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Ryan Pitts: Afghanistan: A Firefight in the Mountains of Wanat

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Staff Sergeant Ryan M. Pitts enlisted in the Army when he was seventeen, and was just twenty-two years old when he fought at the Battle of Wanat in Afghanistan, where his heroic actions earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor. On July 13, 2008, Staff Sergeant Pitts was trapped and badly wounded at an elevated outpost, but helped turn back a brutal attack by 200 insurge Staff Sergeant Ryan M. Pitts enlisted in the Army when he was seventeen, and was just twenty-two years old when he fought at the Battle of Wanat in Afghanistan, where his heroic actions earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor. On July 13, 2008, Staff Sergeant Pitts was trapped and badly wounded at an elevated outpost, but helped turn back a brutal attack by 200 insurgents and save many of his company in one of the bloodiest battles of the war with Afghanistan. The Medal of Honor series profiles recipients of the highest and most prestigious personal military decoration, awarded to recognize U.S. military service members who have distinguished themselves through extraordinary acts of valor.


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Staff Sergeant Ryan M. Pitts enlisted in the Army when he was seventeen, and was just twenty-two years old when he fought at the Battle of Wanat in Afghanistan, where his heroic actions earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor. On July 13, 2008, Staff Sergeant Pitts was trapped and badly wounded at an elevated outpost, but helped turn back a brutal attack by 200 insurge Staff Sergeant Ryan M. Pitts enlisted in the Army when he was seventeen, and was just twenty-two years old when he fought at the Battle of Wanat in Afghanistan, where his heroic actions earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor. On July 13, 2008, Staff Sergeant Pitts was trapped and badly wounded at an elevated outpost, but helped turn back a brutal attack by 200 insurgents and save many of his company in one of the bloodiest battles of the war with Afghanistan. The Medal of Honor series profiles recipients of the highest and most prestigious personal military decoration, awarded to recognize U.S. military service members who have distinguished themselves through extraordinary acts of valor.

33 review for Ryan Pitts: Afghanistan: A Firefight in the Mountains of Wanat

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (January 15, 2019) (I've seen about three different pub dates for this; I'm going with the Edleweiss Plus one.) In 2008, the US Army set up Vehicle Patrol Base Kahler near the Wanat Village in the mountains of Afghanistan. The purpose was to cut down on traffic in the area and to keep an eye on activity in the area. From the beginning, it was a precarious situation. Staff Sargeant Ryan Pitts was situated in an observation point with the men of the second platoon and Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (January 15, 2019) (I've seen about three different pub dates for this; I'm going with the Edleweiss Plus one.) In 2008, the US Army set up Vehicle Patrol Base Kahler near the Wanat Village in the mountains of Afghanistan. The purpose was to cut down on traffic in the area and to keep an eye on activity in the area. From the beginning, it was a precarious situation. Staff Sargeant Ryan Pitts was situated in an observation point with the men of the second platoon and helped by the paratroopers of the 173rd Airborne to secure the area. They were attacked by insurgents in the area, and were greatly outnumbered. The men tried to hold the post, but several were killed, and Pitts was injured. Reinforcements were called from nearby Forward Operating Base Blessing, but before the Humvees could arrive, things looked grim. Apache helicopters from the 173rd helped, and before long, there were Black Hawk medvacs that arrived to take Pitts, who was losing a lot of blood but continuing to fight, away to get medical help. After his removal, more reinforcements arrived, and fighting slowed down enough for the army to search the village and find remains of massive amounts of weapons stored. Shortly after the Battle of Wanat, orders were given to leave the area. Pitts became one of nine living individuals to be awarded the Medal of Honor, even though he insisted that the honor belonged not just to him, but to all who fought with him. Strengths: The matter of fact tone is just right, and is highly informative. I love how Spradlin seamlessly weaves the more exciting scenes of Pitts' involvement in the battle with information about the history of the Taliban, the US involvement in Afghanistan, and the history of units such as the 173rd. This is a brilliant way to hook readers before delivering some top notch facts and figures! Pitts' bravery is well evidenced, and the importance of this battle given thorough explanation. I'm amazed at the research and detail about equipment and fighting that goes into these books. (Also see Jack Montgomery World War II: Gallantry at Anzio). Weaknesses: While there is a Follett Bound version available, this needs to be a hardcover with a dust jacket! School libraries everywhere need this to have some longevity, and paperbacks tend to go out of print quickly, so there will be no replacing the extremely odiferous prebind in twenty years! What I really think: This series is definitely worth purchasing and will be hugely popular. I would love to see many more books about more recent military conflicts. The technology of fighting has changed so much since WWII that modern readers will benefit from reading about these events.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*

    Ryan Pitts (Medal of Honor) by Michael P. Spradlin, 97 pages. NON-FICTION Farrar Straus Giroux (Macmillan), 2019. $16. Content: Language: G; Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG. BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS – ADVISABLE AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE This is the story of Ryan Pitts, a soldier who battled in one of the deadliest battles in the war in Afghanistan. Ryan was seventeen when he joined the army and only twenty-two when he found himself alone defending a stronghold in the Battle of Wanat. Ryan’s heroi Ryan Pitts (Medal of Honor) by Michael P. Spradlin, 97 pages. NON-FICTION Farrar Straus Giroux (Macmillan), 2019. $16. Content: Language: G; Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG. BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS – ADVISABLE AUDIENCE APPEAL: AVERAGE This is the story of Ryan Pitts, a soldier who battled in one of the deadliest battles in the war in Afghanistan. Ryan was seventeen when he joined the army and only twenty-two when he found himself alone defending a stronghold in the Battle of Wanat. Ryan’s heroic actions won him the Medal of Honor, but Ryan graciously attributes the heroism to his fallen comrades. This action-packed true story is harrowing and explained in a play-by-play manner. As the battle is raging, the author sometimes takes a break to explain Ryan’s decision to join the army and his training. Although there is nothing too graphic for an elementary reader, there is a lot of vocabulary and troop/company names to keep track of which makes it for your more advanced elementary readers. Reviewer, C. Peterson https://kissthebook.blogspot.com/2020...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Ryan Pitts was a sergeant serving in Afghanistan in 2008. He had enlisted when he was only 17 and was still just 22 when he fought in the battle at Wanat where he earned the Medal of Honor. This prestigious medal is given to recognize extraordinary acts of valor. Ryan and a few other men from his company were trapped and attacked by an overwhelming number of insurgents. Ryan was badly wounded but he managed to hold back the enemy until additional help arrived from another base farther away. This Ryan Pitts was a sergeant serving in Afghanistan in 2008. He had enlisted when he was only 17 and was still just 22 when he fought in the battle at Wanat where he earned the Medal of Honor. This prestigious medal is given to recognize extraordinary acts of valor. Ryan and a few other men from his company were trapped and attacked by an overwhelming number of insurgents. Ryan was badly wounded but he managed to hold back the enemy until additional help arrived from another base farther away. This was one of the bloodiest battles of the war in Afghanistan and many of the other men in his troop perished while defending the outpost. An engaging read for those who like informational stories about war. There are black and white photos as well as background information about the war and some of the different guns, helicopters, etc. The beginning of the book includes the different ranks in the army as well as a list of units and sizes. At the end, there is the complete citation given to Ryan Pitts as well as a glossary of terms, source notes, a selected bibliography, and photo credits.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Part of a series devoted to Medal of Honor winners, this book profiles the heroic actions of Ryan M. Pitts in 2008. Trapped and wounded and surrounded by enemies in Wanat, Afghanistan, Pitts watched as several of his fellow soldiers were wounded or killed. Despite his wounds and the danger to himself, he fought on until rescue finally arrive. Not only does the book cover this particular military action and his heroism, but it provides some background about Pitts' formative years and explains the Part of a series devoted to Medal of Honor winners, this book profiles the heroic actions of Ryan M. Pitts in 2008. Trapped and wounded and surrounded by enemies in Wanat, Afghanistan, Pitts watched as several of his fellow soldiers were wounded or killed. Despite his wounds and the danger to himself, he fought on until rescue finally arrive. Not only does the book cover this particular military action and his heroism, but it provides some background about Pitts' formative years and explains the reasons for his honor. There are black and white photographs to support the story. It's a fast-paced tale, filled with enough detail and action for those who enjoy this sort to thing to come away satisfied.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Biography of Army Sergeant Ryan Pitts, awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery during the Battle of Wanat in Afghanistan in 2008. Against all odds and injured, Pitts kept firing at the enemy and was able to keep the outpost he was defending from falling into enemy hands. Several of his fellow soldiers were killed. Part of the Medal of Honor series. Includes a glossary, notes, and bibliography. Should be a welcome addition to upper elementary/middle school history collections.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Celeste

    An interesting play-by-play of the Battle of Wanat in Afghanistan. There is a lot of names and sometimes I wanted to read about the battle straight through but the author would go out and explain other parts about the war and then come back to Pitts story, which felt disjointed. Overall though Pitts and his company were amazing and I’m glad their story is available to learn about.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Shontel Oliver

  8. 4 out of 5

    David McCalla

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sam R

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cassie Gonzales

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brett Stockton

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alan Simpson

  13. 5 out of 5

    Halen O'Neill

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sally Kruger

    Book #2 in the new MEDAL OF HONOR series by Michael P. Spradlin focuses on the war in Afghanistan. Ryan Pitts was born in Massachusetts and raised in New Hampshire. During his senior year in high school, he decided to enlist. It was 2003. Ryan knew he wanted to go to college, but he wasn't sure what he wanted to study so he joined the army. He trained at the U.S. Army Field Artillery School. His training specialized in close-combat aviation. After completing training as a paratrooper, he was assi Book #2 in the new MEDAL OF HONOR series by Michael P. Spradlin focuses on the war in Afghanistan. Ryan Pitts was born in Massachusetts and raised in New Hampshire. During his senior year in high school, he decided to enlist. It was 2003. Ryan knew he wanted to go to college, but he wasn't sure what he wanted to study so he joined the army. He trained at the U.S. Army Field Artillery School. His training specialized in close-combat aviation. After completing training as a paratrooper, he was assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Italy. The 173rd was famous for combat in multiple wars. The battle that earned Pitts his Medal of Honor involved the Battle of Wanat just outside of Kabul, Afghanistan. His unit was to defend Observation Post Topside to protect the Vehicle Patrol Base Kahler. The surprise attack took place at 4:00 am and lasted several hours. Pitts was badly wounded during the attack that killed the rest of his fellow soldiers. Despite severe blood loss, Pitt held back the insurgents with gunfire and grenades until supporting troops could arrive. While reading Ryan Pitts' story, I learned about other achievements of the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vietnam, about the difficult conditions of fighting in Afghanistan, about the role of paratroopers and the weapons they use, and also about aircraft used in battle like the Apache attack helicopters and more. Author Michael P. Spradlin's ability to research and share facts in an informative and entertaining way is sure to attract readers as his MEDAL OF HONOR series continues.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

  16. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Gee

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jarin

  18. 5 out of 5

    Reshamad

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ella

  20. 5 out of 5

    Eric Gregory

  21. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Winchester

  22. 4 out of 5

    Charissa Knighton

  23. 5 out of 5

    Amy

  24. 5 out of 5

    Christi Yarnell

  25. 5 out of 5

    Terry A Bruns

  26. 4 out of 5

    Robert Chewning

  27. 5 out of 5

    Susan

  28. 5 out of 5

    Zachary

  29. 5 out of 5

    Luke Mohr(The Baller)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sherri

  31. 4 out of 5

    jeff b tucker

  32. 5 out of 5

    MTN343-Wishlist

  33. 5 out of 5

    zhengdan

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