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Nonfiction Monday Men in Uniform

Whoo! I’d hate to miss the 2nd annual Nonfiction Monday.  Especially since I am drooling all over the new series Special Ops from Bearport Publishing. Let’s pretend I’m not old enough to have children in the services and let me enjoy these men in uniform. I just cannot decide which branch is most interesting. Look at the subjects: Green Berets, Army Rangers, Navy Seals, Marine Force Recon, Pararescuemen, and Delta Force

Delta Force in Action by Gail Blasser Riley was one of the first in this series I examined. The title page shows that a consultant named Fred Pushies is a U.S. SOF Advisor. I was curious so I "googled" Fred and traced the titles he has been involved with through Impressive track record so I’ll give him some cred and keep reading I thought. The "about the author" section let me know Gail Blasser Riley has written more than 400 books, articles, and educational pieces.

Since this is a nonfiction book, I need to take a look at all the features so I headed to the back to examine the "Delta Force Gear" pages. I think these are some of my favorite pages in this series. Each title shows specific transportation and weapons for each Special Ops. Finally I could see each weapon listed with their mysterious numbers… MA-A1, MP-5, M-203, M-4 Carbine. I’ve heard my sons talk about these weapons but they were an enigma. I appreciated being able to see these military weapons. 

Each title in the series included the usual glossary, index, bibliography, and read more sections which generously listed all of the competitors’ titles as well. The Learn More Online section contains crossword puzzles, plus links to 2-4 relevant sites for each title. Be sure to click each star to uncover more information. 

The best part of this series is how the authors intertwined real stories about people who were rescuing or being rescued by members of these special ops groups. Realistic endings are included. There are characters who figure prominently in the story, but who die in the informational retelling. While glorifying the heroism of the soldier, reality is presented. 

Marine Force Recon by Michael Sandler felt most current to me because the underlying story revolved around the war in Iraq and the battles in Fallujah. I could recall November 2004 and listening intently to the drama unfolding. Will these titles stand the test of time? Yes, I really do believe so. The stories are interwoven with the history and need for each branch, the top missions that can be discussed, and the techniques/special training each group offers to increase survival.

Note: "Due to the highly secret nature of their work, there are no photos of current Delta Force operators in this book." I was really pleased to find that note on the verso page that Bearport publishing is taking care of privacy and protection of our soldiers.. I feel like I know so much more about the special training that my son keeps trying to add. It doesn’t mean I have to like it, but I can appreciate his and his buddies’ wanting and yearning to be part of these special operation groups.