Book Review: Never The Same, The Untold Story of One Soldier's Personal Encounter With a Suicide Bomber by B.C. Fleming
B.C. Fleming or Brian, made the decision to enlist in the Army during his senior year in high school. After high school graduation, he was in basic training in Georgia, then sent to South Korea for his first duty station with the 2nd Infantry Division----Second To None!
|2nd Infantry Division Indian Head Insignia|
He "served as a machine gunner in a Mechanized Infantry platoon. Brian felt that this period of training shaped his life." After he "returned back to the United States he was assigned to 10th Mountain Division, 4th Brigade at Fort Polk, Louisiana and was in a Scout/Sniper Platoon as a Team Leader." Brian shares his training with the 10th Mountain Division. He shares how he met and fell in love with his wife Jamie. Shortly after their wedding he was deployed to Afghanistan.
|10th Mountain Division Insignia|
Brian shares the emotional trauma of leaving his wife and life as he'd known it. Yet, until combat and war is experienced first hand there is still an innocence about it all. After arriving in Afghanistan Brian travels to his Forward Operating Base where he'll be stationed. Brian shares his experiences of patrols, the enemies tactics, the villages and terrain of Afghanistan, and what he learned quickly about combat operations such as not becoming separated from your unit. It is a daily battle in fighting the enemy and in fighting one's morale. About mid-way through the book Brian shares the defining day of his tour in Afghanistan, July 24, 2006. This was when a suicide bomber detonated a bomb that radically changed Brian's life course. Later in the book his wife Jamie shares her story. Also included are several black and white photographs of his tour in Afghanistan, as well as his vehicle and his own injuries after the blast. Brian shares his work currently with books he's written, and speaking engagements. His goal is to speak to the American people about his story, and to give back to them his gratefulness for their prayers and support.
I'm so grateful to Brian for sharing his story. He brushes off anyone telling him he is a hero. So I'll state emphatically that I'm proud of him!
Never The Same is a powerful story. When Brian writes about his patrols, the reader is there. When he writes of his injuries and recovery, the reader is there along side him. The book is not a large reading book and the type font is large and easy to read. I feel this is a great book to pass on to a person that may not be a heavy reader. This is definitely a book to pass on to a person that was, or is in the military, or to family members of those in the military. Brian is straight to the point in his story. It is dramatic and raw, my emotions brought tears.
Brian wrote about his own mom that prayed for him. She "just knew" when something was not right and that she was to pray for Brian. I can relate to this, actually I can relate on several points in this book.
This is the first book I've read on the War on Terror, or Operation Enduring Freedom. The reason is because my own son served with 4th Infantry Division in Iraq. David was a driver, loader, gunner on an M 1 Abrams Tank. David had 2 tours in Iraq, 2003, 2005-2006. David was in the Army over 5 years and in the National Guard for 3. He is currently in college. He has severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I have shared this because it is difficult for me to read books about this period of our life. It transports me back to all the unknowns, fears, anxiety, sleepless nights, holidays without David, an empty seat at the dinner table, a Christmas gift unopened, a granddaughter that does not understand where daddy is, constant negative news, and people who share their opinions about the war with no regard for others feelings. But, this was also a time period where my prayer life grew hundred-fold, I learned to pray and hold, I learned to trust by faith in the unseen presence of God in that He is sovereign no matter what happened to David, I also learned to pray for the enemy. I can state the hardest thing that I've ever prayed for is for God's will, that no matter what happens to David I will still worship the Lord and I will still trust in God my Savior.
My own dad was in the 2nd Infantry Division during World War II. Daddy is a D-day Veteran and a Veteran of the Battle of the Bulge. My paternal grandfather was in World War I. In my family at least going back to the 1600's, their have been many generations of men who were willing to sacrifice their lives for our nation---for freedom; and many generations of women who prayed.
Published by Fleming Continuing Education Programs B.C. Fleming 2011, 170 Pages
Non-Fiction/Military/Afghanistan/War on Terror/Army
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Thank you to B and B Media Group and B.C. Fleming for my free review copy!