In the Shadow of Greatness: Voices of Leadership, Sacrifice, and Service from America's Longest War (Hardcover)
Named a Notable Naval Book of 2012 by Proceedings Magazine Their stories needed to be told. And classmates working together, under a blanket of trust and friendship, was the only way to allow people to open up. It was a three year journey into the hearts and souls of America's youngest heroes to gather these important historical accounts, but it was worth every hour spent. Inside this book are the voices the first Annapolis graduates into a decade of war and they remind us that America is in good hands. They were walking to class on 9/11, wearing Naval Academy "summer working blues", when the towers were struck. The campus went to general quarters, battle stations. They would be the first class after this attack to graduate into a nation at war and would be faced, like so many past graduates, of rising to the challenge to keeping America great. President Bush and Vice President Cheney articulated a world at the crossroads, and the U.S. would preemptively in seek enemies who threatened the national interest, America would not again be terrorized. In the Shadow of Greatness addresses issues that go beyond one USNA class, it explains the trials of most military veterans of this era. Understanding how a young person enlists to serve, deploys to the fight, and returns home is unknown to most Americans. Veterans pack up their uniforms, but never lose the call for service when the return to civilian society. The profiles in this book represent the "Next Great Generation" of American leaders. Men and women who lost their innocence in battle and their youths to a decade of deployments, throughout which they never gave up hope. In exchange for down range scars, they gained an unbreakable sense of purpose to America's ideals-freedom, equality, and democracy. The compilation is the most authentic and raw narrative to emerge from the Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and beyond. The reader enjoys a spectrum of stories, each patriotic and honorable. The narratives are meant to inspire, educate, and reveal a world many don't understand. Its contents are readable and easy to appreciate. The Class of 2002-and more broadly, the one million veterans of the Long War-are America's leaders of tomorrow. Read this book to learn what they endured and why they are prepared.
After receiving his commission, Joshua Welle became a Surface Warfare Officer. When not serving at sea, he earned two master's degrees from the University of Maryland in politics and business administration. He was an instructor at the Naval Academy teaching International Relations and was the special assistant to Admiral William Crowe, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was an economic advisor for NATO in Afghanistan and conducted counter-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and frequently publishes on military and foreign affairs. A former Navy Lieutenant with service aboard two warships and a tour of duty as a Pentagon speech writer and special advisor to the Chief of Naval Operations, John Ennis left the Navy for work in Lockheed Martin's International Business Development Group. He is currently an account manager for IBM's Software Group, working with the U.S. Navy. After commissioning, Kate Kranz completed the Naval Flight Officer training pipeline in Pensacola, FL and received wings of gold as an E-2C Hawkeye NFO, serving with the VAW-113 Black Eagles, flying 3 deployments with Carrier Air Wing 14 and the USS Ronald Reagan Strike Group. Following orders as a special assistant to the commandant back at the Naval Academy, she served as a NATO Rule of Law Field Support Mission advisor and liaison officer for the commander in various locations in Afghanistan. In previous assignments, Graham Plaster served as a Surface Warfare Officer aboard the USS Reuben James (FFG 57) out of Pearl Harbor, deploying in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom to the Persian Gulf. Subsequently he joined the staff of Destroyer Squadron One in San Diego and deployed in support of Counter Drug Operations in South America. Following DESRON ONE, he assumed duties as Assistant Dean of Students at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. Now a Naval Foreign Area Officer, he is currently a Liaison Officer supporting U.S. military deployed to UN Peacekeeping missions in Israel, Egypt and Iraq. He also serves as webmaster for the Foreign Area Officer Association (FAOA.org). He is currently writing a book on social media's influences on democratization in Iran. LT Plaster lives in Annapolis, MD with his wife and their four children.