Hill 406 gets a new foreword

Hey guys!

Hope everyone is doing well!

I’m writing because I wanted to share the new foreword that I recently wrote for Hill 406.

The book has been doing well — thankfully! — but I’d been wrestling with a foreword for the book for some time. (It originally published without one, because I didn’t’ want to hold up publication any longer while waiting on it.)

But it was one of those situations where I was too close to it, and there was so much to say, and so little space to say it. Plus, most readers — including myself!! — are like, “Just let me get to the story!” when they’re reading most forewords.

So, with all those thoughts in mind, I finally came up with something that I think works. And as I said, I finally completed it last night, so here it is:

Author’s Note

This book is dedicated to all of those who have served. Especially those who did their hard time in Afghanistan. To date, nearly 800,000 have served there. Of that number, nearly 30,000 have served more than five tours there. 

Also to date, almost 2,500 have died, and 20,000 have been wounded; many losing limbs or worse.

Finally, over 100,000 have reported having PTSD problems. 

A few things about this book…

I’ve obviously written a work of fiction about the Marine Corps and the war in Afghanistan. It’s (hopefully) both enjoyable and fast moving, and also real and harsh, like coarse sandpaper rubbed across your skin. 

It should be a lot of fun; a fast read. But it should also seem deeper and more real than a lot of those light military fiction books, where the good guys kick ass and go home unscarred.

With that being said, a few quick details about the book.

Camp Leatherneck is real.

The stats on deaths and the state of danger in Helmand Province are real. The terrain in that province is real. The tactics and weapons are real. 

On the other hand, the towns of “Alim Nuaz” and “Gorahumbira” are completely made up. Also, there is no Hill 406. All characters are made up. And all Marine Corps units are made up. I felt I needed to use these fictional elements because I wanted the freedom to have a little flexibility with the story. 

And with all of this out of the way, I sincerely hope you enjoy the story. Oh, and if you do, please spread the word.

 Semper Fidelis,

Stan R. Mitchell

SGT, USMC

A/1/8,1995-99

Hopefully, that foreword helps capture what I felt needed to be said about the book. For those who’ve already read it, and reviewed it, THANK YOU!!

And if you haven’t taken a look at it yet, please consider giving it a try. You can read the short book description and even a long sample on Amazon at this link: Hill 406. (Or click the book cover at right.)

Semper Fidelis,

Stan R. Mitchell

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I write exciting, fast-paced thrillers. Both military action and mystery whodunnits. Ten books penned. 70,000+ sold. I try to only write about positive things. If you’re looking for a quick, fun read, then click the link to check out my books. #USMC

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Pensacola shooting victim saved countless lives

I came across an incredible story today in USA Today and simply had to share it.

During the recent shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, an unbelievable story of courage has emerged.

Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, recent
graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.

One of the sailors there — shot five times — left the safety of cover to tell the first response team where the shooter was located, which indirectly saved many lives.

But what’s even more shocking is that this sailor, Joshua Kaleb Watson, was only 23, and was a recent graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.

Watson, who was the officer on deck at the time of the shooting, was shot at least five times, but he still somehow decided to exit cover and flag down first responders, giving an accurate description of the shooter and pointing out the man’s location.

Watson’s father, Benjamin Watson, said that his son “died serving his country.”

His father also said that his son had dreamed of becoming a Navy pilot and had only reported to Pensacola for flight training the week of Veterans Day.

Somehow, for me at least, this makes the story all the more tragic. That Watson had pursued his dream to fly and had that dream cut short because of circumstances beyond his control.

But at the same time, it also makes the story all the more impressive. I’m pretty sure a lot of young officers might have thought, “That’s not my job. And I’ve already been shot five times. I’m going to stay in here and try to just stay alive.”

But Watson didn’t. He left cover, he showed incredible bravery, and he ultimately sacrificed his life in the service of others.

I know the men and women of our military REGULARLY show incredible bravery and courage, and it would be impossible for me to document them all. But let’s never take these kinds of sacrifice for granted in our increasingly selfish, self-centered world.

Please keep the family of Watson in your thoughts, and let’s never forget his sacrifice. Try to tell someone else about the actions that he took. Either today, or even months or years from now, if you’re talking to some young kid or future grandchild. Such courage and sacrifice by service members like Watson should be properly honored.

Semper Fidelis,

Stan R. Mitchell

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Stan R. Mitchell, a prior infantry Marine, is the author of ten, fast-paced novels. He’s sold more than 70,000 books and his favorite authors are Vince Flynn, Tom Clancy, and Stephen King. If you’re looking for an independent artist to support, look no further. You’ll love Mitchell’s books. Click the link below to check out his books.

The Battle of Mogadishu

On Twitter today, U.S. Army Special Operations Command tweeted a link out about the Battle of Mogadishu. (See below.)

That tweet brought back some memories.

I was finishing high school when this battle happened, and I can distinctly remember cutting out newspaper clippings and stuffing them in a file folder. In the weeks leading up to this, I wanted to know everything.

Where troops were positioned. Information about the raids. And eventually the infamous 18-hour battle. All of this nearly caused me to drop my childhood dream to become a Marine and join the Army instead, with the hopes that I could eventually become a Ranger myself. (Especially since my Marine recruiter was saying they had no guaranteed infantry slots…)

But this battle — and the horror of seeing Americans dragged through the streets — infuriated me. And the visuals and nightmares of this hellacious firefight would push me and my men to train as hard as we possibly could once I finally made it into an infantry platoon.

Besides motivating front-line troops like myself, the battle also motivated the Corps and Army to take more serious their urban tactics. Long term, the battle probably saved lots of lives. But for those who lived it, that’s probably little comfort.

Did this battle make an impact on you? Do you remember seeing the horrendous footage of the American dead dragged through the street? Or of Mogadishu civilians bouncing on helicopter blades from a crashed helo?

It might have just been me and my tightly-focused world, but I’m betting this battle impacted many of you as well.

If it did, comment below. I’d love to hear about it. And if you personally knew of anyone who served in it, sound off with their name below. Let’s honor them.

And whether the battle did or didn’t impact you, let’s never forget the sacrifices made on that day. Roughly 160 Americans fought thousands of Somali fighters on that day, in some of the most brutal combat seen since at least Vietnam.

Semper Fidelis,

Stan R. Mitchell

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Stan R. Mitchell is the author of ten, fast-paced novels. He’s sold more than 70,000 books and writes military action and mystery genre, mostly. He’s also a prior infantry Marine, who LOVES writing!! If you’re looking for an independent artist to support, look no further. You’ll love Mitchell’s books. Click the link below to check out his books.