“Heart for the Fight”, by Brian Stann


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Click to see the listing at Amazon.com

As I write about Operation Matador, I find myself referring frequently to Brian Stann’s excellent autobiography, “Heart for the Fight“.

Stann was a 2nd Lt during the 2005 deployment, and a Platoon Commander in the Weapons Company (callsign “WarPig”).  Stann’s platoon, WarPig2, set up a blocking position on Day 1 of Matador and spent  several days in an intense 360-degree firefight at the Golden Gate bridge, along with WarPig1 under 1stLt Bryan Leahy.

Stann was awarded the Silver Star for that action, and later became a championship mixed-martial-arts (MMA) fighter.  The book covers his life before and after the Marines, including his MMA career.  It’s very readable, with lots of action, and I recommend it.  The book has a detailed, 60-page description of the fight at the bridge, and WarPig2’s running gun battles back and forth to Camp Al-Qaim.

There is no need for me to duplicate Stann’s excellent first-hand account, but I will try to capture other perspectives from WarPig veterans who were there during the multi-day fight.  In some ways, the action at the bridge was the real crux of the operation, and may well have involved Zarqawi’s close lieutenants, body-guards, possibly even the arch-terrorist himself.


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