Valor, Sacrifice, and the American Soldier

Clinton Romesha and the Battle of Command Outpost Keating

We can easily follow, friend, and like somebody we don’t even know these days with a swipe of a finger, yet many of us don’t know much about the individuals serving our country overseas.  Regardless of politics and personal beliefs about the government it is vital to take a moment now and again to think about these men and women who serve, and to try and understand what they experience.  Clinton Romesha’s Red Platoon: A True Story of American Valor is a remarkable book that provides a harrowing account of the courage and sacrifice of American soldiers in Afghanistan.

Red Platoon: A True Story of American Valor recounts the events of the fourteen hour battle between U.S. forces and Taliban insurgents at Command Outpost Keating in Afghanistan on October 3, 2009. Romesha was vital in the defense of Keating and would lead a counter attack to push back the Taliban.  Many books, essays, documentaries, and such usually approach combat with a reporter’s sense of detachment.  In a few unfortunate instances the topic is approached with sensationalistic melodrama.  Neither is the case with Romesha’s book.  The reader gets to know the soldiers of Red Platoon.  Romesha makes certain that we know these are men with families, friends, and plans for the future.  Knowing these men makes it, at times, difficult to turn the page because we are uncertain about the fates of these soldiers.  The reality of life and death in a combat zone is succinctly expressed by Romesha.  This is a difficult book to put down.  I felt compelled to read on and at times I was afraid to turn the page knowing that some of these brave men did not survive the battle of Keating.

It is important to try to develop an understanding of the experiences that the men and women of our armed forces must deal with.  Clinton Romesha’s Red Platoon: A True Story of American Valor provides us with an insight into some of the experiences and a better understanding of the valor and sacrifice of our American soldiers.

-K-

Red Platoon: A True Story of American Valor (2016) by Clinton Romesha

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