Awarded the Bronze Star & Purple Heart
Sledge’s award winning memoir masterfully captures the raw humanity, intricate complexity, and brutal barbarity of the “Forever Wars,” and its psychological toll on modern veterans
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About the Book
In the darkness of war-torn landscapes, where honor is tested and the line between bravery and cowardice blurs, a former soldier, awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, takes readers on a harrowing journey in his haunting and visceral memoir.
Benjamin Sledge, a seasoned combat veteran who served a portion of his time under the Special Operations Command, departs for Afghanistan shortly after the terrorist attacks of September 11 but returns home shattered. Haunted by his experiences in Afghanistan, he embarks on a multi-year odyssey wrestling with mental health, purpose, and faith, which eventually drives him to volunteer for another combat tour in Ramadi, the deadliest city of the Iraq War.
With raw honesty and unflinching detail, Sledge exposes the complex emotions and moral dilemmas faced by soldiers caught in the crucible of war. Through his evocative prose, readers are transported to the battlefield, where the weight of life and death decisions hangs heavily on every step.
Sledge’s narrative voice, characterized by a rare blend of poetic eloquence and unfiltered authenticity, captivates readers from the first page and holds them captive until the very end. Throughout the memoir, he vividly captures the reality of the men and women who learn to fight without remorse, love each other without restraint, and endure the high cost of returning to a country that no longer feels like home.
Praise for Where Cowards go to die
- Leader singer of We Came As Romans
I couldn’t put this book down. In fact, I read it faster than any book I’ve ever read. It wasn’t only intense and gripping, but brutally honest and vulnerable. Benjamin takes you through the horrors of warfare to the terror of readjusting back to a normal society. Most important, his honesty about his failing mental health and what it took to find peace following a life of war is something very few veterans speak of.
- 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
Where Cowards Go to Die is an addictive page-turner that I burned through in less than a week. What I appreciate most is Sledge's ability to portray certain aspects of war that most non-veterans would consider uncomfortable or questionably moral in a way that bridges a gap and creates some degree of understanding and empathy. WCGtD has definitely earned a spot in my ‘highly recommended’ list when discussing books with friends, especially those who have not served but have expressed curiosity in understanding military culture.
- Former counterterrorism special agent and New York Times best-selling author
Where Cowards Go to Die is a vivid and heart-breaking story, about war, terror, bravery, loss, and sacrifice. God bless our men and women at the tip of the spear. Ben Sledge was there, and you will be as well.
- Geopolitical expert and author of the New York Times bestseller, The End of the World is Just the Beginning: Mapping the Collapse of Globalization
Well s**t—THAT was intense! Where Cowards Go to Die is an intensely personal plunge down the rabbit hole of the Global War on Terror.
- New York Times bestselling author of Imagine Heaven
War is hell. Ben graphically takes us into the raw, gritty reality of war with a story of redemption in the hell of what so many return to fight—divorce, PTSD, and a search to find meaning after combat. Society and churches need to understand the psychology of war that Ben uncovers, so we can ensure our soldiers are cared for and don’t come back wishing they hadn’t.
- bestselling author of Echo in Ramadi: The Firsthand Story of US Marines in Iraq's Deadliest City
Where Cowards Go to Die is a powerful account of war. Sledge openly exposes himself and the stark facets of combat page by page. Then, through his own lens, he shows the readers a raw perspective from the ground level of the courage, sacrifice, and valor of our Nation's Finest warriors that fought in and survived some of the most brutal urban fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Seldom have I read a memoir, autobiography, or documentary that reads like thriller fiction, complete with that all-important sense of reality... verisimilitude. Benjamin Sledge has achieved just that and impresses with vivid descriptions of war and all the brutality that entails. Where Cowards Go To Die is a fascinating, albeit horrific, dive into the world of war, a dive that is a life-changing event for everyone concerned, including the reader who most likely never has and never will personally experience it.