I received a copy of Brothers Forever a few weeks ago from the publisher. I was already in the middle of reading a couple other books so I had to wait on this one. However, I wanted to get this review out by Memorial Day – today. I wasn’t sure I was going to meet my self imposed deadline, because I’m not an especially fast reader. I like to digest each word
What I found from the moment I started reading was that I couldn’t put it down! Tom Sileo and Travis’s father, Marine Colonel Tom Manion, write a stirring, emotional account of the lives of two brothers – Travis and Brendan – dedicated to serving their country and bettering themselves who paid the ultimate price in that service.
Only .45% of the population has served in the military. But, the stories of those that do should never go unread. Brothers Forever is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding why our brave warriors risk everything, fighting the nation’s wars. Told from their father’s point of view, Tom Manion has the attention getting writing style one would expect from a Marine Colonel. He grabs the readers by the eyeballs and doesn’t let go until you’ve come to know his sons.
I have to admit that parts of this book brought tears to my eyes. Not tears of sadness, but tears of pride reading about how much these men understand the weight of their responsibility. Pride that there are Americans willing to die for people they don’t even know. At one point, Travis talks about being at a NFL game and taking in the totality of the people in attendance. As he tries to recognize the faces of each person there, he reflects on how he would die for each and every person there. It’s a humbling introspective that should cause readers to evaluate the purpose of their owns lives and whether they are making a difference to make the world a better place.
Manion tells the stories of his sons with love and devotion, going into intricate detail about their lives and tours of service. Those not familiar with the military lifestyle will come away from Brothers Forever with a complete understanding of the lives of our military men and women. By the time you turn that last page, you will have experienced the same loss as the family and friends of these two heroes. You will laugh. You will cry. And your heart will swell with pride. In the words of Brendan, “Be strong. Be accountable. Never complain.” Things are never as bad as they could be and people like Travis and Brendan have already made it possible for us to have better lives. You know it’s coming that the brothers are no longer with us, but with each chapter you seek reassurance that they will somehow live enjoy the fruits of their sacrifices.
Brotherly love is a powerful thing. Even more powerful is the love of a father who refuses to let his sons’ sacrifice and legacy be forgotten. I am a better person having read Brothers Forever and I think you will be too.