Review: Outlaw Platoon
Outlaw Platoon by Sean Parnell
Publisher: William Morrow
At twenty-four years of age, U.S. Army Ranger Sean Parnell was named commander of a forty-man elite infantry platoon, the 10th Mountain Division—a unit that came to be known as the Outlaws. Tasked with rooting out Pakistan-based insurgents from a valley in the Hindu Kush, Parnell assumed they would be facing a ragtag bunch of civilians until, in May 2006, a routine patrol turned into a brutal ambush. Through sixteen months of combat, the platoon became Parnell’s family. The cost of battle was high for these men. Not all of them made it home, but for those who did, it was the love and faith they found in one another that ultimately kept them alive.
When my friends saw me carrying around Outlaw Platoon by Sean Parnell they couldn’t help but mention how wide my tastes in books are. One day you can see me carrying around a fun and fluffy chick lit novel and the next day you can see me carrying around a serious war novel. I have to admit after reading Matterhorn (one of my all time favorite books!), my interest in war novels increased greatly. Therefore, when I was given the opportunity to review this book I knew I just had to jump on ship for it and boy am I glad I did.
Parnell’s novel is an excellent book that gives you a small taste of what happened during the war in Afghanistan. I guess one of the reasons I have such an interest in reading war books, especially nonfiction war books is because these are the stories that are not told in history books. We all took history growing up and we learned about the wars and the battles and the winners and losers, but we didn’t get the behind the scene story that you get when you read a memoir written by someone who experienced the situation himself.
I love reading these books because it’s the untold story that everyone needs to know. Can you imagine being 24 and leading a whole platoon? Parnell is the same age I am today when he was put in charge and became responsible for 40 men. Every time I read one of these books I’m always shocked and surprised by how young these men are and how mature they are for their age.
As I turned the pages in this book, my appreciation for the armed forces grew larger and larger. My heart broke for them as I read the hardships and obstacles they had to overcome. I was amazed by their determination and willingness to continue to serve their country. Many of these men ignored their own personal injuries and refused to be evacuated because they couldn’t live with the option of leaving their fellow soldiers behind. It was amazing to read about the bonds of brotherhood forged between these men and how they really became a family for one another.
I highly recommend the Outlaw Platoon by Sean Parnell because it contains all the stories that you won’t get from reading history books or CNN news. Parnell takes you on quite an adventure as he retells his tour in Afghanistan and recounts the bravery, brotherhood, and treachery of war