'Valor': New book spotlights unsung modern-day heroes

Few stories of heroism and sacrifice by American troops make it to Hollywood, and according to DC attorney Mark Greenblatt – who specializes in criminal and ethics investigations of senior officials in the U.S. government and homeland security vulnerabilities – there are many more that need to see the light of day.

“I have always had great respect for the military and made that choice. These guys are going to go home and be nobodies – no ticker-tape parade, no Hollywood movies,” Greenblatt told FOX44. “I realized I need to tell those stories.”

So Greenblatt wrote the book “Valor” to profile a handful of heroes, from a Marine private who saved a gravely injured comrade by carrying him almost 100 yards through close-range enemy fire to a Navy SEAL who single handedly rescued a group of Marines trapped in a house in Fallujah.

Based on John F. Kennedy’s “Profiles of Courage,” the stories go deep inside the warriors' minds.

“One consistent theme in these stories was that each person made a choice to go directly into harm’s away, they were in relative safety or had the option to go to safety but didn’t,” Greenblatt continued. “I wanted to convey what was going on in their minds, what they were feeling. Were their legs aching? Was the wind blowing? I wanted to really put the fine details into the readers’ minds and draw out the specific facts that led to the big moments.”

Greenblatt hopes readers will be able to also learn more about the sacrifices made by the loved ones left behind and develop a deeper understanding of the military mindset and drive to serve one's country.

“These guys are special in the best possible way – their willingness to sacrifice absolutely everything for their buddies and for their country is overwhelming and inspiring. That is something we in civilian world can learn from – dedication to a higher mission, the brotherhood and the team work,” Greenblatt said. “And when they come home, they need our help.”



Hollie McKay has been a staff reporter since 2007. She has reported extensively from the Middle East on the rise and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter at @holliesmckay