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Red Platoon

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 14 hour battle and eventual victory cost 8 men their lives    Red Platoon is the riveting first hand account of the Battle of Keating told by Romesha who spearheaded both the defense of the outpost and the counter attack that drove the Taliban back beyond the wire and received the Medal of Honor for his actions I read this book first because it was my job and then I read it again because it blew my mind It's not the story of Navy SEALS or highly trained soldiers; it's about young people who are barely old enough to vote or drink or are in the Army because it was their only option for a career and who end up facing the Taliban for a 14 hour firefight It doesn't get political it just gets compassionate

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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 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 doesn't get betterWhy?Why do we keep making decisions like this? I understand the idea behind a line of outposts to disrupt the enemy's sphere of control but how do you put an outpost here It doesn't get betterTo 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 has become a kind of backhanded joke A byword for the army’s peculiar flair for stacking odds against itself in a way that was almost guaranteed to blow up in some spectacular fashion and then refusing to walk away from the tableThe location the analysts selected was unacceptable by almost any yardstick you’d care to measure it with Positioned only fourteen miles from the Pakistan border the site was ensconced in the deepest valley of Nuristan’s Kamdesh District at a spot that resembled the bowl of a toilet It was surrounded by steep mountains whose summits went as high as twelve thousand feet and whose ridgelines would enable an enemy to pour fire down on the outpost while remaining concealed behind a thick scrim of trees and bouldersWhat makes this an even tragic incident is that the decision had been made to abandon the outpost and in fact the three platoons on site Red White and Blue were to be the last before the outpost was destroyed So close that some of the medical supplies had been boxed up ready to be airlifted outEarly in the morning of October 3 2009 the Taliban began a sophisticated multi pronged attack on the outpost pinning down most of the fighting positions around the outpost The outpost teeters on the edge before the first air attack is carried out by Apache helicopters Over time a tremendous amount of air support is called in and even included a B 1 bomber dropping 500 to 2000 pound bombsI have read many of these battle experience books over the last several years but this stands out for a couple of reasons First the sheer lunacy of the outpost positioning itself Second Romesha spoke with other members of the platoons before writing the book to provide a better overall perspective of the battle This book also seemed to paint an honest picture of the action and reaction of fellow soldiers Not everybody in the platoon got along not everyone was gung ho balls to the wall It seemed like a realistic view of the workings of a group of men put together in an almost impossible situation910

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The only comprehensive firsthand account of the thirteen hour firefight at the Battle of Keating 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 After back to back tours of duty often demanded of a soldier hisher next mission may not get better cushier or less dangerous which fatally was the case for the Black Knight Troop a mechanized armor unit whose sixty five men were spread across three platoons Red White and Blue deployed with the task of dismantling Combat Outpost Keating the most remote American camp in Afghanistan Inside Red Platoon Barracks IT DOESN'T GET BETTER the unnerving mantra etched in wood at COP Keating expresses concisely how susceptible the platoon felt at the outpost that lay in a basin enclosed by mountains literally fishbowled in and virtually unprotected from any angle View down into COP Keating from the North Face On the morning of October 3rd 2009 the camp of 53 Americans soldiers was attacked by 300 Taliban assailants scattered around its perimeter They were basically sitting ducks; the following 14 hour carnage came to be known as the Battle of Kamdesh Combining accounts from Clinton Romesha and other survivors of the siege detail in panoramic perspective that hellish day Their defense of the outpost is described in heart pounding strategic counterattacks against the fighters who were already inside our wire Exploding RPGs rapid zings from AK 47s Humvees blasted into infernal heaps and searing hot shrapnel embedding into and shredding flesh and bone do not despite its apocalyptic images overshadow the sheer courage it took to face the task needed to be tackled by men who had their boots on the ground and were willing to engage in a direct eyeball to eyeball gunfight inch by inch and shot by shot for this contested piece of dirt”While recalling each defensive tact like a football game in overtime Romesha takes greater care in personalizing each of his teammates the soldier is not just a player fighting a bloody game he is someone's best friend a jokester a teaser a family man an average 'joe' with real worries and aspirations for his future he is humanized Romesha's memoir steers clearly away from any blaming of policy makers or uestioning the judgement of administration Instead his chief aim is to honor the brave fallen comrades who fought heroically that day; who as good soldiers who have pledged to go and do without uestion completed their mission without reservation His aim was precise and hit its target flawlesslyNarrative of winning the battleground was not one of Romesha's main concerns knowing that the Taliban placed great value on American bodies which they removed from the battlefield and filmed then posted the resulting videos on the InternetFor these reasons we had to get our dead back tooHow strongly each soldier held his unspoken loyalty to the other is one absolutely resonating message in Romesha's memoir It was not just a matter of teamwork but how deeply the relationships ran between the Red Platoon these 'brothers in arms' that if one of them fell in mortal danger the other will rise without hesitation to catch and support him at the risk of his own life; and that dead or alive no one would be left behind even if the effort to retrieve them might entail losing guys me included Given what we stood for and what we believed in we really had no other choice”The Red PlatoonRomesha's recounting of the Battle of Kamdesh is a high octane story of bravery faithful comradeship and the unselfish giving of oneself for his country and countryman in the face of his own mortality In case some aren't uite sure this is the true definition of Sacrifice Heroic acts such as these must not be degraded or cheapened in its meaning by fake plastic medalsRed Platoon is a must read and has already been slated for a movie adaptation Congratulations to Sergeant Clinton L Romesha for receiving the Medal of Honor the highest honor in the country It Doesn't Get Better Than That Unlike some undeserving wannabes not worth mentioning you and the Red Platoon company have earned itMedal of Honor recipient Staff Sgt Clinton L RomeshaFor in honor of SgtClinton Romesha check out


10 thoughts on “Red Platoon

  1. says:

    After back to back tours of duty often demanded of a soldier hisher next mission may not get better cushier or less dangerous which fatally was the case for the Black Knight Troop a mechanized armor unit whose sixty five men were spread across three platoons Red White and Blue deployed with the task of dismantling Combat Outpost Keating the most remote American camp in Afghanistan Inside Red Platoon Barracks IT DOESN'T GET BETTER the unnerving mantra etched in wood at COP Keating expresses concisely how susceptible the platoon felt at the outpost that lay in a basin enclosed by mountains literally fishbowled in and virtually unprotected from any angle View down into COP Keating from the North Face On the morning of October 3rd 2009 the camp of 53 Americans soldiers was attacked by 300 Taliban assailants scattered around its perimeter They were basically sitting ducks; the following 14 hour carnage came to be known as the Battle of Kamdesh Combining accounts from Clinton Romesha and other survivors of the siege detail in panoramic perspective that hellish day Their defense of the outpost is described in heart pounding strategic counterattacks against the fighters who were already inside our wire Exploding RPGs rapid zings from AK 47s Humvees blasted into infernal heaps and searing hot shrapnel embedding into and shredding flesh and bone do not despite its apocalyptic images overshadow the sheer courage it took to face the task needed to be tackled by men who had their boots on the ground and were willing to engage in a direct eyeball to eyeball gunfight inch by inch and shot by shot for this contested piece of dirt”While recalling each defensive tact like a football game in overtime Romesha takes greater care in personalizing each of his teammates the soldier is not just a player fighting a bloody game he is someone's best friend a jokester a teaser a family man an average 'joe' with real worries and aspirations for his future he is humanized Romesha's memoir steers clearly away from any blaming of policy makers or uestioning the judgement of administration Instead his chief aim is to honor the brave fallen comrades who fought heroically that day; who as good soldiers who have pledged to go and do without uestion completed their mission without reservation His aim was precise and hit its target flawlesslyNarrative of winning the battleground was not one of Romesha's main concerns knowing that the Taliban placed great value on American bodies which they removed from the battlefield and filmed then posted the resulting videos on the InternetFor these reasons we had to get our dead back tooHow strongly each soldier held his unspoken loyalty to the other is one absolutely resonating message in Romesha's memoir It was not just a matter of teamwork but how deeply the relationships ran between the Red Platoon these 'brothers in arms' that if one of them fell in mortal danger the other will rise without hesitation to catch and support him at the risk of his own life; and that dead or alive no one would be left behind even if the effort to retrieve them might entail losing guys me included Given what we stood for and what we believed in we really had no other choice”The Red PlatoonRomesha's recounting of the Battle of Kamdesh is a high octane story of bravery faithful comradeship and the unselfish giving of oneself for his country and countryman in the face of his own mortality In case some aren't uite sure this is the true definition of Sacrifice Heroic acts such as these must not be degraded or cheapened in its meaning by fake plastic medalsRed Platoon is a must read and has already been slated for a movie adaptation Congratulations to Sergeant Clinton L Romesha for receiving the Medal of Honor the highest honor in the country It Doesn't Get Better Than That Unlike some undeserving wannabes not worth mentioning you and the Red Platoon company have earned itMedal of Honor recipient Staff Sgt Clinton L RomeshaFor in honor of SgtClinton Romesha check out


  2. says:

    I grew up with Clint and we were best friends for the better part of 18 years When I found out he was putting this book together I knew I would read it as soon as I got my hands on it and that I would give it a high rating because of the bias created by our friendship I have to say though now that I've completed Red Platoon I would have given any author of this exceptional book 5 stars It reads like an action movie and then you stop and think oh wait this really happened He does a great job of setting up the scene and helping the reader get to know the guys he fought with It's apparent that Clint has done his best to make this book about those brave men that gave their lives to hold the ground at Keating rather than to glorify himself and his actions Like any movie I cannot really let myself become enveloped with the story without good character development Clint does a great job of helping the reader get to know the men that fought in the events that unfolded on October 3rd through vivid stories and genuine dialogue throughout This publication already has a place on my bookshelf and will never be taken down except for when I decide to begin reading it for the second time


  3. says:

    Red Platoon is easily the best first hand account of a military action that I have read There is a rare feel of honesty and nobility in Romesha's story and I think within the telling The reader gets a true sense of what it was like to be a soldier at an obscure outpost in AfghanistanKeating was an outpost in an isolated area in the Nuristan province in Afghanistan near the Urmul village Red Platoon was one of 3 platoons sent to the outpost Located in an area that was almost tactically indefensible and strategically incomprehensible these soldiers were sent to close it down The mission of Keating was unclear and its dangers were evident to even the newest recruits It's location violated the most basic tenets of combat strategy It was located at the bottom of a valley nestled in a mountainous area It was too far from the nearest military bases so helicopter and air support spotty and logistics were almost impossible It took large amounts of fuel to reach the outpost There were no real roads to the outposts It really was a strange setup by any military andor diplomatic objectives The real mission of Keating isn't covered in the book but Romesha speculated very tongue in cheek If I had to explain why we’d been sent to Keating and what we were supposed to accomplish there what it apparently boiled down to was that we were helping the Afghan government beef up security just enough to kick start commerce in the region This would enable local people to start making money which they could then use to buy a bunch of DVD players and toasters and other sweet stuff for themselves and their families thereby magically transforming Nuristan into a hub of vibrant economic development At this point the government could hold elections which would enable folks to race off to the ballot box and vote to shut down the Taliban—whereupon everybody could kick back in front of their new TV sets break out some cocktails and enjoy themselves Then Romesha states what he was told about the reasons for Keating US military’s strategy at the time which was to use Keating and other remote combat outposts to tie up the insurgents’ resources in the hopes of preventing them from attacking larger towns and cities to the south Finally Romesha states what the soldiers think their mission is Our mission at Keating” he declared “is to turn these MREs into shit This is inside baseball but basically he is saying he doesn't know why they are there MRE stands for Meals Ready to Eat It is a real military acronym representing some not a very appetizing items but they are nutritious lightweight portable and will sustain youThis is what I loved about the book and what I think is it's most important message Soldiers don't often know exactly why they are where they are; they do their duty But it is worth looking at how they see their world There is a superficiality in the way Americans view the concept of war and the reasons we are at war Soldiers are not that fluffy They don't have the luxury to be Romesha goes into a great deal of detail about what the soldiers go through I think he highlights a lot of things that Americans would do better if we were mindful of what our military does and how it is used Romesha talks a lot about the soldier with some statistics that gave me pause In the aftermath of 911 when America had committed itself to fighting two extended wars overseas one in Ira and the other in Afghanistan it consigned a relatively small group of young soldiers to something relatively new which was to send them abroad repeatedly and throw them into combat again and again and again sic The brunt of our fighting during this time was performed by less than one percent of our population and many of the folks who wound up on the front lines—especially the ground pounders in the infantry—were guys just like me men who joined up straight out of high school and had three or four deployments under their belts by the time their peers were finishing college Romesha goes on to discuss that the impacts of this military with the small number of soldiers being subjected to repeated deployments One of the clearest signs of the problem was the alarmingly high rate of PTSD especially among enlisted soldiers This wasn’t always easy to detect at least not directly But you could discern it in the rising incidents of suicide and drug abuse Within a month or two the brigade found itself wrestling with substance abuse problems ranging from marijuana to cocaine and meth as well as incidents of depression that would contribute to three suicidesRomesha also does an excellent reveal of what it is like to be a soldier at Keating He goes into detail about all of the things that do they do where they live how they live the routine duties that most people would find disgusting the anticipation of the very few number of actual hot meals that they have in a given week their continued use of the internet as a connection to home their obsession with things that might seem nonsensical to most people but it makes them feel at home a tennis star's underwear for example read the book for explanation not that sordid the things they would do to relieve the boredom and tediousness of everyday life Honestly it comes across as dreary and without benefit of comradery and friendships these men would all be certifiable In fact Romesha shows signs of extreme behavior in some of his tales before the attack To ferret out snipers for example I would climb onto the sponson box a big rectangular storage compartment on the turret of our lead tank pretend it was a surfboard and balance myself out there as we clattered through the streets of Habbaniyah daring any Irai marksmen to take a shot at me and expose their positionsAll while being surrounded by indigenous people who don't like them there And the soldier whether conditioned or through personal experience are not too keen on the Afghani people either While they had a healthy respect for the people in the province there was a mutual inherent distrust THE PROVINCE OF NURISTAN is so isolated and poor that US soldiers who have logged time there often refer to it as the Appalachia of Afghanistan Like Appalachia this region on the southern side of the Hindu Kush is home to a population of fiercely independent people who have a reputation for insularity and backwardness and who take a dim view of outsiders They also know how to fight And as for the Afghans that were supposed to fight alongside the soldiers from Romesha's view there was no admiration or respect only contempt We viewed them as lazy and incompetentBear in mind that it's clear that Red Platoon and Romesha had almost no real formative contact with the Afghanis and that he does not have any relationships with any of them so it is a one sided presentation This is not a criticism But having contempt even for the supposed good guys does dehumanize which makes it easier to kill them I also say this to make a point Soldiers are not meant to see all sides Their job is combat They thrive in the absolutes In fact it is an important part of command and control in war In battle responses must be reflexive almost instinctual They can't be mulling over what is fair or right Seconds are the difference between alive and dead At this point the book begins a blow by blow description of Romesha's involvement in the battle and the heroics that earned him a Medal of Honor For me the descriptions became a little repetitive and slowed the pace But I will also say that his descriptions and explanations were excellent He went into great detail about what was going on from his standpoint and what was going on in Command Posts etc to make conditions on the ground advantageous Of particular distinction were his descriptions and explanations of the air support specifically the Apache helicopter pilots and the Air Force pilots It was well articulated researched and presented To be fair his entire presentation of the battle was excellent; explaining the nature of all of the dangers they faced the armaments the evacuation of the village the strategy of both Taliban and the military and why it was so difficult to get under control Romesha is a great storyteller and there is a tremendous amount of intellect and self awareness in the telling I can guarantee you there are many journalists and writers who wish they had the knowledge and experience to write this bookAll of this brings me to my issues reservations about the book There is no doubt in my mind that this is a recounting of Romesha's experience and that he did a significant amount of research to write this book I truly believe this is his story and how he would tell it What I am having trouble believing is that he had the skills and the literary insight to put together such a cohesive and cogent book There is skill focus organization and articulateness to the book that in my mind says that he a lot of help in putting this together; as in someone who writes for a living The only evidence I saw of this was in the Acknowledgement section where he says And I’m grateful to the writer Kevin Fedarko for helping me find a way to tell this story Why didn't Fedarko get credit elsewhere Because if he didn't provide a whole lot of help to write the book it would appear that Romesha is some kind of literary savant The book is expertly done Also there was a notes section that was very vague and generic There is no accounting of where the facts came from Romesha says he flew around the country and interviewed and read other accounts There are many points in the book where the author is not present and could not know but no attributes I would hope a huge publishing house like Penguin Random House would understand the importance Thirdly this is a bit of a Conservative screed Almost everything is presented within a framework of absolutes very distinct heroes and villains lots of manly men whose bravery is demonstrated by their willingness to sacrifice even when they know it is feckless and foolhardy a slight rebellious streak that know when stop and fall in line etc There was a particular passage of shade that served no purpose in the book view spoilerbut an attempt to diminish President Obama Having no idea how to address the president Jones found himself at a loss for words as he shook hands with Barack Obama But later that night he’d returned to his normal state of volubility “The man had soft hands” he reported which was apparently his main impression from his brief encounter with the commander in chief “I mean real soft In fact I don’t think there’s any part of my body that’s that soft This was almost a way of saying yeah you got the Medal of Honor but it was from President Obama so you have they have to redeem themselves by saying he wasn't as manly as they are Hard for me to imagine that if Bush or Trump had awarded them the Medal that there would have any comment at all besides how honored they were to receive it Seriously that unnecessary image was probably what docked the 5th star in my book They just can't help themselves hide spoiler


  4. says:

    It doesn't get betterWhy?Why do we keep making decisions like this? I understand the idea behind a line of outposts to disrupt the enemy's sphere of control but how do you put an outpost here It doesn't get betterTo 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 has become a kind of backhanded joke A byword for the army’s peculiar flair for stacking odds against itself in a way that was almost guaranteed to blow up in some spectacular fashion and then refusing to walk away from the tableThe location the analysts selected was unacceptable by almost any yardstick you’d care to measure it with Positioned only fourteen miles from the Pakistan border the site was ensconced in the deepest valley of Nuristan’s Kamdesh District at a spot that resembled the bowl of a toilet It was surrounded by steep mountains whose summits went as high as twelve thousand feet and whose ridgelines would enable an enemy to pour fire down on the outpost while remaining concealed behind a thick scrim of trees and bouldersWhat makes this an even tragic incident is that the decision had been made to abandon the outpost and in fact the three platoons on site Red White and Blue were to be the last before the outpost was destroyed So close that some of the medical supplies had been boxed up ready to be airlifted outEarly in the morning of October 3 2009 the Taliban began a sophisticated multi pronged attack on the outpost pinning down most of the fighting positions around the outpost The outpost teeters on the edge before the first air attack is carried out by Apache helicopters Over time a tremendous amount of air support is called in and even included a B 1 bomber dropping 500 to 2000 pound bombsI have read many of these battle experience books over the last several years but this stands out for a couple of reasons First the sheer lunacy of the outpost positioning itself Second Romesha spoke with other members of the platoons before writing the book to provide a better overall perspective of the battle This book also seemed to paint an honest picture of the action and reaction of fellow soldiers Not everybody in the platoon got along not everyone was gung ho balls to the wall It seemed like a realistic view of the workings of a group of men put together in an almost impossible situation910


  5. says:

    Received an Advanced Reader's Copy from Goodreads Give Away programFor me this was a very emotional read The book was very detailed gave an excellent chronology of the events as well as introducing the reader to many of the individuals involved The book shows a great detail of research was involved in compiling the bookIn ways it read like a novel but then the reader realizes that this is real very real and it really did happen War and we are at war is extremely brutal It gave me a great deal of pause when I try to understand why in the world was this outpost put in such an area that could not be reinforced properly or even protected to provide a measure of defense for these men It makes you wonder what was going through the minds of those who made the decision for the location of this outpost and living conditions that they endured And our Government wants to put females in combat positions? Read this and picture a female living in these conditions Soldiers sign up to take and follow orders which is what these young men did without uestion It is just so sad that so many had to lose their lives My uestion is For what? I applaud all those involved in defending Keating as well as those involved in rescuing them It's an amazing feat that was accomplished by all involved Exceptional read for me Very eye opening It makes me proud to be an American especially to know that we have such brave and self sacrificing young men who give their all for their country Do some of our leaders actually realize what they have in individuals such as these Some of the young people today have the entitlement mentality and have no clue what some people sacrifice to allow them to have this mentality Definitely recommend


  6. says:

    I just finished Red Platoon by MOH winner Clinton Romesha With the recent announcement of the build up in Afghanistan this is a very timely read I believe that military history buffs as well as people interested in current events will devour this narrative Red Platoon is about the defense of a command outpost COP called Keating in Nuristan Afghanistan in October of 2009 The COP was in the middle of a valley and it was indefensible due to plunging fire from the surrounding ridges The base was so indefensible that the Army was preparing to evacuate it The evacuation was delayed because the Army was short of helicopters due to some other emergencies including the desertion of the infamous traitor Bowe Bergdahl The helicopters needed to evacuate this base were redeployed in the search for this deserter As a result the cavalry unit defending it had to stay on a few days too many This small outpost with about 50 men and an undisclosed amount of Afghanis became surrounded by about 500 Taliban that understood the art of war By the way the Afghanis – to a man – refused to fight Only their two Latvian trainers would fight This narrative by Romesha is uite the page turner I read it over the weekend It is a book that you cannot put down The first chapter reads like it would make a good movie script Romesha introduces each character with the customary verbiage and also by including a picture on the adjoining page The pages are filled with the typical locker room banter that young Americans at war chide each other with However Romesha adds some surprisingly deep philosophical commentary about the crucible of combatcrucible of war and how this influences young men to make some rash heat of the moment decisions He also spoke of a very talented scout by the name of Eric Snell who was killed in an earlier battle Romesha said I realized one of the fundamental truths about war is that horrible things can and often will happen to anybody even a soldier who has everything dialed to perfection I really like Romesha’s description of calling in close air support a mere 100 200 yards in front of their position from a B 1 Lancer which he describes as a Dunkin Donuts of the sky The B 1 dropped 500 Lb and then 2000 Lb smart bombs Then Shrode and Bunderman performed a uick huddle to figure out how far they wanted to push inside the zone of what was called “danger close” the unspoken uestion between the two of them being What’s the closest strike we can call in while lowering the odds that any of us will survive an additional ten percent? One minute later they sent word to Bostickairbase that anything to within one hundred yards of Keating was fair game When you’re less than two hundred yards from a massive bomb drop the impact is unspeakably violent The initial explosion registers as a deafening bolt of sound but the auditory assault doesn’t really matter because the concussion that follows is so much powerful What’s these forces sound plus shockwave are stacked so closely together that you’re barely aware of the distinction What you feel mostly is a kind of vast pushing sensation almost as if an ocean wave has struck you in the solar plexus and through some strange trick of physics is now passing through your tissue your bones your entire bodyIf you haven’t experienced directly the effect is hard to imagine unless you try to conceive what is might be like to be an especially tiny insect – a type of mite say – huddled inside a base drum of a heavy metal rock band“Wow that was close” you say to yourself as first shock registers and passes“But damn it was kind of cool too” you think as the last shock recedes And then you’re struck with by a disturbing idea “Oh my Goddid I just die and haven’t realized it?” With President Trump announcing the build up in Afghanistan let us not repeat some of the mistakes that were made at Keating


  7. says:

    The Battle of KamdeshI watched The Outpost Scott Eastwood Caleb Landry Jones and Orlando Bloom when it was released this summer then later knew of this book Red Platoon reads like an action thriller but it's a true story of real life heroesCombat Outpost KeatingKamdesh was in mountainous Nuristan province near Pakistan border Whose great idea to have a Combat Outpost COP at the bottom of a deep valley surrounded by mountains? The narrow roads along the steep mountains were unsafe with freuent ambush by Taliban insurgents They stop using this road for resupply after 1st Lt Benjamin Keating drove a LMTV on said road and it collapsed Keating died from his injuries 2006 Since then supplies were delivered at night by air COP Keating wasn't fully supplied and considered indefensible Due to diplomacy and politics at the time evacuation and closing keep getting postponed On October 3 2009 just before 6 am roughly 300 heavily armed Taliban attacked COP Keating from all sides Later they received air assault support but visibility was bad from smoke of burning barracks Eight soldiers were KIA one later from PTSD 27 wounded Many medals were awarded including two Medals of Honor for Staff Sergeant Clinton Romesha and Specialist Ty Carter


  8. says:

    I read this book first because it was my job and then I read it again because it blew my mind It's not the story of Navy SEALS or highly trained soldiers; it's about young people who are barely old enough to vote or drink or are in the Army because it was their only option for a career and who end up facing the Taliban for a 14 hour firefight It doesn't get political it just gets compassionate


  9. says:

    Reread x4 Reading Rush I feel myself coming back to this book about every 15 2 years because this is a book I can never stop thinking about It has imprinted on me in a way that will never fade This book leaves the ego arrogance and USA yeehaw out and brings us a real raw and painful account of the Battle of Keating One thing I love is while reading there are pictures of the men he introduces you too and even after the introduction it feels as though you know them yourself The pictures while reading provide this humanness to the men he talks about letting the reader know that these were real people that died; friends that died and with the connection of these pictures my heart hurts a bit If you have to read one military autobiographynonfiction book I highly recommend this one This story is about a platoon; not just one person but average men who were put to an extraordinary testUPDATE This is the third time I have now read this book and every time it hits me right in the feels and when I read it I hope that things turn out differently; that the people who died didn't and the decisions made were revoked Every time I read this book I learn about combat brotherhood friends and the bonds between humans that surprises me This book should be read by everyone to gain an understanding of what people were going through thinking and feeling during combat to better tie the rift between soldiers and civilians I will always be coming back to this book and I will continue to reread it for the rest of my life Where do I start??This book exceeded my expectations and now has become one of my top favorite books of all time This book made me laugh it made me cry and sometimes I had to put it down due to what they were going through that I had to think about itWhat I love about this book is that Romesha would talk about the guys in his platoon their personalities their physical appearance everything and beside the words are pictures of the guys which I think is a powerful and effective way to show the reader that they were real people that this was what they were likeThis book wasn't political it is not egotistical in anyway which I really enjoyed It's about the battle its about surviving sacrifices but also the brotherhood of this platoon Highly recommend Meagann


  10. says:

    Difficult read Unbelievable that this Keating was set up to defend in its location in the first place It seems the incompetent directions are abounding And not only in how we perceive and nameIn company language some of the conversations are sometimes hard for me to grasp within their complete context but nevertheless this writer has above average ability to detail And to achieve a living witness testimony that is accurate but at the same time well written You get to know all these soldiers Mace's story made me cryMedal of Honor is deserved and his lack of bragging or hubris presently is phenomenal


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