In the Company of Heroes by Michael Durant and Steven Hartov

Before I begin this review, I feel that I need to clarify something about the events in Somalia and the Battle of Mogadishu. Though the media and the Clinton administration portrayed the military action in Somalia as a loss, make no mistake, the U.S. forces who fought in that battle were successful. The mission objective was to capture high ranking members of Aidid’s militia, and they did. Yes, there were many casualties and Americans died, but do not dishonor the men who fought and especially those who died that day by suggesting that they failed. Despite being outnumbered by a heavily armed and hostile enemy, the U.S. military achieved their goal and completed their mission. To suggest otherwise is an insult to their actions and to the memories of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. As Michael Durant, the only American taken alive that day by the Somalians, states in his book, In the Company of Heroes:

It is difficult enough to bury a fallen comrade, but even harder to look into the eyes of his family, knowing that the objective for which he died has been deemed unobtainable by the very men who sent him to his death

Michael Durant teams with Steven Hartov to describe the events of October 2003 and the RPG shot which downed Durant’s Blackhawk and lead to him being captured and held prisoner by members of warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid’s militia. With a broken back, femur, and cheekbone along with other injuries, Durant endured days of endless pain and uncertainty as he waited to see if he would be rescued by his brothers in the 160th or killed at the hands of angry Somalians. Durant and Hartov do an excellent job of switching between Somalia and Durant’s past and the story of how he became a helicopter pilot in one of the military’s most secret and elite airborne units. In the Company of Heroes is an excellent account of the selfless, heroic actions our servicemen display under extreme duress in combat and its aftermath.

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