The Iraq and Afghanistan wars have been going on for well over a decade. Thousands and thousands of American military soldiers have been seriously wounded and many others have given their lives to protect the freedoms of the American people.
It’s a sacrifice that is unimaginable both for the men and women who serve and the families that worry about them, support them in any way they can and show immense love and pride in who they are and the job they do. A new book, Brothers Forever, by Tom Sileo and Colonel Tom Manion, USMC (retired) tells the story of how two enlisted men met, became the best of friends and died serving their country.
The co-writer of this book, Tom Manion, tells the heartfelt and devastating story of his son Travis Manion and one of his son’s best friends, Brendan Looney, and how they both gave their lives for what they believed in. Travis was an enlisted Marine and Brendan was a US Navy Seal.
The two met in 2001 at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. They became instant and lifelong friends. The book goes into detail about the training both men went through and the difficult decisions each made about their enlistments. The authors include many details about a number of battles each were involved in and the outcomes of each.
Travis and Brendan build a strong bond. They strengthen their connection by continually competing against each other. They meet and support each other’s family, and when Brendan meets his future wife, Travis continues to be a part of both their lives.
One of the most compelling factors that makes this book such a powerful read is that the authors include the details of many of the battles that Travis was involved with and what his thoughts are throughout each battle. It’s difficult for someone who has never been in wartime battles and conflicts to imagine what the thought processes are that go through a soldier’s mind.
Another amazing part of the book is how the authors capture the pain of the family when the two soldiers lose their lives for their country. The families have to live with the worry and the fears everyday that their loved ones are deployed. When those fears become reality, the sorrow and sadness are daunting.
Readers also get a sense of how proud the soldiers are to serve and protect. There are many, many jobs where people put their lives on the line every day. The difference is that when a person serves as a police officer or a fireman, they get to go home to their families and friends at the end of each day. Service men and women put their lives on the line day in and day out and never leave their workplace and don’t get to see their families for months on end. They don’t get to share their fears and burdens with loved ones every day. They don’t get to feel their dad’s hand on their back or their mother’s hugs, or their spouses loving touch after serving days in battle.
They do have the support of their fellow soldiers. The two brave soldiers in this story considered themselves brothers forever. They are buried next to each other in Arlington National Cemetery.
It’s a powerful read. The book is a stark reminder of what the last 13 years of fighting these two wars have been about. It’s also a look at how proud our enlisted members are to serve us all.Powered by Sidelines