For Love of Country: What Our Veterans Can Teach Us About Citizenship, Heroism, and Sacrifice

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A celebration of the extraordinary courage, dedication, and sacrifice of this generation of American veterans on the battlefield and their equally valuable contributions on the home front.

Because so few of us now serve in the military, our men and women in uniform have become strangers to us. We stand up at athletic events to honor them, but we hardly know their true measure. Here, Starbucks CEO and longtime veterans’ advocate Howard Schultz and National Book Award finalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran of The Washington Post offer an enlightening, inspiring corrective.

The authors honor acts of uncommon valor in Iraq and Afghanistan, including an Army sergeant who repeatedly runs through a storm of gunfire to save the lives of his wounded comrades; two Marines who sacrifice their lives to halt an oncoming truck bomb and protect thirty-three of their brothers in arms; a sixty-year-old doctor who joins the Navy to honor his fallen son.

We also see how veterans make vital contributions once they return home, drawing on their leadership skills and commitment to service: former soldiers who aid residents in rebuilding after natural disasters; a former infantry officer who trades in a Pentagon job to teach in an inner-city neighborhood; a retired general leading efforts to improve treatments for brain-injured troops; the spouse of a severely injured soldier assisting families in similar positions.

These powerful, unforgettable stories demonstrate just how indebted we are to those who protect us and what they have to offer our nation when their military service is done.
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About the author

Howard Schultz, left, is chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Starbucks, where he has been recognized for his leadership, business ethics, and efforts to strengthen communities. He and his wife, Sheri, have pledged extensive support to help veterans make successful transitions to civilian life through the Schultz Family Foundation’s Onward Veterans initiative. Schultz is the best-selling author of Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul and Pour Your Heart Into It.
 
Rajiv Chandrasekaran is a senior correspondent and associate editor at The Washington Post, where he has worked since 1994. He has been the newspaper’s bureau chief in Baghdad, Cairo, and Southeast Asia, and he has been covering Afghanistan off and on for a decade. Chandrasekaran is the author of Little America and Imperial Life in the Emerald City, which was named one of the 10 Best Books of 2007 by The New York Times.

Forloveofcountrybook.com

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Additional Information

Publisher
Vintage
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Published on
Nov 4, 2014
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Pages
224
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ISBN
9781101874462
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Military / Afghan War (2001-)
History / Military / Iraq War (2003-2011)
History / Military / Veterans
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Includes a new Afterword by the authors

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.

Praise for Lions of Kandahar
 
“A raw and authentic war story about untamed Green Berets in action.”—Dalton Fury, New York Times bestselling author of Kill Bin Laden
 
“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


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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