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Battle Ready: Memoir of a SEAL Warrior Medic

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The gripping memoir of Navy Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart recipient SEAL Lieutenant Mark L. Donald As A SEAL and combat medic, Mark served his country with valorous distinction for almost twenty-five years and survived some of the most dangerous combat actions imaginable. From the rigors of BUD/S training to the horrors of the battlefield, Battle Ready dr The gripping memoir of Navy Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart recipient SEAL Lieutenant Mark L. Donald As A SEAL and combat medic, Mark served his country with valorous distinction for almost twenty-five years and survived some of the most dangerous combat actions imaginable. From the rigors of BUD/S training to the horrors of the battlefield, Battle Ready dramatically immerses the reader in the unique life of the elite warrior-medic who advances into combat with life-saving equipment in one hand and life-taking weapons in the other. It is also an uplifting human story that reveals how a young Hispanic American bootstrapped himself out of a life that promised a dead-end future by enlisting in the military. That new life begins with the Marines and includes his heroic achievements on the battlefield and the operating table, and finally, of his inspirational triumph over the demons caused by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that threatened to destroy him and his family.


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The gripping memoir of Navy Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart recipient SEAL Lieutenant Mark L. Donald As A SEAL and combat medic, Mark served his country with valorous distinction for almost twenty-five years and survived some of the most dangerous combat actions imaginable. From the rigors of BUD/S training to the horrors of the battlefield, Battle Ready dr The gripping memoir of Navy Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart recipient SEAL Lieutenant Mark L. Donald As A SEAL and combat medic, Mark served his country with valorous distinction for almost twenty-five years and survived some of the most dangerous combat actions imaginable. From the rigors of BUD/S training to the horrors of the battlefield, Battle Ready dramatically immerses the reader in the unique life of the elite warrior-medic who advances into combat with life-saving equipment in one hand and life-taking weapons in the other. It is also an uplifting human story that reveals how a young Hispanic American bootstrapped himself out of a life that promised a dead-end future by enlisting in the military. That new life begins with the Marines and includes his heroic achievements on the battlefield and the operating table, and finally, of his inspirational triumph over the demons caused by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that threatened to destroy him and his family.

30 review for Battle Ready: Memoir of a SEAL Warrior Medic

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Originally posted on Sarahsbookshelf.com: This book was a recently published memoir by Mark L. Donald, with Scott MacTavish. Many memoirs that I read go into great detail on very specific historical events. Especially with SEAL memoirs, much time is spent on the indoctrination and training of the SEAL, as that’s such a major part of those individuals’ lives. This book does not minimize any of that, but its focus is on the internal story of Mark Donald. This is the first book that I’ve read in a lo Originally posted on Sarahsbookshelf.com: This book was a recently published memoir by Mark L. Donald, with Scott MacTavish. Many memoirs that I read go into great detail on very specific historical events. Especially with SEAL memoirs, much time is spent on the indoctrination and training of the SEAL, as that’s such a major part of those individuals’ lives. This book does not minimize any of that, but its focus is on the internal story of Mark Donald. This is the first book that I’ve read in a long time that focused on the conflict of being a soldier and being a medic. Many of the memoirs I’ve read of late have been written by snipers and or other individuals much more focused on the logistics of the fight, as opposed to the repair afterwords. Since the role of corpsman was not a role given to Donald, but one he chose, his story reads very differently than others. I don’t really want to compare, because I don’t think that does any book justice. Donald shares his very personal understanding and acceptance of combat stress and PTSD in his life, including the very dark struggles before recognizing he needed to ask for help. Like other books within this genre, there are always individuals that greatly impacted the writer’s life. In this author’s case it was his mother. Mrs. Donald is a women that I would be greatly honored to meet some day, because she has more wisdom in her pinkie than many people do in their whole being. She seems to always know just what Donald needs to hear, but also says it in a way that doesn’t encourage defensiveness. I cried at almost every mention of her in the book because I know how valuable people like that can be in your life. I can see this book being an excellent resource for individuals or family members who may be experiencing combat stress or PTSD, either directly or indirectly. Donald does an excellent job of talking about not only recognizing the problem, but finally reaching out to those he felt comfortable sharing his experience with. In my own personal experience, I know individuals can be conflicted about asking for help. This book just helps outline why help may not only be a good thing, but might mean getting your life back. I’ll leave you with my favorite quote from Mrs. Donald, which I think sums this up nicely: “You know, people want to help. You just have to let them know how.” Wise words from a very wise woman.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lia Silver

    Intriguing but also frustrating memoir of a SEAL medic (like it says on the can.) The story Donald tells - growing up in a poor Latino family in Albuquerque, New Mexico, becoming a SEAL, fighting in Afghanistan, coming home and struggling with PTSD - is fascinating. But he tends to bring up issues and stories, then skim over them without getting into depth. I completely understand that much of his military career is still classified, but I'm talking about other things. He mentions that there was Intriguing but also frustrating memoir of a SEAL medic (like it says on the can.) The story Donald tells - growing up in a poor Latino family in Albuquerque, New Mexico, becoming a SEAL, fighting in Afghanistan, coming home and struggling with PTSD - is fascinating. But he tends to bring up issues and stories, then skim over them without getting into depth. I completely understand that much of his military career is still classified, but I'm talking about other things. He mentions that there was some family drama with his siblings that had a huge effect on him, but doesn't give any details. He says that when he finally tried to get treated for PTSD, he didn't get along with his first therapist and had to try another. Then suddenly he's doing much better. The end. No explanation of how he was helped and what that was like. When Donald does recount events in detail, the effect is riveting. There's a long battle sequence in Afghanistan which is must-reading for anyone who wants to write a contemporary military story. I only wish he'd slowed down and written the whole book like that. I, at least, cared just as much about how he put himself back together as what made him come apart.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tracey Cramer-Kelly

    This was an excellent memoir. Honest, humble, not political (although he makes some good points toward the end about needing to define what “winning” means). The writer spends several chapters describing in detail a pivotal event - the event that likely laid the foundation for his later struggles with PTSD. It’s hard for me to believe he can recall every detail, especially in the heat of a firefight, but I found it very compelling. He doesn’t go into a lot of detail about his PTSD; like so many, This was an excellent memoir. Honest, humble, not political (although he makes some good points toward the end about needing to define what “winning” means). The writer spends several chapters describing in detail a pivotal event - the event that likely laid the foundation for his later struggles with PTSD. It’s hard for me to believe he can recall every detail, especially in the heat of a firefight, but I found it very compelling. He doesn’t go into a lot of detail about his PTSD; like so many, he was reluctant to speak out, and spent a good deal of time denying he needed help. One of my favorite stories - the kind that really make this author human - is about his mom calling when he’s at his lowest point. He finally admits to her that he needs help, and she says, “I know mijo, that’s why I called you.” I loved this guy’s MOM! Though the course of this book you can really see how she impacted his life. While he was growing up, she had it rough, and yet she would say “People want to help; you just have to let them know how.” How true is that?! But what perhaps struck me most was the underlying element of faith. Mark doesn’t hammer on the topic but makes it clear he was raised in a Christian home (saying that his mom had “a direct line to God”). He also makes it clear that he struggled with his faith. I recently had a conversation with a friend about how many veterans are lost and depressed, even with all the support they have available to them. I keep thinking: why? And more and more, I come back to a belief in God. You can’t place all your faith in human beings. Every one of us is fallible and at some point we will disappoint even the ones we love. I can’t help wondering: if more veterans knew God and understood His love for them, maybe they wouldn’t feel so alone. A favorite quote from the book: “I was beginning to realize my tower of strength was built on a foundation of faith in a higher power, and a belief in mankind wasn’t strong enough to hold it together… Without a resilient foundation the bricks came tumbling down.”

  4. 5 out of 5

    Connie Clarstrom

    What an amazing story! Mark Donald gives an extremely though-provoking memoir, ideal for those who want to better understand the hearts and minds of our military men and women who are coping with the effects of combat stress. He gives a very personal account of his journey, first as a young man looking for direction and meaning in life who joins the marines, then as a combat medic and SEAL, and finally in his many support roles on returning from combat. In this story, the reader gets views of th What an amazing story! Mark Donald gives an extremely though-provoking memoir, ideal for those who want to better understand the hearts and minds of our military men and women who are coping with the effects of combat stress. He gives a very personal account of his journey, first as a young man looking for direction and meaning in life who joins the marines, then as a combat medic and SEAL, and finally in his many support roles on returning from combat. In this story, the reader gets views of the intense bonds of friendship and acts of bravery that abound in the SEAL teams. At its heart, the story describes the internal stress that combat takes on Mark in his dual role as a warrior and a medic. Through this journey he reveals his own difficulties in trying to deal with PTSD alone and the need to reach out to others in the military community. Mark Donald is a man of strength and courage, tempered with humility and faith. He continues to serve by reaching out to those in need and helping others understand the effects of combat stress. I highly recommend this book for anyone trying to understand the internal struggle of those coping with PTSD. Mark Donald's story provides and inspiration for all of us to try to better understand and support our military men and women returning from combat. His detailed account of his own personal struggles also serve as an inspiration to all of us to reach for support in times of need and a reminder that people want to help, if only you let them.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Frank Casson

    Mark has done an outstanding job in his description of PTSD. The cause, the affect, and the sometimes deter mental effects of PTSD. A SEAL warrior turned Doctor, turned warrior again. The agony of loss, the UN-known of mental health issues. Then, we see the redemption and determination of this warrior.Mark's book is a help for all of us battle survivors.He shows how the elite of the elite suffer and seek help. This book gives me the courage to continue on in my daily struggle. Mark's book offers Mark has done an outstanding job in his description of PTSD. The cause, the affect, and the sometimes deter mental effects of PTSD. A SEAL warrior turned Doctor, turned warrior again. The agony of loss, the UN-known of mental health issues. Then, we see the redemption and determination of this warrior.Mark's book is a help for all of us battle survivors.He shows how the elite of the elite suffer and seek help. This book gives me the courage to continue on in my daily struggle. Mark's book offers hope, help, and the chance to reconnect to this world we live now. I highly recommend you read it. I also recommend those who have lost loved ones in the battle zone to read as well. This book explains how guy's like DOC Donald gave all to save all.Through his humble experience, he gives hope to many; and again is a DOC to us surviving at home.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Holli

    The idea of this book intrigued me. I wasn't sure what to expect of the book, but I found it very moving. This book is amazing, heartbreaking, and empowering all in one. To see what he faced, and how his role as a medic and a warrior oftentimes clashed, and how he finally managed to come out of it still in one piece is very stirring. At some points, he got a little too political but overall the book is quite good and well worth reading.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Hedges

    Two things That I found interesting about this book: 1. The struggle that must exist in a combat medic who has to coexist as both shooter and life saver, and all of the personal struggles that come along with those issues. 2. Mark was the first SEAL I read about that actually started out as a special operations member of another branch of the Military. Mark originally started out as part of Marine Force Recon, and I find it interesting how he maintains his ties to both groups. Every other memoir o Two things That I found interesting about this book: 1. The struggle that must exist in a combat medic who has to coexist as both shooter and life saver, and all of the personal struggles that come along with those issues. 2. Mark was the first SEAL I read about that actually started out as a special operations member of another branch of the Military. Mark originally started out as part of Marine Force Recon, and I find it interesting how he maintains his ties to both groups. Every other memoir of a SEAL I have read is very clear...I'm a SEAL. The only difference in allegiances that takes place at that point is what Team they are on. I really enjoyed the book, and if this is a genre you like I think you'll enjoy the book too. With the exception of the point of view this book is remarkably similar to other books I have read, and if you have read the accounts of other authors this will probably be on par with them.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Katrina Schriver-teribury

    AMAZING BOOK! Truly cannot say enough good things about this book? Wonderfully written with the usual SEAL book/author encounter at BUD/S. I enjoyed the start from home life and the hardship there right til the end with a Tha just sayin in the notes to his mom. Very good example of what a super tough guy (as every SEAL is presumed to be) who not only has to kill by is the expected to save lives. Something I'd never thought of before. Super informative about the stressors and triggers of PTSD. An AMAZING BOOK! Truly cannot say enough good things about this book? Wonderfully written with the usual SEAL book/author encounter at BUD/S. I enjoyed the start from home life and the hardship there right til the end with a Tha just sayin in the notes to his mom. Very good example of what a super tough guy (as every SEAL is presumed to be) who not only has to kill by is the expected to save lives. Something I'd never thought of before. Super informative about the stressors and triggers of PTSD. Anyone with a friend or loved one suffering from PTSD really should read this-moms, wives, sisters, friends etc not excluded. Don't be fooled by the title. I recommend this to EVERYONE.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Chris Barrow

    Great book; really enjoyed it. Great perspective about the stress soldiers deal with after they return from combat

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ross Rawnsley

    This was a great story about the life of a true hero. For me, it dragged a little in the middle, but the beginning and certainly the ending more than made up for that. Recommended!

  11. 5 out of 5

    John F.

    Beautiful, Humble, and sorrowful story There is nothing more beautiful than to open your ears so another can speak freely and receive advice or assistance from the person listening. Follow the beauty and add to it the sensitivity and humility flows from the story teller. Finally, showing love and compassion as this most personal and sorrowful story is told. LT. (SEAL) Donald accomplished these three areas of life and more. All I can say to LT. Donald is, thank you. You are one of America's HEROES Beautiful, Humble, and sorrowful story There is nothing more beautiful than to open your ears so another can speak freely and receive advice or assistance from the person listening. Follow the beauty and add to it the sensitivity and humility flows from the story teller. Finally, showing love and compassion as this most personal and sorrowful story is told. LT. (SEAL) Donald accomplished these three areas of life and more. All I can say to LT. Donald is, thank you. You are one of America's HEROES! Thank you for the sacrifices you made for us to ensure our freedoms. Thank you Marky (as Grandma called you). Thank you Devil Dog (USMC). Thank you Corpsman. Thank you Lieutenant. Thank you Doctor. Thank you Marine Recon. Thank you Sailor. Thank you SEAL!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dio Handoyo

    Not a page-turner, but that's probably the way you can tell that what you read is mostly unembellished truth. The story begins rather differently from that of other usual trident-covered books, reflecting Lt. Donald's unconventional journey towards said Trident, but more powerfully, it ends with a very distinct, brave coverage of his own struggles with PTS - and his call to action for others facing a similar situation to get help. Brings light to another side of the life of an operator - the sta Not a page-turner, but that's probably the way you can tell that what you read is mostly unembellished truth. The story begins rather differently from that of other usual trident-covered books, reflecting Lt. Donald's unconventional journey towards said Trident, but more powerfully, it ends with a very distinct, brave coverage of his own struggles with PTS - and his call to action for others facing a similar situation to get help. Brings light to another side of the life of an operator - the stateside picture you don't see often in other SEAL literature.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa Swink

    An eye-opening memoir that gave me a glimpse into the internal struggle a warrior medic goes through. I learned a lot and am grateful the author was so open about his PTSD. All our soldiers are such heroes and deserve all our respect and support.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Annette

    There is enough detail to keep me interested, and I didn't see the PTSD part of it coming in the last half. He explains PTSD symptoms very well.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Roberta Wall

    I found the last chapter the most valuable. I am sure this was therapeutic for the author but I believe he could have conferred with others in the writing. Takes awhile to get invested in this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Wes Bredenhof

    One of the best books to get an idea of how veterans struggle with their combat experiences.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Peter Roberson

    OUTSTANDING An insightful journey into the meaning of SERVICE. and a primer for all health care professionals. Read understand then A CT.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jake Danishevsky

    Battle Ready is an incredible journey of a Recon Marine, turned Navy Seal and then Naval Medic. A life of personal accomplishments, personal struggles and personal fight to put his life back together as many war time heroes have to deal with. I personally never knew about a lot of those life struggles by our brave men and women who wear their uniforms proudly, but mainly do it in order for the rest of us to have freedoms and sleep better at nights. While many of us enjoy the opportunities that th Battle Ready is an incredible journey of a Recon Marine, turned Navy Seal and then Naval Medic. A life of personal accomplishments, personal struggles and personal fight to put his life back together as many war time heroes have to deal with. I personally never knew about a lot of those life struggles by our brave men and women who wear their uniforms proudly, but mainly do it in order for the rest of us to have freedoms and sleep better at nights. While many of us enjoy the opportunities that the life in free nation has to offer, those warriors make the ultimate sacrifices whether they die in the battle or start their battle at home, when they come back from their battle deployments. It is a recount of a true heroic detail of a life that worth hearing and learning about. Mark Donald aka Doc, comes from a family of regular or even lower than regular means. He enlists and the rest is history, the rest is what he was born to do, his life journey and his true calling. A book describes how his wise mother, his faith, his character and his will to utilize his strengths by accepting his weaknesses provides him the opportunities and ways to get through tough life choices. The story is about a life of a man that teaches many things and how to appreciate life, your family, and friends and persevere against impossible. Incredible thoughts that Mr. Donald shares with us and how he deals with losing close friends, teams mates and his way of dealing with the fact that "It is not his time", as he bravely puts it, shows what him and many others go through and have to live post battle lives. It is a fantastic book. I was truly amazed, touched and learned a lot. Highly recommend it and suggest to anyone who thinks that they know what our military has to go through, not just in the war battles, but the bigger struggles once they return to their family and into general population. Mark describes in detail some of the most terrifying events that he personally had to endure, live through and accept. Ambushes, battles and death, while trying to save lives. Amazing struggles on top of struggles and a thought process of a medic who saves lives, but also has to take lives as a soldier, worrier and a seal. I feel that I am a better and a more informed person by reading this book. I would like to thank you Mark L Donald for your service and for sharing your most intimate life details. Thank you all who served and serving our nation, and providing us the life that we are able to continue living. God bless people like Mark L Donald, other men and women like him, and our Great Nation.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    If you want to read about a remarkable Marine and Navy SEAL, a man from meager beginnings but with big dreams, this is the book for you. Starting with how he entered the service, how he entered SEAL training, and got his life started in Special Operations, it then flows about 1/3rd of the way in to combat operations in Afghanistan, describing in detail about a few missions that really could have, but by the grace of God did not, take his life. His actions there alone will grip you until you real If you want to read about a remarkable Marine and Navy SEAL, a man from meager beginnings but with big dreams, this is the book for you. Starting with how he entered the service, how he entered SEAL training, and got his life started in Special Operations, it then flows about 1/3rd of the way in to combat operations in Afghanistan, describing in detail about a few missions that really could have, but by the grace of God did not, take his life. His actions there alone will grip you until you realize it is 2 in the morning and you can't put the book down. The last 1/3rd of the book is Mark's final determination to seek help, which I am so glad he did. I am so proud of Mark Donald for many reasons: for writing this book; opening his heart; and revealing the deepest recesses of his soul for the world to read. Having served in the Army for 20 years, and serving in combat (though certainly not in a combat arms role), Mark hits the nail on the head with the inner demons dragging us into a pit of despair, taking us so low that we see no way out. I recommended this book to a relative who also serves, and credit Mark's pen to reaching him. He finally sought help as his life was beginning to spin out of control. THANK YOU Mark! As you said in the last chapter, if you help one Service Member, it will be worth all of the criticism. I read some of them and must say I really don't get their (few) remarks. I guess they were hoping you were going to blame the military for allowing this to happen, or for not helping you, I don't know. But I know you a bit, and from what I know, you ARE a hero. You always say if it wasn't for others you wouldn't have done this or would not have been able to do that, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that you have more determination in you than 10 of the grittiest people combined. Yes, you ask for help, but you also offer it, even at times you have little left to give. You love your family, and you love your country, and do so with one of the biggest hearts I've ever come across. And here you are once again giving of yourself by baring to the world what most others would never talk about even with their most trusted confidant, in the pursuit of reaching others refusing to ask for help. Your bravery knows no bounds. Bravo Mark, Bravo!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rick

    I received “Battle Ready” through a Goodreads Advanced Readers contest. Liked the story a lot but didn’t love some of the scripting … might have been better a biography rather than a memoir. The book – loved the story but the book was a bit over the top. While all of America’s real ‘heroes’ shun the title, it must have been said a dozen times in the book. After a while it just came across as self-serving. Once or twice would have been enough. Sometimes in reading around the terms brother and bud I received “Battle Ready” through a Goodreads Advanced Readers contest. Liked the story a lot but didn’t love some of the scripting … might have been better a biography rather than a memoir. The book – loved the story but the book was a bit over the top. While all of America’s real ‘heroes’ shun the title, it must have been said a dozen times in the book. After a while it just came across as self-serving. Once or twice would have been enough. Sometimes in reading around the terms brother and buddy and team it started to sound like the history of a fraternity, especially when so-and-so is goosing so-and-so. Once again, nothing at all wrong with those words and concepts, but the book just took on the luster of a rah-rah piece, rather than an homage to one man’s service to his country. Many of these things could have been shown better than told – show me don’t tell me. So the book could have been written better. The story – an absolutely wonderful page-turner of service to one’s country. This guy Mark Donald really devoted himself as few do. When we talk of first responders – like police and fire and military – we talk of devotion and duty. This guy had it, breathed it, and lived it. He came from humble beginnings and rose to the top, all the while serving his country. It is never a wonder that America produces men and women of such caliber … they always find their way to the top simply by being themselves and by having love of family and country. MacArthur had it right – duty, honor, country … and Mark Donald had it all. Very few sacrifice so much of their personal lives in the pursuit of excellence for one’s country. Donald’s helping other vets now just continues his tradition of service. Only wish Donald had gone into more detail about his struggles with PTSD and his triumph in living with it. As Aaron Sorkin wrote in his movie A Few Good Men … “We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something.” This was the essence of Mark Donald.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    I picked up this book to read because of this sentence in the description: "Battle Ready dramatically immerses the reader in the unique life of the elite warrior-medic who advances into combat with life-saving equipment in one hand and life-taking weapons in the other." I was interested to find out how a man would handle those conflicting ideals and emotions. Mr. Donald does an excellent job revealing his inner struggles, and the incredible sacrifice he and others have made in the name of our co I picked up this book to read because of this sentence in the description: "Battle Ready dramatically immerses the reader in the unique life of the elite warrior-medic who advances into combat with life-saving equipment in one hand and life-taking weapons in the other." I was interested to find out how a man would handle those conflicting ideals and emotions. Mr. Donald does an excellent job revealing his inner struggles, and the incredible sacrifice he and others have made in the name of our country, both while they are deployed and while they are at home. There isn't any sugar-coating in this book. Mr. Donald openly and honestly traces his struggles with PTSD and the demons that go along with it. His bare honestly will break your heart at times. That he has overcome so much and continues to serve by working with other Veterans is astonishing. As a nation we need to be grateful to the men and women of our armed forces who willingly put themselves on the physical, mental and emotional line for us. This book tells so much of what those troops deal with that no one ever talks about. Battle Ready also sheds a light on how much the families of our troops suffer and sacrifice, perhaps even more at times than the troops. Every American should read this book. Thank you Mr. Donald, for baring you soul to tell this story that so desperately needed to be told.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Brandy

    *I won this book via Goodreads giveaways - thank you!* I'm as surprised as anybody that I couldn't finish this book. I wanted to love it. Then I just wanted to like it. Then I just wanted to finish it. And now I'm giving up. As a history nerd who is fascinated with the development of international relations and military operations since Vietnam, I was pretty excited for this book. In The Company of Heroes is one of my all-time favorite reads, and I figured that Battle Ready would be in that same *I won this book via Goodreads giveaways - thank you!* I'm as surprised as anybody that I couldn't finish this book. I wanted to love it. Then I just wanted to like it. Then I just wanted to finish it. And now I'm giving up. As a history nerd who is fascinated with the development of international relations and military operations since Vietnam, I was pretty excited for this book. In The Company of Heroes is one of my all-time favorite reads, and I figured that Battle Ready would be in that same vein. However, halfway through the book, all that I had gathered was that the brotherhood of the military is just the best thing ever. I have only the deepest respect for the military and am insanely proud of my friends and loved ones that have sacrificed and sweated and bled for this country, so don't take my next statement the wrong way... but... this book read like an extreme pro-military propaganda recruitment book. There were just no negative experiences for this guy. And I can not believe that. Maybe his story and his writing style pick up in the second half. I hope that that's the case, and I hope, if my stack of "to-read" books ever dwindles, that I come back to this later and find myself loving it. But it's just not happening right now.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Paula

    I listened to the audio book of this, so a few notes on the recording first: I found the volume varied quite a bit, and sometimes I felt I was being yelled at, which was a pain. The narrator's version of an Irish accent was...underwhelming, but amusing. The interview at the end was kind of surplus to requirements. Having just finished Seven Troop, I found myself comparing the two books a bit. Basically, they felt much the same - a very in-depth look at a soldier's experiences during their time i I listened to the audio book of this, so a few notes on the recording first: I found the volume varied quite a bit, and sometimes I felt I was being yelled at, which was a pain. The narrator's version of an Irish accent was...underwhelming, but amusing. The interview at the end was kind of surplus to requirements. Having just finished Seven Troop, I found myself comparing the two books a bit. Basically, they felt much the same - a very in-depth look at a soldier's experiences during their time in the service, and a not-so-deep look at PTSD. This account, however, explores PTSD from the author's perspective, so it helped to give a bit more insight into those who suffer the condition. The other difference is that Mark Donald was a medic, as well as a SEAL, so that opened up the "healing vs hurting" argument as well. All in all, not a bad book, but it did get very preachy in places - not religious, just "you MUST view this from this perspective". Possibly not as bad in the book version, but in audio it was very emphatic.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sheri S.

    I enjoyed the perspective of a medic/physician assistant that this book offered. Donald described his experiences in the military and what led him to focus more on medicine. He also wrote of battle situations and how those changed him, initially in a very negative way. Donald was able to work through the impact that battle field experiences had on him by utilizing the help of his family, mentors and medical professionals. He acknowledges that he still deals with the effects of having been in com I enjoyed the perspective of a medic/physician assistant that this book offered. Donald described his experiences in the military and what led him to focus more on medicine. He also wrote of battle situations and how those changed him, initially in a very negative way. Donald was able to work through the impact that battle field experiences had on him by utilizing the help of his family, mentors and medical professionals. He acknowledges that he still deals with the effects of having been in combat and, at the same time, he is working on making sure that veterans continue to receive the help they need to work through the issues that impact them. (At times I was a little confused by the ranks of military personnel and the transition he made from being in the Marines to being in the Navy.)

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mike Lopez

    I couldn't put this down. It was not what I was expecting but it turned out better. Despite being a former Army medic the author's honesty gave me an understanding that I never had before about post-traumatic stress and war. It also made a lot more sense to me about a friend that has come home experiencing many of the things he talked about. I was a little disappointed with leaving out some of the names of units and people but it never hurt the story just my curiosity but I found out about the h I couldn't put this down. It was not what I was expecting but it turned out better. Despite being a former Army medic the author's honesty gave me an understanding that I never had before about post-traumatic stress and war. It also made a lot more sense to me about a friend that has come home experiencing many of the things he talked about. I was a little disappointed with leaving out some of the names of units and people but it never hurt the story just my curiosity but I found out about the how the SEALS take care of one another when they get out. This book is one I will definitely share with my friends and family and a book I will recommend to any returning veteran and their wife.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Morgan Barnes

    A very interesting individual that has had to learn how to deal with the scars of war in a very personal way. While the first half of the book was a bit slow providing the background to how the author grew up and what he went through before completing PA school was necessary to provide a complete picture for what was to come... The second half was very absorbing and helped me appreciate some of what our warriors have to face on a daily basis. Mark Donald was a dichotomy - of two worlds that were A very interesting individual that has had to learn how to deal with the scars of war in a very personal way. While the first half of the book was a bit slow providing the background to how the author grew up and what he went through before completing PA school was necessary to provide a complete picture for what was to come... The second half was very absorbing and helped me appreciate some of what our warriors have to face on a daily basis. Mark Donald was a dichotomy - of two worlds that were constantly battling each other - the Medic VS the SEAL. I thank God that there are still warriors in this world willing to stand up and defend this country.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Battle Ready: Memoir of a SEAL Warrior Medic Author: Mark L. Donald I thought this book was a good read. I've read SEAL books but wanted to read this one because of the "Medic" parts it contained. Mark Donald did a good job with the telling of his story, which begins with his childhood and on into his retirement. Mark told of his PTSD and his internal struggles. The book was descriptive and engaging. I would recommend this book to someone who is interested in this genre, which I have and he read it Battle Ready: Memoir of a SEAL Warrior Medic Author: Mark L. Donald I thought this book was a good read. I've read SEAL books but wanted to read this one because of the "Medic" parts it contained. Mark Donald did a good job with the telling of his story, which begins with his childhood and on into his retirement. Mark told of his PTSD and his internal struggles. The book was descriptive and engaging. I would recommend this book to someone who is interested in this genre, which I have and he read it and liked it too!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    Donald was a Recon Marine before he decided to serve as a medic. He transferred to the Navy (Marines are supported by Navy medics) and then became a Navy Seal. Very impressive. But this book is more about his struggles with PTSD and with the calling of warrior and medic. How can you save and take a life at the same time? Why I started this book: It was just returned to the library and I snagged it from the return shelf. Why I finished it: Donald wrote this book to help veterans, to start conversat Donald was a Recon Marine before he decided to serve as a medic. He transferred to the Navy (Marines are supported by Navy medics) and then became a Navy Seal. Very impressive. But this book is more about his struggles with PTSD and with the calling of warrior and medic. How can you save and take a life at the same time? Why I started this book: It was just returned to the library and I snagged it from the return shelf. Why I finished it: Donald wrote this book to help veterans, to start conversations not to brag about his career... most of which is still classified.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I really liked this book. It was great timing as I finished reading it the day before Memorial Day. I know that our military makes such a huge sacrifice for us every day, and I am so very thankful for that. But it made such a difference to me to read a first hand account of one person's experience & the aftermath of being in a war. It really made it that much more real of an understanding for me. I appreciate and respect our military and veterans even more. I really liked this book. It was great timing as I finished reading it the day before Memorial Day. I know that our military makes such a huge sacrifice for us every day, and I am so very thankful for that. But it made such a difference to me to read a first hand account of one person's experience & the aftermath of being in a war. It really made it that much more real of an understanding for me. I appreciate and respect our military and veterans even more.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kara Larson

    Very interesting and thought provoking book by a Navy SEAL Physician Assistant. The author traces his life and service with a specific focus on combat stress issues/PTSD of warriors and veterans. I feel more educated on these combat issues after reading this book and especially appreciated the author's appeal to all Americans to support these men and women with specifics of how to do so, starting with just being available to listen.

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