“Three words. That’s all it took. I was writing a letter home to my mom when the call rang out across the American compound: ‘Get it on!’ And just like that, the course of my life changed forever.”
Keni Thomas, Bronze Star for Valor recipient, now a U.S. military veteran-turned-country musician, gives a personal account of his heart-wrenching experiences in the chaotic 1993 Battle of Mogadishu in his new book “Get It On!” The book reminds readers “that we, as individuals, do indeed matter, that we are anything but ordinary, fully capable of carrying out life-changing assignments at any level and in any situation. We can make a difference in this world.”
A little background on Thomas. He enlisted in the Army in 1991. After completion of the Airborne school and the Ranger Indoctrination program, he was assigned to B Company 3rd Ranger Battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment, where he subsequently earned his Ranger Tab. In the summer of 1993, Sergeant Thomas and B Company were deployed to Mogadishu, Somalia as part of a special operations package called Task Force Ranger.
Once deployed to Somalia, Task Force Ranger’s primary mission was location and capture of the criminal warlord Mohammed Farrah Aideed. On Oct. 3, 1993, Thomas and his fellow rangers distinguished themselves in an 18-hour fire fight that would later be recounted in the highly successful book and movie “Blackhawk Down.” Tragically, 19 Americans died and 78 were wounded in the worst urban combat seen by U.S. troops since WWII.
The Military Wire salutes Keni and other veterans who take a tragic experience and build from it to better the lives of others. There are life lessons to be learned from this book. Be sure to order your copy today.
Michael Schindler, Navy veteran, and president of Edmonds-based Operation Military Family, is a guest writer for several national publications, author of the book “Operation Military Family” and “The Military Wire” blog. He is also a popular keynote and workshop speaker who reaches thousands of service members and their families every year through workshops and seminars that include “How to Battle-Ready Your Relationship” or “What Your Mother-in-Law Didn’t Tell You.” He received the 2010 Outstanding Patriotic Service Award from the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.