FINALIST FOR AUTOBIOGRAPHY / MEMOIRS, 2009, THE INDIE BOOK AWARDS
WINNER, 2009, MILITARY-WRITERS BOOK OF THE YEAR
May 6, 1986: Nick Popaditch arrives at the Receiving Barracks, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California.
April 9, 2003: An AP photographer captures a striking image seen around the world of the Gunny Sergeant smoking a victory cigar in his tank, the haunting statue of Saddam Hussein hovering in the background. Popaditch is immortalized forever as "The Cigar Marine."
April 6, 2004: The tanker fights heroically in the battle for Fallujah and suffers grievous head wounds that leave him legally blind and partially deaf. The USMC awards him with a Silver Star for his valor and combat innovation.
April 18, 2004: "Gunny Pop" comes home to face the toughest fight of his life-a battle to remain the man and Marine he was. This is the central drama of Nick's inspiring memoir, Once a Marine: An Iraq War Tank Commander's Inspirational Memoir of Combat, Courage, and Recovery.
Readers in and out of the military will stand up and cheer for this valiant Marine's Marine, a man who embodies everything noble and proud in the Corps' long tradition. Never has modern mechanized combat seemed so immediate and real, or the fight in Iraq seemed so human and worth believing in.
At first, Nick fights to get back to where he was in Iraq-in the cupola of an M1A1 main battle tank, leading Marines in combat at the point of the spear. As the seriousness and permanence of his disabilities become more evident, Nick fights to remain in the Corps in any capacity, to help the brothers in arms he so aches to rejoin. Facing the inevitable following a medical retirement, he battles for rightful recognition and compensation for his permanent disabilities. Throughout his harrowing ordeal, Nick fights to maintain his honor and loyalty, waging all these battles the same way-the Marine way-because anything less would be a betrayal of all he holds dear.
The real triumph in Once a Marine is its previously untold, behind-the-scenes tale of the day-to-day life of a career Marine noncommissioned staff officer. In most books and movies, a "Gunny" is little more than a cardboard character. Nick's portrayal is a man complete: a husband and father, as well as a warrior and a molder of young warriors. He reveals himself completely, something no memoirist in his position has ever done before. This includes our very personal introduction to his wife April, whose heroics in the story equal Nick's, together with dozens of others who, as Sgt. Popaditch writes, gave so much, so selflessly and freely, to him. Like the man himself, Once a Marine is full of gratitude and refreshingly free of false bravado and braggadocio.
All Americans, of all political persuasions, have a duty to meet this courageous and admirable fighting man, an exemplar of all our military men and women who give so much out of love for their nation. Meeting Gunny Sergeant Popaditch through the pages of his inspirational memoir offers up new reasons to be proud and shoulder our own responsibilities as Americans.
Once a Marine will instantly take its place among outstanding combat classics. And once you read this remarkable and uplifting book, The Marine's Hymn will never sound the same.
Brand: Savas Beatie
Used Book in Good Condition
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I found this remarkable memoir when looking on Amazon for my own novel by the same name, Once a Marine. I just finished reading Gunny Pop's story. I can't begin to express my admiration for Nick and every one of the brave men of the Marine Corps. That goes from 1803 and in to the future. We owe these guys so much.
Nick is a fearless warrior and also a funny and optimistic guy. His head is squarely on his shoulders. I was touched by his references to his wife and sons, and particularly how he tells about leaving the drill Sargent on the base and coming home as Dad, just Dad. I can't imagine how he compartmentalizes his life that way.
You will love this realistic read about what our service members face while we sit comfortably in front of the TV, safe and sound thanks to them. Nick was born to be a Marine.
Thank you, Gunny Pop..
I had not heard of this book until I found myself in conversation with GySgt Popaditch in San Diego one evening a few years ago. A mutual friend knew of my interest in the Corps and introduced me. GySgt Popaditch is a great guy, and the book he's written about his experiences is fantastic. Highly recommended.
Also, if you are interested in joining the Marine Corps as I am, I would suggest GySgt Popaditch's other book (listed below), which is a guide to recruit training. He was a Drill Instructor, so he knows a thing or two about the process. He really cares about the Corps and helping young people get the most out of the experience and become successful.
I'm still reading this book, at first I wasn't gonna buy it but did, again I didn't think I was gonna finish it but now the more I read, the more I feel more for these servicemen. What they go through for us, describing what he went through in this book is just, I don't really know the word, but it is so good, plus coming to find out and makes it more interesting is the fact that we live in a marine town, no we're not military but anyways this guy was stationed here at this base, I seriously would love to meet this guy!! So if he ever reads these reviews, I'd love to meet this one. I mean its just awesome, this town is so so so freaking small, ask this guy, he'd know!! Just what our servicemen and women go through to fight for us. I just want to cry. My son was in and went to Iraq for a year, yes I cried, I was a basket case, but he wanted to be there with his "brothers", that comaraderie or whatever that word is that they have for one another, but anyways I'd read this...
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