Friday, May 27, 2011

Special Operations by Oliver North

American Heroes in Special OperationsThere often seems to be a certain coincidence between what I'm reading and things that pop up in current events. While I was in the middle of this book about the Navy Seals and other Special Forces, the news came over the wires that Seal Team 6 had taken out Osama bin Laden. The other thing that happened was the commisioning of the Navy ship named after Medal of Honor recipient Michael W. Murphy. Maybe I need to read a book about how an economy was saved, next.

I've been rather fond of Ollie North since the days of the Iran Contra hearings, when I heard him being questioned by members of Congress. One of them asked him, "Why did you shred those documents?" His reply was something on the lines of, "Listen, I didn't go out and buy a shredder for myself. The government bought the shredder and put it in my office. It was part of my job to shred confidential documents." with and undertone of "You moron!" Can't recall the name of his autobiography, but I read it back when it hit paperback, and enjoyed it.

This book is based on a television series that Fox News aired and that North hosted a while back, which I never seemed to be tuned in at the right time to watch. It contains interesting information about the makeup of our Special Operations forces, the training that each type receives, and the types of missions that they're generally called to execute. There are stories of their heroism mostly in Afghanistan and Iraq, and probably a merely a small fraction of the heroics that have happened, but these, at least, have been declassified.

This, for me, was not a book I was able to just pick up and breeze through in one sitting. I took it in bits and pieces, as the stories of these men and their selfless sacrifice for their fellow soldiers and others left me in literal tears at times, and I had to walk away. Of course, the story of Seal Team 10, which I hope to read more about in Marcus Lutrell's book, Lone Survivor, one of these days, was featured, as were tales of the Rangers, Marine Force Recon, the Night Stalkers, Delta Force and DEA FAST teams.

I highly recommend this one.

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