American Heroes in Special Operations by Oliver North and Chuck Holton

I chose this book to read because of the author, Oliver North.  I was very curious to read what he had written.  It is actually a part of a series that he has produced. Had I fully known the subject matter of the book, prior to my selection, I wouldn’t have chosen it. (I shy away from war stories, due to the violence.) That would have been tragic for me. My timing (Veteran’s Day) was a coincidence, but made it all the more relevant.

“American Heroes in Special Operations” is a compilation of short stories , reporting true Special Operations Force’s events that have taken place since the launch of the War on Terror. The stories are reported with as much fact and detail as is allowed by law. The book also includes: amazing photos, to help support the stories written about events in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq; detailed definitions for novices (like me); and most importantly, recounts the honors awarded to the participants in these events.

Once I started reading this book, I could not put it down. It is written in such a manner so as not to titillate the reader by the horrorifics of battle, but to recount the stories in as much detail as possible, so the reader gets a very good sense of what the participants endured. The words flow smoothly so it is easy to become engaged in the stories and with the participants.  I was cheering for the good guys, boo/hissing the bad guys, and weeping for those who were lost. The stories seem so fantastic that I had to frequently remind myself that this is not fiction or fantasy, but real stories about real people.

I’ve found this book of true stories to be important to me, because it has helped me become more of a participant in the War on Terror, if only through new knowledge. I feel very strongly that this book belongs in every home in America. If there were ever a reason to get everyone moving in one direction at one time, it should be to collectively read this book so as to more fully appreciate what it actually means to go to war.