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In the Company of Heroes

The truth behind the movie Black Hawk Down, with the incredible true story by Mike Durant.

If you saw the movie Black Hawk Down, you may recall the name of the man that they would not leave behind: Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael Durant. If you watched national news broadcasts in October 1993, you saw the battered face of Michael Durant. America watched with shock as he was dragged through the streets of Mogadishu.

The hostilities in Somalia have been debated in articles, books, documentaries, and now finally in the words of Mike Durant. Durant explained to me that the movie ends with him in captivity. He thought, "Wow, many people are wondering, 'What happened to that guy?' I've had a lot of people ask me, 'How did you get out of there, and what happened to you?'"

In the Company of Heroes pays homage to the men who served with him in Somalia. "Plain and simple, I can tell you that the only reason I'm here today is because of Gary and Randy." The commando sergeants who came to Mr. Durant's aide were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

In addition to his captivity in Somalia, Mr. Durant's book shares a unique look at the life of the U.S. Special Forces.

"One of the most unique things is that in special ops, you stay together as a unit for a much long period of time than most other military organizations. I was in the 160th for 13 years, and I served with the same people the whole time. So, there are stories that go way beyond Somalia."

Some of the intriguing behind the scene information about the books is that Mr. Durant, had to purchase the rights to use the photos of himself. The many photos that we often see on cable news networks are copyrighted and he was charged to include them in the book. Durant was very pleased that the group AC-DC allowed him to use the lyrics to one of their songs without charge.

Since his retirement from the Army, the New Hampshire native has settled with his family in Alabama. He now works for a contractor specializing in full-motion flight simulators for commercial and military use. He also speaks speaks to large Fortune 500 companies and small civic groups. You are just as likely to find this father of six coaching his daughters' soccer teams.

A remarkable story, a remarkable man.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Paula Laurita. All rights reserved.
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