No Easy Day by Mark Owen

I brought this book home from the library for Mr. Hero thinking he’d enjoy it. Boy, o boy – I wish I would have saved it for Christmas instead! If you are buying for a military man, this would be a good bet… at least according to Mr. Hero. Since I didn’t read the book, he’s offered the review.

no easy dayBut first, here’s the book summary from amazon:

For the first time anywhere, the first-person account of the planning and execution of the Bin Laden raid from a Navy Seal who confronted the terrorist mastermind and witnessed his final moments.

From the streets of Iraq to the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips in the Indian Ocean, and from the mountaintops of Afghanistan to the third floor of Osama Bin Laden’s compound, operator Mark Owen of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group–commonly known as SEAL Team Six– has been a part of some of the most memorable special operations in history, as well as countless missions that never made headlines.

No Easy Day puts readers alongside Owen and the other handpicked members of the twenty-four-man team as they train for the biggest mission of their lives. The blow-by-blow narrative of the assault, beginning with the helicopter crash that could have ended Owen’s life straight through to the radio call confirming Bin Laden’s death, is an essential piece of modern history.

In No Easy Day, Owen also takes readers onto the field of battle in America’s ongoing War on Terror and details the selection and training process for one of the most elite units in the military. Owen’s story draws on his youth in Alaska and describes the SEALs’ quest to challenge themselves at the highest levels of physical and mental endurance. With boots-on-the-ground detail, Owen describes numerous previously unreported missions that illustrate the life and work of a SEAL and the evolution of the team after the events of September 11. In telling the true story of the SEALs whose talents, skills, experiences, and exceptional sacrifices led to one of the greatest victories in the War on Terror, Mark Owen honors the men who risk everything for our country, and he leaves readers with a deep understanding of the warriors who keep America safe.

Here’s Mr. Hero’s thoughts:

No easy day is a good fast paced account of life as a Navy SEAL and some of the missions that they have been on.  It shows both the seriousness of the job that these brave men do as well as the humorous boyish-pranks that they play on each other.

I really liked that he showed the lighter side of things as well as the seriousness of the training and missions.  The author explains the acronyms that he uses so it makes it easier to understand if you aren’t familiar with them.  It talks about the missions and the long hours that they spend training and on missions in support of operations, away from home, family and friends.  Mark Owens talks about how he wanted to be a Navy Seal since High School.  He also refers back to a little about growing up in Alaska and how some scenarios made him stronger to make it through his training and mission despite the weather or other adversaries.

One tidbit about the book that he also shared with me, was the SEALs thorough enjoyment of coffee as they swapped their experiences, stories and perspectives after missions. Well… I’d prefer to swap my stories over coffee cake 🙂 Here’s my favorite recipe that is often requested:

DSC09335Of course I need to give credit where credit is due: this recipe is from the 2009 edition of the Best of Taste of Home magazine.

1 cup butter

2 c sugar

2 eggs

2 c all-purpose flour

1-1/2 t baking powder

1/2 t salt

1 c (8 oz) sour cream

1/2 t vanilla extract

TOPPING:

1 c chopped pecans

2 T sugar

1 t ground cinnamon

CHOCOLATE GLAZE:

1/2 c semisweet chocolate chips

1/4 c butter, cubed

1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Combine sour cream and vanilla; add to creamed mixture alternately with dry ingredients.

2. Comvine topping ingredients; sprinkle 2 tablespoons into a greased and floured 10-in. tube pan. For glaze, in a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and butter; stir until smooth. Spoon half of the batter over topping; sprinkle with half of the remaining topping. Drizzle with half of the glaze. Top with remaining batter; sprinkle with remaining topping.

3. Bake at 350 for 60-70 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Warm remaining glaze; drizzle over coffee cake. Serve warm if desired.

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