Book Review : The Last Rescue

lastI always enjoy books and movies that are based upon true-to-life military stories. Movies such as Saving Private Ryan and Black Hawk Down; books such as No Place to Hide and Fearless have been instrumental in educating the general public as to the reality of war. I would say that this affinity to the military genre of entertainment has to do with the fact that I am a former Marine. The instant connection through terminology and experience makes the reading/viewing much more enjoyable. I recently finished “The Last Rescue; How Faith and Loved Saved a Navy SEAL Sniper” by Howard Wasdin. Wasdin is a former member of the US Navy’s SEAL Team Six, the elite of all SEAL teams. He is also the author of a book, “SEAL Team Six.”

Wasdin was a member of SEAL Team Six in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1993. His team participated in the recovery of two downed Black Hawk helicopters and crew who were participating in a mission to capture Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid’s top military leaders. This battle was made famous by the 1999 book, Black Hawk Down; A Story of Modern War and the 2001 movie with the same title. This book is not a full account of the Battle of Mogadishu. The book begins with a snapshot of the battle and the leg/ankle injuries that Wasdin received through enemy fire. Following his injuries, Wasdin was evacuated and eventually separated from the teams and active duty altogether. What follows this separation is the major part of the book.

The Last Rescue is the story of a man’s struggle to heal; physically, emotionally, and psychologically. To use a familiar expression, this is a story of a man dealing with a journey from “hero to zero”. Wasdin went from being part of the toughest and most respected special forces unit in the world to being confined to his house in rural Georgia practicing wound care on a daily basis. At times throughout the book he himself how things could have went from so good to so bad and if he could deal with it all. The reader is allowed to follow Wasdin on his journey through a difficult and long physical recovery, divorce, raising children, finding meaningful employment that matches his military experiences, years as a car salesman, marriage to his new wife Debbie, college, and finally the opening of his medical practice as a chiropractor. Through these major life events, his military life and experiences are never too far from Wasdin’s mind. He often has to deal with the desire to “get back in” his old life. We also experience Wasdin’s battle with survivor’s guilt over the loss of his close friends in Mogadishu. The subtitle of the book speaks of faith and love. We are introduced to Wasdin’s personal faith in God and the love of and for his family is seen throughout. These are what gave him the ability to not only survive coming out of the military but to thrive in life. This is a great book. It is easy to read, informative, enjoyable, and encouraging. I highly recommend it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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