I like Level Zero Heroes for two reasons. It’s authored by USMC veteran Michael Golembesky, a JTAC assigned to MARSOC (Marine Special Ops) team in Afghanistan from 2009-10. Second, these stories and the perspectives of fighting men on the ground need to be told, and for any number of reasons.
While the story of Bala Murghab is action packed, Golembesky’s book also forces the reader to reflect on broader philosophical questions, like “What are these good men actually dying for?” It highlights the bureaucratic and restrictive rules of engagement (ROE) late into the Afghanistan campaign, good men trying to win battles with their hands tied behind their backs, and the broader issues of failed American foreign policy in the region, to name a few of my own observations.
“From close-quarters firefights in Afghan villages to capturing key-terrain from the Taliban in the unforgiving Afghan winter, this intense and personal story depicts the brave actions and sacrifices of MSOT 8222. Readers will understand the hopelessness of being pinned down under a hail of enemy gunfire and the quake of the earth as a 2000 lb. guided bomb levels a fortified Taliban fighting position.
A powerful and moving story of Marine Operators doing what they do best, Level Zero Heroes brings to life the mission of these selected few that fought side-by-side in Afghanistan, in a narrative as action-packed and emotional as anything to emerge from the Special Operations community contribution to the Afghan War.” -Level Zero Heroes