The Casting Dock

I pledge allegiance to the United States of America

My patriotism is brimming over these days.

The Olympics themselves would have been enough to do it-talk about inspiring pride in your fellow Americans! I have had the great pleasure with my flexible summer schedule to watch a whole heckuva lot of the Olympics this go around and I have savored every minute.

But in addition to London 2012, my summer reading list has included some sure-to-ignite-American-pride selections, the most recent of which was Lone Survivor, the story of Operation Redwing, a Navy Seals special operation in Afghanistan in 2005  gone horribly awry.

As the title indicates, it is written by the only survivor.

I read this book in 24 hours. Beyond the first 80 pages which are setting the stage and giving some background info, it is absolutely captivating. I could not put it down. Even knowing full well ahead of time that only one man was going to walk out alive, I could not help but root against all hope that there would be a surprise miraculous ending with bloodshed spared.

And yet, in the end, it was truly a miracle that even one soul survived.

I was amazed at this brotherhood of Navy Seals-the unbelievable training, the uninhibited love for country and for fellow Seals, and the absolutely unparalleled mental toughness. With complete sacrifice and devotion, these guys represent so much of what is awe-inspiring to me within the human spirit, the ability to continue on against incredible odds and unimaginable pain all because of a belief in something greater than oneself, something worth the ultimate sacrifice.

Now it’s certainly not the best written book I’ve ever read. The author’s proud Texas heritage (and vernacular) is strong and, unfortunately (in my opinion), it is not without heated, overt political opinions particularly on the Rules of Engagement for war and the liberal media. Given the context of the story and his experience, I understand his perspective completely, though I know it would certainly rub some people the wrong way. I wish he would have laid off of it a bit though, not because it bothered me, but because I think it cast a shadow over the story itself, which is unbelievably moving, inspiring, and heart-breaking.

I don’t typically do the book review or recommendation thing on the blog, but this story evoked such pride in and respect for our military as well as in the strength, perseverance, and courage of the human spirit. It is a human story of brotherhood, sacrifice, courage, and the unexpected kindness of the Afghan people.

You should read it.

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1 CraigW { 08.09.12 at 6:27 pm }

One good turn …

I just finished this one:

This one turned out better. But it certainly took me more than 24 hours to read it. :)

2 Noche { 08.16.12 at 4:58 am }

I am glad you had such a good read for your flight home & your time here.

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