Not everyone has pulled shards of another man’s skull from the palm of their hand. Not everyone has stood over the bodies of friends whose lives were lost in an instant. Not everyone has struggled to face their own reflection for years on end. But anyone who has experienced trauma or adversity will resonate with Legion Rising, the unflinchingly honest account of an army officer’s journey through combat in the Iraq War and rising beyond the scars that trauma leaves behind.
Experience an honest, unedited, and occasionally humorous glimpse of the rigors of military training through Jeff’s eyes. Follow Jeff through up-close, fast-paced accounts of the thrills and dangers of combat as a Platoon Leader in Iraq. Feel the weight of the gruesome and tragic loss of eight men whose lives were lost in the line of duty. Journey with Jeff through his battle to face the scars and shadows that followed him long after his time serving in the military was over.
Through Jeff’s authentic voice and brave transparency, readers will be drawn into his story and find themselves able to relate to his struggle and ultimate rise from adversity.
This is not simply a military memoir, it’s a memoir of life — of tragedy, healing, and leadership. Through the heart-pounding stories of combat to the transparent and personal look into the process of healing, a message emerges – one that will inspire people across all walks of life.
From The Book:
Everything was abruptly so quiet. I watched as a few men began to clean the Humvee, mopping up a mixture of blood and bodily pieces that had spilled onto the floor during the transport. In a daze, I looked down at myself. What a bloody mess I was. It still remained to update the men on what was going on and I didn’t want them to see me like this.
I walked back to the bathroom near my room and shut the door. In a state of numbness, moving almost mechanically, I calmly removed from my arms the bloody fragments that had poured out of Coon’s head wound. The mirror showed a crimson smear of his blood on my face, so I turned on the faucet, let the water pour into the sink, and then plunged my hands in. I splashed my face until it was wet and then dabbed soap onto my hand and began to lather it onto my cheeks. Suddenly, a burning sensation spread across my face. I leaned toward the mirror, coming eye to eye with my reflection, and saw a line of torn skin that ran beside my nose and up to my ear. As my frayed mind searched for an explanation, I became aware of the same burning sensation in my hands.
It didn’t make sense, and it was hard to think in the fog that hung heavily over me. And then a moment of clarity arrived, bringing with it a dreadful truth. As I studied my hands, I could see small chunks of sharp skull from Coon’s head lodged into my skin. With a sickening feeling, I registered that the cuts on my face were caused by those very shards. The horror of the situation pierced through me, like nothing I had ever felt before. I didn’t move a muscle for several minutes until the thought of my waiting men jolted me from my state of shock. As if in a dream, I finished cleaning myself and then walked out of the bathroom to address the men.