Michael Golembesky, known as ‘Ski’, deployed in Afghanistan in 2009 as a MARSOC JTAC. Deployed to the Bala Murghab Valley in Afghanistan with Marine Special Operation Team (MSOT) 8222, Ski tells the story of extraordinary men fighting to gain a foothold in the middle of the valley to cut the Taliban’s territory in half.
It all started when two soldiers from the 82nd Airborne drowned while trying to retrieve vital supplies air dropped near FOB Todd. The operation, now called Hero Recovery, brought up many resources from all across Afghanistan on the principle that “everyone comes back home.” At the battle of Daneh Pasab, MSOT 8222 worked closely with ODA 1314 and their 200 Afghan commandos to hunt down and defeat the Taliban. The amount of details included in the book will make you feel like you are there with the boys and participating in the battle.
While struggling with the fact that PRO6—the US commander at FOB Todd—kept his ‘entourage’ with him all the time, the men of MSOT 8222 fought valiantly during Operation Good Morning. In fact, Ski’s ability to work with air support gave them the means to drop multiple 2,000 and 500 lbs. bombs directly—and indirectly because of PRO6’s involvement—on the enemy. You can also feel the frustration of the men of MSOT 8222 as they deal with strict rules of engagement (ROE), and see how frontline soldiers suffered because of them. The book also focused on the collaboration between the 82nd Airborne soldiers and MSOT 8222, which made possible the operations they’ve done together.
The book’s last chapter and the prologue are very touching, and you can feel Ski’s nostalgia. The brotherhood formed through combat in Bala Murghab will last forever. You will also get to know the role ‘Bear’—the dog Ski rescued from Afghanistan—played in Ski’s life. Ski now lives comfortably in his home in Colorado with his wife and daughter.