TWO WARS: One Hero’s Fight on Two Fronts – Abroad and Within
by Nate Self
List Price: $22.99
Release Date: June 2008
For the first time, Army Ranger hero Nate Self tells his story. Self recounts the Roberts Ridge Rescue mission, the ferocious battles in Afghanistan, and the lone war of attrition that Nate Self has waged against post-traumatic stress disorder. This book will become a go-to book for understanding the long-term effects of the war on terror. Thousands of families are fighting this battle, and Nate Self opens up his whole life—tragedies, successes, failures, and a struggle with suicidal thoughts—to share the facts and to show how his family and his faith pulled him through.
From the Front Lines of the War on Terror
A Chinook helicopter down.
Surrounded by al-Qaeda.
The ultimate fight for survival.
Nate Self tells the complete account of the battle he led in Afghanistan to rescue a Navy SEAL who had fallen into the hands of al-Qaeda fighters. It’s the story of a hero who fights two wars—the fight in Afghanistan and the fight to preserve his mind and soul, his family and home. It’s an intimate, unforgettable story of one of America’s own—a rare look into a soldier’s soul.
From the Prologue
I feel like I’m about to vomit.
Our helicopter careens around the snow-covered mountain, banking hard right, looking for our target. Though it’s just before dawn in Afghanistan, the sky is dark, clear, and cold.
“Where’s this landing zone?”
“On top of a ten-thousand-foot mountain,” says a voice on the radio.
We’re on a rescue mission, and I’m in command of a thirteen-man Quick Reaction Force (QRF). We’re searching for a missing American who fell out of a helicopter in enemy territory two hours ago. He is somewhere below us in the Shah-i-Khot Valley, an area teeming with hundreds of al-Qaeda fighters. Right now, there’s no place on earth more hostile to U.S. soldiers—and no place my team would rather be. We’re here because we’re Rangers, and we have a creed to uphold: Never leave a fallen comrade. . . .
It’s been six months since the Twin Towers fell in New York, but it feels like we were born for this day—to meet our nation’s enemies. . . .
The right door gunner spots something below him: a dirty man in a ski jacket and plastic shoes has a rocket-propelled grenade launcher aimed at us.
“I’ve got an RPG—two o’clock!” The door gunner leans into his minigun’s trigger.
The M-134 Gatling gun belches, accompanied by three rounds from the aircraft’s M-60 machine gun in the rear. Their tandem fury jolts me. The machine guns riddle the Arab’s body, pinning him against a boulder, but not before he launches the RPG. Our gunners are too late.
I hear the air tearing as the rocket-propelled grenade screams toward us. The detonating shaped charge rips into the aircraft’s right engine, jolting the helicopter. A second RPG pierces the windshield glass, detonating inside and spraying hot metal throughout the cockpit. The helicopter falls with a queasy rush. In an instant, nearly fifty thousand pounds of rubber, steel, and American flesh crashes to the earth.
About Nate Self
Nate Self is the former Ranger Captain who risked his life in Afghanistan in the battle of Takur Ghar (translated “Tall Mountain”), also known as the Rescue on Roberts Ridge. For his heroism, Nate Self was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart. His story was featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, on NBC’s Dateline, and in other books. He has been celebrated and examined as a model of exemplary leadership both in combat and in civilian life. Nate lives in Texas with his wife and their three children.
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