Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Brothers Forever

by Tom Sileo and Col. Tom Manion
Da Capo Press     2014
268 pages     Nonfiction
The Shortlist

It is soon to be Memorial Day weekend and it is fitting that we look at a book about two brave Americans, Travis Manion and Brendon Looney, who are buried together in Arlington National Cemetery.

During the Christmas break in 2001, my daughter and her friends gathered for a meal at our kitchen table. Everyone had been at college for a year now, and their lives were beginning to take shape. One young man told the rest that he was going to quit college and join the Marines because he felt a patriotic call to serve his country and respond to the World Trade Center attacks of September 11. I looked with horror at the young man that I had known for several years and realized that his life was taking a turn that scared me. Although his friends were proud of his decision, they were also scared for him as well. 

The book, Brothers Forever, documents the journey of two young men in the years following the attacks of September 11. They met at the U.S. Naval Academy in their freshman year, and became fast friend. Travis Manion became a Marine officer and served two deployments in Afghanistan. Brendon Looney trained as a Navy SEAL and was stationed in Iraq. Both were killed in battle. They are buried together in Arlington National Cemetery. The book  narrates the power of their friendship as well as the honor and horror of their war experiences and of their ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Brothers Forever is written with great love and pride by Travis' father, Col. Tom Manion, USMC (Ret.)
with the help of professional author, Tom Sileo. Although a tragic narrative, it is also inspiring. It would be an excellent choice for an ex-military father for Father's Day.

The publicist for the book also sent me a video link to the book's trailer. It is worth watching.

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