I read very few books, probably to the tune of one every three years or so. I was asked to read and review this particular book by my friend, Steven Trujillo, or as he more personally identifies by his fine Spanish heritage: Estéban Trujillo de Gutiérrez. Steve and I spent a short time, too short, serving together in the vaunted First Special Forces Group of the U.S. Army Green Berets.
Be prepared for this book, a book that practically reads itself. I devoured the book in two sittings, the second of which was protracted somewhat, as my reading pace was nearly brought to a stone-cold halt at the sheer horror of the nature of the experience that Ranger Steve and the warriors of the 2nd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment endured.
Never have I felt so disturbed at such appalling conditions that men have endured since my read of Regimental CSM Greg “Ironhead” Birch and his brave Rangers during the siege of the Haditha Dam in Iraq. In all situations, no matter the insult to the nature of humankind, the Rangers have always emerged victorious.
Steve’s account of the assault on the Cuban Barracks from beginning to end evoked a weakness to my psyche that I had not realized for many years now.
“Don’t come to firing line dry” that is, don’t sit for a read of this book without a dictionary unless you are a Harvard English major. I mean to say, you can navigate and appreciate the core nature of this incredible story without aid, but if you want the full experience of the nuances and poetic blessings that Steve imparts to this writing, I do in every way suggest a dictionary. Please don’t for a second imagine encumbrance at the notion of a reading aid, but I for one was begging to understand every new word I encountered.
If a picture truly is worth a thousand words, then this book is worth several million. The book is replete with photos of persons, places, things, all those that Steven introduces in this read are backed up inevitably with a photo, thanks to Steve and the contributions to the men that are accounted therein.
That said, imagine if you will, a writer who only read a single book in a ~three year period, and then know that in a matter of just several minutes you too can experience the read that left such an indelible impression on this Special Operations man for the balance of his life. That, I confess in all conscious confidence. If you read only one book in the next three years, this will tide you over most sincerely.
Here’s to Estéban Trujillo de Gutiérrez; a true class act.
By God and with honor,