The Enduring Bond Between a Marine and a Navy Seal that Transcended Their Ultimate Sacrifice
Tom Sileo & Colonel Tom Manion USMC (RET.)
Flip of page of the newspaper. Iran, Afghanistan, our troops – old news. On to something more interesting, more flagrantly horrific. This is what we do. When I received Brothers Forever, I thought, hmmmm another memoir of soldiers, young soldiers, interesting but not imperative. I was very wrong. This is a memoir written in part by the father of First Lieutenant Travis Manion and second “father” to Navy Seal Brendan Looney, and it delivers into the hell of war and the hearts of families whose loved ones, young men, and die for our deliverance. It packs a wallop to the heart, and delivers a stern message: these are real human beings who want to live and yet put their lives on the line for one word: freedom. We immerse ourselves in the politics of government and forget that this government, no matter how we feel or what party we belong to, is ours, and that others are protecting our rights. Our military, in particular, men and women who die for that cause without being known or mourned by us. Brothers Forever brings that into our living room, our reading room, and our bedsides and lures us back to our own humanity, and theirs.
Wonderfully written, co-writers Tom Sileo and Tom Manion offer us the story of Tom’s son and his best friend.
Travis and Brendan, roommates at the Naval Academy, become fast friends and always have each other’s back. Brendan excelled at football and joined the Naval Academy team. Hefty and a fine physical specimen, Brendan played aggressively and intelligently. Travis was a high school and college wrestling star. He was a preseason Top 20 wrestler going into his senior season at the Naval Academy. And when he reinjured a prior injury to his right shoulder, he realized he was not going to be wrestling again. Both men were highly competitive with each other and challenged each other on and off the field. They also partied hard and happily, while enduring their Naval training with good humor and perfectionism. Travis felt that he had to leave the Academy when his wrestling career ended. It was a huge blow to him and he felt he had to quit the Academy and seek out something else to do. Although one of the top plebes of the year, and against his father’s wishes, Travis was allowed to leave. He enrolled in Drexel University in Pennsylvania, where he played and excelled at lacrosse. But after one semester away from Annapolis, he knew he had to go back to his first commitment, the Naval Academy. And he fought for another chance and won.
As the memoir follows these two men as they choose to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, we go with them, and follow their lives. One gets married; the other has a steady girlfriend and both become leaders and warriors as well as war heroes. This memoir will eat your heart out as we become part of their family and friendship, and yet, it is one of the most inspiring books I have read in years.
A Perfect 10, Brothers Forever leads us into the reality of war, the reality of loyalty and friendship, and the reality of families left behind to attend their sons’ memorial services as they give their lives for the United States and for us. A tremendous read, this is one of the top memoirs of the year as far as I am concerned.
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Review by Broad “A” – Ava
We received a copy of this title for our book review. All opinions are our own
Brothers Forever: The Enduring Bond between a Marine and a Navy SEAL that Transcended Their Ultimate Sacrifice is available on Amazon.com and booksellers nationwide