The Wolves of Helmand will transport readers to another world that tens of thousands of American service members have seared in their memories, but few of their civilian counterparts will ever experience. It’s a world that can be harsh and deadly, but also, filled with adventure, loyalty, and good humor. Frank Biggio does us all a service by sharing his version of that reality in all of its complicated glory.
– DAN LAMOTHE, award-winning Washington Post journalist and frequent chronicler of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan
An intimate history lesson that goes beyond war—a story that teaches everyone what they need to know about the bravest men and women who defend our way of life and are willing to sacrifice their own. A rich, personal account of the human side of the Afghanistan War, revealed through the lens of the author who lived it—exposing how the power of human connection sustains our nation’s warriors on the battlefield and when they return.
– MAJ. SCOTT HUESING (USMC RET.), bestselling author of Echo in Ramadi: The Firsthand Story of U.S. Marines in Iraq’s Deadliest City
Few other books covering combat can so effortlessly bridge from the grimy daily tactical fight to the strategic with equal impact. Masterful and informative account of the good days and bad, the triumphs and the tragedies, the humor, compassion, and the resilience of those who have worn the cloth of our nation in this longest war. Prepare to be transported to Helmand Province from the very opening pages of this exceptional work.
– Lieutenant General Lawrence D. Nicholson (USMC, retired), former commander of the Second Marine Expeditionary Brigade in Afghanistan 2009––2010
The Wolves of Helmand is the most accessible memoir of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, written with such clarity that it will transfix the widest audience. Wolves is both a journalistic feat, with superior writing quality and historical perspective, and the personal tale of a civilian who could not shake his love of the Marines or the call to combat.
– Owen West, former U.S. Marine and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict, author of The Snake Eaters: Counterinsurgency Advisors in Combat
Frank “Gus” Biggio has written a different and much-needed kind of war story: one that is layered and shows the complexities of what frontline U.S. Marines experienced in southern Afghanistan during a crucial time of troop surges and an entrenched Taliban. Biggio’s firsthand account, unvarnished and heartfelt and honest, deserves wide readership—in military circles but also for general readers who want to better understand America’s longest war, one that is not yet over. This is a book that will stay with you.
– Kael Weston, former U.S. State Department advisor, author of The Mirror Test: America at War in Iraq and Afghanistan
In The Wolves of Helmand Gus Biggio recreates Helmand as it was, but also, and more importantly, as both we and our Afghan partners wanted it to be. Between those two visions lies all the “mystery and terror and adventure and courage and discovery and holiness and pity and despair and longing and love” that Tim O’Brien ascribes to war. Above all, Biggio’s story is a testament to the fact that we can work together to live up to our ideals.
– Will Mackin, former U.S. Navy Pilot and Special Warfare Tactical Air Controller, author of Bring Out the Dog
What you are about to read is Gus’s effort to keep breathing deeply, before, during, and after the summer of 2009. Read carefully; he has much to teach us. Feel the texture of the details; envision the landscape that he paints. Every battlefield and its surroundings are terribly beautiful worlds unto their own. Knowing that across the world and ten years later, the village of Nawa may not look tremendously different than when Gus and I arrived, I hope that you will visit this one with care. You’ll want to be as present in reading this book as he was in telling his story—and breathing alongside him in his journey to Helmand and home.
– Gen. Stanley Allen McChrystal (USA, RET); former Commander of Joint Special Operations Command; Commander, International Security Assistance Force; and United States Forces—Afghanistan