Not since Michael Durant wrote about his deployment to and missions in Somalia and his capture by Somali militia in 1993, has there been a book written by a TF-160 SOAR Night Stalker attack helo pilot.
Now, after generations, we can read first-hand accounts of Greg Coker, a pilot who spent eight years in combat in the Levant — a man who was present for the combat actions for both D-Day in Afghanistan and Iraq and for every engagement afterward. If one thinks that Greg Coker did a bit more than a man’s fair share in war, that thought is not only correct but also an understatement.
Greg’s stories about the seizure of the Haditha Dam — the largest single combat action of the Iraqi war — and D-Day Afghanistan on objective Gecko are but two monumental stories that he has already shared with SOFREP’s audience. When coupled with the story of the shootdown of his helicopter by a Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM), SOFREP got a trifecta of non-fictional combat accounts.
When Greg indicated that he had so many other stories to tell, enough that could likely fill an entire book, I was skeptical. Yes, I tell you: I had some doubts about whether he could possibly have any more stories as riveting as the above three. When Greg asked me to ghostwrite the book for him I said I would do it, but I was not really convinced that he would ever really produce much.
I recall telling a friend that I had agreed to ghostwrite for Greg. I immediately got an odd question:
“Did you just say you would or did you actually promise to do it…?”
Ok, lesson in morals time: Did my friend mean that I could get off the ghostwriting task through the technicality that I had not hooked pinky fingers with Greg Coker and said, “I promise to ghost”? Are we not men here anymore? When an adult says they will do something they must do it or accept the loss of personal credibility.
When Greg started hammering me with one and two chapters a day, I knew he was serious, and I knew that I was then the official holdup of Greg’s magnificent story. I pushed the writing of my own book well aside to concentrate on Greg’s story.
I was utterly WRONG about him not having many more full-caliber, amazing stories to tell. It was flabbergasting to me that just one man could have so many insane experiences. Every chapter was a genuine thrill to read.
Greg’s book will run you through the full gamut of your emotional range; you’ll laugh, cry, punch a hole in a wall, catch yourself several times with your mouth hanging open… and you’ll beam with intense pride. I found myself pushing back from my computer countless times to just reflect and shake my head.
I firmly believe that one of the most powerful features of the book are the nearly 79 photos that Greg provides. Greg might mention writing brothers’ names on the Hydra rockets of his Helo. If for a split moment you doubt that he actually did that, then you will feast your eyes on an actual photo of the names clearly printed on the warheads of those rockets, ye of little faith! I think the most photos I have ever seen in a memoir was between 10 and 20… who on Earth provides 79 color photos?
When I think honestly and seriously about how the readers’ reviews of Greg’s book might sound, I truly doubt there can be negative criticism from anyone other than an Internet troll. The only avenue for negative comments might be from someone who thinks the ghostwriter is an illiterate clown — but I accept that.
Greg Coker’s is my first book ever; the potential denouncements of my writing style notwithstanding, there was a palpable atmosphere of genuine pride at every minute I spent writing for Greg.
You can find information on how to order Greg Coker’s book here.
By Almighty God and with true honor,
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