heart of an enemy stronghold to prevent a U.S. military catastrophe.

Operation Medusa

Operation Medusa
Author: Major General David Fraser,Brian Hanington
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9780771039317
Available:
Release: 2018-05-08
Editor: McClelland & Stewart
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

From the Canadian in charge of the joint military command in Kandahar Province in Afghanistan, this is the real on-the-ground story of one of NATO's bloodiest, most decisive and misunderstood operations: The battle of Panjwayi, the defining moment of "Operation Medusa." In the summer of 2006, David Fraser was the Canadian general in charge of NATO's Regional Command South, a territory spanning six Afghan provinces surrounding the Arghandab Valley. Birthplace of the Taliban decades earlier, this fertile region had since become Afghanistan's most deadly turf. It would soon turn deadlier still. Advised in the night by his intelligence officers that the Taliban had secretly amassed for a full-scale military assault, Fraser knew it would fall to him, his Canadians and their allies to avoid the wholesale slaughter of NATO troops, keep the Taliban from laying siege to Kandahar and restore control of the south of the country to a newly formed, democratic Afghan government. The odds were solidy against Fraser's forces. The Taliban knew every millimetre of their own terrain. During the months of secret manoeuvres they had stocked every farmhouse, school, grape hut and tunnel with weapons and ammunition. They had drilled Soviet-era landmines into all of the marijuana and poppy fields, and dug IEDs into every roadway. Protected from detection by corrupt officials, their sophisticated warfare schools had successfully readied an army of zealous fighters to attack and fight to the death. And now their top commanders were poised to launch decisive military operations against freshly arrived troops who had never seen combat. The bloodiest battle in NATO's history was about to begin.

Into the Fire

Into the Fire
Author: Dakota Meyer,Bing West
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9780679645443
Available:
Release: 2012-09-25
Editor: Random House
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

“The story of what Dakota did . . . will be told for generations.”—President Barack Obama, from remarks given at Meyer’s Medal of Honor ceremony In the fall of 2009, Taliban insurgents ambushed a patrol of Afghan soldiers and Marine advisors in a mountain village called Ganjigal. Firing from entrenched positions, the enemy was positioned to wipe out one hundred men who were pinned down and were repeatedly refused artillery support. Ordered to remain behind with the vehicles, twenty-one year-old Marine corporal Dakota Meyer disobeyed orders and attacked to rescue his comrades. With a brave driver at the wheel, Meyer stood in the gun turret exposed to withering fire, rallying Afghan troops to follow. Over the course of the five hours, he charged into the valley time and again. Employing a variety of machine guns, rifles, grenade launchers, and even a rock, Meyer repeatedly repulsed enemy attackers, carried wounded Afghan soldiers to safety, and provided cover for dozens of others to escape—supreme acts of valor and determination. In the end, Meyer and four stalwart comrades—an Army captain, an Afghan sergeant major, and two Marines—cleared the battlefield and came to grips with a tragedy they knew could have been avoided. For his actions on that day, Meyer became the first living Marine in three decades to be awarded the Medal of Honor. Into the Fire tells the full story of the chaotic battle of Ganjigal for the first time, in a compelling, human way that reveals it as a microcosm of our recent wars. Meyer takes us from his upbringing on a farm in Kentucky, through his Marine and sniper training, onto the battlefield, and into the vexed aftermath of his harrowing exploits in a battle that has become the stuff of legend. Investigations ensued, even as he was pitched back into battle alongside U.S. Army soldiers who embraced him as a fellow grunt. When it was over, he returned to the States to confront living with the loss of his closest friends. This is a tale of American values and upbringing, of stunning heroism, and of adjusting to loss and to civilian life. We see it all through Meyer’s eyes, bullet by bullet, with raw honesty in telling of both the errors that resulted in tragedy and the resolve of American soldiers, U.S. Marines, and Afghan soldiers who’d been abandoned and faced certain death. Meticulously researched and thrillingly told, with nonstop pace and vivid detail, Into the Fire is the unvarnished story of a modern American hero. Praise for Into the Fire “A story of men at their best and at their worst . . . leaves you gaping in admiration at Medal of Honor winner Dakota Meyer’s courage.”—National Review “Meyer’s dazzling bravery wasn’t momentary or impulsive but deliberate and sustained.”—The Wall Street Journal “[A] cathartic, heartfelt account . . . Combat memoirs don’t get any more personal.”—Kirkus Reviews “A great contribution to the discussion of an agonizingly complex subject.”—The Virginian-Pilot “Black Hawk Down meets Lone Survivor.”—Library Journal

Horse Soldiers

Horse Soldiers
Author: D. Stanton
Pages: 416
ISBN: 9781476780191
Available:
Release: 2014-01-06
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A Simon & Schuster eBook. Simon & Schuster has a great book for every reader.

Unflinching

Unflinching
Author: Jody Mitic
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781476795119
Available:
Release: 2016-05-03
Editor: Simon and Schuster
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

"Inspirational true story of and lessons from a Canadian sniper who lost his legs in Afghanistan."--

The Hooligans of Kandahar

The Hooligans of Kandahar
Author: Joseph Kassabian
Pages: 258
ISBN: 163161049X
Available:
Release: 2018-04-10
Editor: Tck Publishing
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Not Every War Story is Heroic During the peak of the Afghanistan War, a group of soldiers is dropped by helicopter into the remote mountains outside of Kandahar City. Mismanaged and overlooked by command, the squad must rely on each other to survive. Their mission is to train and advise the Afghan National Police and help rebuild the country of Afghanistan. The Afghan Police station they are assigned to live in is falling apart and disease-ridden. Many of the police officers they are supposed to train are Taliban sleeper agents or the family of Taliban fighters. The ones that aren't are often addicted to drugs, illiterate, or smuggling child slaves. The squad is led by Slim, a Staff Sergeant in his late twenties who has so many mental issues his insanity is his most dominant personality trait. An alcoholic with a penchant for violent outbursts against both his own soldiers and the Afghans, he is more comfortable at war than at home. Joseph Kassabian is the youngest and most junior fire team leader in the squad. He's charged with leading a team of soldiers not even old enough to drink. He himself is only 21 years old. As a combat veteran from previous deployments with four years in the Army, he assumes he has seen it all. But he has no idea how bad things can get in war-torn Kandahar. In the birthplace of the Taliban, some men lose their lives, some lose their sanity, and others their humanity. They are The Hooligans.

The Outpost

The Outpost
Author: Jake Tapper
Pages: 688
ISBN: 9780316215855
Available:
Release: 2012-11-13
Editor: Little, Brown
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The basis of the film starring Orlando Bloom and Scott Eastwood, The Outpost is the heartbreaking and inspiring story of one of America's deadliest battles during the war in Afghanistan, acclaimed by critics everywhere as a classic. At 5:58 AM on October 3rd, 2009, Combat Outpost Keating, located in frighteningly vulnerable terrain in Afghanistan just 14 miles from the Pakistani border, was viciously attacked. Though the 53 Americans there prevailed against nearly 400 Taliban fighters, their casualties made it the deadliest fight of the war for the U.S. that year. Four months after the battle, a Pentagon review revealed that there was no reason for the troops at Keating to have been there in the first place. In The Outpost, Jake Tapper gives us the powerful saga of COP Keating, from its establishment to eventual destruction, introducing us to an unforgettable cast of soldiers and their families, and to a place and war that has remained profoundly distant to most Americans. A runaway bestseller, it makes a savage war real, and American courage manifest. "The Outpost is a mind-boggling, all-too-true story of heroism, hubris, failed strategy, and heartbreaking sacrifice. If you want to understand how the war in Afghanistan went off the rails, you need to read this book." -- Jon Krakauer

The Taliban Don t Wave

The Taliban Don t Wave
Author: Robert Semrau
Pages: 312
ISBN: 9781118261477
Available:
Release: 2012-08-17
Editor: John Wiley & Sons
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

Captain Robert Semrau’s military trial made international headlines—a Canadian soldier serving in Afghanistan arrested for allegedly killing a grievously wounded Taliban soldier in the field. The trial and its outcome are a matter of public record. What you are about to read about the tour of duty that inspired this book is not. What you are about to read is an emotionally draining and mind-snapping firsthand account of war on the ground in Afghanistan. It’s raw and explosive. Names have been changed to protect the brave and not so brave alike. What you are about to read is an account of soldiers who live, fight and die in a moonscape of a country where it’s sometimes hard to tell your friend from your enemy. It’s about trying to hold it together when a mortar attack is ripping your friends and allies apart, and your world unravels before your eyes. Rob Semrau wrote this book to tell us about the sheer hell that is the Stan, but also to recognize the incredible courage and compassion he witnessed in the heat of battle. The soldiers you are about to meet and the events that befall them will linger on in your mind long after you have closed these pages.

Outside the Wire

Outside the Wire
Author: Kevin Patterson,Jane Warren
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780307370853
Available:
Release: 2010-06-25
Editor: Vintage Canada
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

A remarkable collection of first-hand accounts written by soldiers, doctors and aid workers on the front lines of Canada’s war in Afghanistan. Visceral, intimate and captivating in ways no other telling could be, Outside the Wire features nearly two dozen stories by Canadians on the front lines in Afghanistan, including the previously unpublished letters home of Captain Nichola Goddard, the first female NATO soldier killed in combat, and an introductory reflection by Roméo Dallaire. Collected here are stories of battle and the more subtle engagements of this little-understood war: the tearful farewells; the shock of immersion into a culture that has been at war for thirty years; looking a suicide bomber in the eye the moment before he strikes; grappling with mortality in the Kandahar Field Hospital; and the unexpected humour that leavens life in a warzone. Throughout each piece the passion of those engaged in rebuilding this shattered country shines through, a glimmer of optimism and determination so rare in multinational military actions–and so particularly Canadian. In Outside the Wire, award-winning author Kevin Patterson and co-editor Jane Warren have rediscovered the valour and horror of sacrifice in this, the definitive account of the modern Canadian experience of war.

Red Platoon

Red Platoon
Author: Clinton Romesha
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9780698404151
Available:
Release: 2016-05-03
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The only comprehensive, firsthand account of the fourteen-hour firefight at the Battle of Keating in Afghanistan by Medal of Honor recipient Clinton Romesha, for readers of Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden and Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell. “‘It doesn't get better.’ To us, that phrase nailed one of the essential truths, maybe even the essential truth, about being stuck at an outpost whose strategic and tactical vulnerabilities were so glaringly obvious to every soldier who had ever set foot in that place that the name itself—Keating—had become a kind of backhanded joke.” In 2009, Clinton Romesha of Red Platoon and the rest of the Black Knight Troop were preparing to shut down Command Outpost (COP) Keating, the most remote and inaccessible in a string of bases built by the US military in Nuristan and Kunar in the hope of preventing Taliban insurgents from moving freely back and forth between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Three years after its construction, the army was finally ready to concede what the men on the ground had known immediately: it was simply too isolated and too dangerous to defend. On October 3, 2009, after years of constant smaller attacks, the Taliban finally decided to throw everything they had at Keating. The ensuing fourteen-hour battle—and eventual victory—cost eight men their lives. Red Platoon is the riveting firsthand account of the Battle of Keating, told by Romesha, who spearheaded both the defense of the outpost and the counterattack that drove the Taliban back beyond the wire and received the Medal of Honor for his actions.

American Radical

American Radical
Author: Tamer Elnoury,Kevin Maurer
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9781101986165
Available:
Release: 2017-10-23
Editor: Penguin
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The explosive memoir of a Muslim American FBI agent fighting terror from the inside. It’s no secret that federal agencies are waging a broad, global war against terror. But for the first time in this memoir, an active Muslim American federal agent reveals his experience infiltrating and bringing down a terror cell in North America. A longtime undercover agent, Tamer Elnoury joined an elite counterterrorism unit after September 11. Its express purpose is to gain the trust of terrorists whose goals are to take out as many Americans in as public and as devastating a way possible. It's a furious race against the clock for Tamer and his unit to stop them before they can implement their plans. Yet as new as this war still is, the techniques are as old as time: listen, record, and prove terrorist intent. Due to his ongoing work for the FBI, Elnoury writes under a pseudonym. An Arabic-speaking Muslim American, a patriot, a hero: To many Americans, it will be a revelation that he and his team even exist, let alone the vital and dangerous work they do keeping all Americans safe.

The Chosen Few

The Chosen Few
Author: Gregg Zoroya
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9780306824845
Available:
Release: 2017-02-14
Editor: Da Capo Press
Language: en

Explanation of the Book:

The never-before-told story of one of the most decorated units in the war in Afghanistan and its fifteen-month ordeal that culminated in the 2008 Battle of Wanat, the war's deadliest A single company of US paratroopers--calling themselves the "Chosen Few"--arrived in eastern Afghanistan in late 2007 hoping to win the hearts and minds of the remote mountain people and extend the Afghan government's reach into this wilderness. Instead, they spent the next fifteen months in a desperate struggle, living under almost continuous attack, forced into a slow and grinding withdrawal, and always outnumbered by Taliban fighters descending on them from all sides. Month after month, rocket-propelled grenades, rockets, and machine-gun fire poured down on the isolated and exposed paratroopers as America's focus and military resources shifted to Iraq. Just weeks before the paratroopers were to go home, they faced their last--and toughest--fight. Near the village of Wanat in Nuristan province, an estimated three hundred enemy fighters surrounded about fifty of the Chosen Few and others defending a partially finished combat base. Nine died and more than two dozen were wounded that day in July 2008, making it arguably the bloodiest battle of the war in Afghanistan. The Chosen Few would return home tempered by war. Two among them would receive the Medal of Honor. All of them would be forever changed.