I was given the opportunity by author Joe Drape to read his new book Soldiers Story : Duty, Honor, Country, and Football at West Point this weekend way before it's September release.
First let me start by saying how much I enjoy Joe's writing style. In Our Boys he sucked me into Smith Center KS so much I have looked into moving there more then once.
Soldiers First is more then a book about football. Joe Drape digs deep into the heart of why men and women choose to go to the point and become future leaders in our military.
A sample: " The Sound was forlorn,the tune haunting. Steve Ezinger had heard "Taps" played at 2230 every night he had been on campus for the past thirty-nine months. "
You will hear from LT. Tyson Quick "I got blown up by an IED in Afghanistan. I stepped on it, and lost both my legs "
Football ? Plenty from Coach Ellerson pre - game : ' Sixty minutes,one play at a time" he called "Sixty minutes, one play at a time " they shouted back.
To his wisdom :
" We Learned how much emotion you have to bring to the game, how much resilience you have to bring to the game, what it's like to turn the scoreboard off and play and love to play"
To the spectacle and tradition that is West Point,
On,brave old Army team !
On to the fray.
Fight on to victory
For that's the fearless Army way.
But what Joe Drape really captures is the heart and soul of the cadets and their struggles being a student athlete at the academy.
Duty, Honor, Country is a must read not just for football and sports fans but for all of you that want to look into the soul of men that are selfless human beings. Who each day give everything they have so each of us can be free.
Soldiers First can be pre-ordered right now at Amazon : http://www.amazon.com/Soldiers-First-Honor-Country-Football/dp/0805094903/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1340576384&sr=8-1&keywords=soldiers+first
Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy. I highly recommend it. If you have not read " Our Boys" by Joe Drape grab both and understand Why Joe Drape is a very special author.