Fearsome, inspiring, and poignant in its telling, One Million Steps is sure to become a classic, a unique and enduring testament to the American warrior spirit. One Million Steps reveals the essence of small-unit combat, the very soul of war. We send our sons into battle, and few know what our warriors experience.
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More filters. Sort order. Sep 14, Christina rated it it was amazing. What a privilege to have this book written. I'm one of the sisters of Lcpl James Boelk. I'm so grateful to have the story of 3rd platoon put into history.
One Million Steps: A Marine Platoon at War
The book talks about David Boelk's my Dad phone ringing moments after he read a report about Marines who were killed, I was the one on the other side of the line. I read the book in less than a day. Although I had heard some of the details differently I thought it was a great read considering there are always different perspectives in combat What a privilege to have this book written. Although I had heard some of the details differently I thought it was a great read considering there are always different perspectives in combat situations.
I truly can't express how grateful I am to have an entire book dedicated to the men who were my brother's Marine Corps family. Thank you Bing West for putting your life on the line to make sure their story was recorded and preserved!
This will be a book we hand down through generations. Thanks to you our grandchildren won't stubble across something about my brother and forever wonder what his platoon did and who he fought with.
How the poppy became the symbol of sacrifice
Bing West gave 3rd platoon the gift of immortality. Just one word - Outstanding! This is a book about Marine infantry doing what they have been trained to do while examining with a very critical eye the Nation's foreign policy in Afghanistan during the Obama Administration.
It's not a pretty picture. Written by a former Viet Nam combat vet turned author, Bing West has been there, done that and has many filthy, stained, ripped T-shirts - literally - to show for it. He writes from a place of knowing and deep understanding of what it is like to be a grunt - the day-to-day grind, the boredom followed by explosive engagement, observing the locals, hunting for the enemy and always challenged when trying to tell the two apart. As the reader you'll go on the daily patrols from day one and learn with the platoon how to counter Taliban tactics - what works and what doesn't.
This was a very different fight from Fallujah of which many of these young Marines were veterans. You'll get to know the individuals within the platoon, their roles and how they perform them. And yes, you'll be there when on an unfortunately regular basis there are causalities - the ugly IED explosions that if survived almost always led to loss of at least one limb. You will gain a true understanding of Marine Corps combined arms and how it is employed, how Marine snipers and engineers were integrated into patrols that increased their effectiveness.
Most of all this is a book about the individuals who make-up the brotherhood of Marines that was and is 3rd Platoon. West's writing is an amazing tribute to these young Marines. The author goes beyond just who they were while serving in Sangin. He records why the joined, the worry and anguish of their families while deployed, their plans for when they return and what really happened with their lives upon return.
West summarizes the characteristics of the platoon at the end of the book utilizing individuals who epitomized each trait, "In summary, 3rd Platoon's cohesion was due to inspiration Abbate , leadership Garcia , firepower Beardsley , aggressiveness McCulloch , steadiness Esquibel , and raw spirit Myers. At the close of the book Mr. West takes a critical look at the National policy that put our young Marines in such a hell hole. He compares and contrasts policy between Viet Nam and Afghanistan making the reader really question whether we learn anything from our past decisions and resulting consequences.
Most of all I urge future Administrations to read this book and stop using our military in the role of nation builders. The job on nation building belongs to the State Dept and such organizations as the Peace Corps, not the United States Marine Corps who is neither trained nor equipped for such a mission. Jul 21, T. Fowler rated it really liked it Shelves: afghanistan. This is a very good book that throws a clear light on the type of combat that a platoon of US Marines faced in Helmand Province from October to March Bing West, who fought with the Marines in Vietnam, shows that he is still, and always will be, a dedicated Marine as he describes the brutal daily combat that Kilo Company endured.
That dedication certainly biases his praise for these men but, having been a Marine, that allows him to be accepted by these men and he then has the ability t This is a very good book that throws a clear light on the type of combat that a platoon of US Marines faced in Helmand Province from October to March That dedication certainly biases his praise for these men but, having been a Marine, that allows him to be accepted by these men and he then has the ability to describe the daily combat of each squad in a way that no other author probably could.
Because he was embedded with the platoon at times and also had access to diaries kept the men, Bing has useful insights on the extraordinary courage and determination that they showed facing daily firefights and IEDs. At the same time, Bing has little sympathy with the generals who directed the war and their COIN strategy, leaving an air of hopelessness for the future of Afghanistan, and providing no insight if this war could have ever been successful.
The book provides an interesting contrast regarding combat in Afghanistan if compared to Jake Tapper's book, The Outpost , which describes the struggle in mountainous Eastern Afghanistan as opposed to the flat opium fields of Helmand. Both books should be read by anyone seeking to understand this conflict. West has presented us with an exceptional book; it is one I would recommend to every single American who still loves their country noting that many no longer do.
What leaps at you from almost every page is the cost of making poor choices in national leadership at the voting booth. It is hard to imagine a president nonchalant about the situation on the ground in Afghanistan. It is difficult to imagine that a Secretary of Defense is clueless about an appropriate strategy inside a war zone.
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It numbs the mind to learn that while our troops are dying, our three, and four-star officers focus on implementing a progressive theory to save the Taliban from himself. Third platoon survived; they excelled in defeating a determined enemy —not because of Defense leadership, but in spite of it. I believe that this book is mandatory reading among those of us who still love America because it teaches us that there are consequences to the decisions we make at the voting booth.
View all 6 comments. Sep 17, Jeremy Dobbins rated it it was amazing.
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Depressingly honest the author unflinchingly portrays what Afghanistan was like and what it means to the men who fought, killed and died in her poppy fields. The author being a veteran of the Marine Corps infantry himself, and having fought in Vietnam, gives an account on our nations war in Afghanistan that every citizen should read.
May 01, Mark Fallon rated it it was amazing. Who's the best person to embed with a platoon of Marine grunts? A Marine grunt - Bing West. Vietnam veteran and combat journalist. Each day brings injuries, lost limbs and death. Yet still, 3rd Platoon goes out on their daily patrol, intent on engaging and defeating the Taliban.