I picked up In The Company Of Heroes by Michael Durant recently because it was something I always wanted to read but never got around to. I am glad I did. For those in the military back in the early 1990’s we all know who Michael Durant is, for those who were not or were not alive, very few do. Michael Durant was the helicopter pilot shot down on October 3rd, 1993 during what has come to be called the Battle of Mogadishu. He was severely injured when his helicopter crashed and was pulled from the wreckage by two Delta Force operators Gary Gordon and Randy Shughart, (who lost their lives protecting him and were subsequently posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for their actions). The picture of Durant in captivity became the iconic image of that ill thought out and directed attempt to bring relief to Somalia.
The book itself is 361 pages of text separated into 14 chapters with an introduction and brief prologue. It is not a long book but it is a compelling read and one you will not want to put down even though we know how the story ends.
In The Company Of Heroes tells the tale of Durant’s captivity and homecoming. There are no great military tactical or operational insights to be gained in the reading of this book what is there however is an inspiring story of a soldier persevering in the face of adversity and debilitating wounds who never lost the faith. The faith in his country and his comrades.
I personally think this book should be on the CSA reading list in the place currently occupied by Anton Myrer’s Once an Eagle, which is a good book but still a work of fiction where Durant’s s not. I suspect it was not even considered for inclusion because of the remarks in the book critical of the mission in Somalia.
This is an excellent book and should be read by every soldier and civilian alike. Durant and those he flew and fought with in Somalia in 1993 are the epitome of selfless service to one’s nation.