~ Don Inns ~
American Brother is an American love story. It's a story of a young Marine's love of God, Country, Corps, and Family. It's also a story of a little sister's love for her big brother. The author, Elisa Camara, puts Hinton, WV on the map, her only brother, Sgt. Mecot Camara, in our hearts, and the Beirut bombing in our collective conscience.
I always knew Mecot was squared away. Now I know why. Whether defending his sister's honor in high school or his nation's interests in the Middle East, the reader catches the essence of the making of Mecot. Born of a Fillipno-American father and an all-American mother from Kentucky, Mecot matured beyond his years. From the football field of Hinton to the battlefield of Beirut, Mecot was a leader.
Mecot and his Marines were attached to my unit, Charlie Company 1/8, for much of our tour in Beirut. As the late Captain Michael Haskell noted, "Sgt. Camara's section has been an integral part of Co. C's performance at two of its most vital, visible, and tactically significant areas. Of particular note were Sgt. Camara's performance and demonstrated courage, presence of mind, tactical proficiency, and leadership during several occasions when his section's positions were subjected to intense direct and indirect fire." Glorious praise from a Marine (Mustang) Officer held in high esteem.
Ironically, Mecot was sharp enough to follow in Captain Haskell's combat boots and become a Drill Instructor and even an Officer. Mecot caught on quickly and picked up rank even quicker. In Beirut, he kept his men busy fortifying their positions and reinforcing our patrols. I regret not getting to know him on a more personal level but feel I do now thanks to American Brother.
In the bitter end, Mecot died the way he lived: fighting to hold on, surrounded by Marines, humbly, and heroically. He left behind a young wife, infant son, and a legacy. After the bombing, Marine Corps Commandant General P.X. Kelley asked, "Lord, where do we get such men?" American Brother answers the question: they came in peace from families like the Camara's and places like Hinton.
Elisa ends her journey where Mecot began his: Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, SC where, "Through this portal pass prospects for the world's finest fighting force: United States Marine Corps." She seems to find solace in knowing that the cause her big brother believed in and died for marches on. By honoring her "American Brother" Elisa pays tribute to all who have entered that portal and earned the title.
No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. ~ John 15:13 NABRE.
Elisa's love of Mecot is as close as it gets.
~ Truly Amazing ~
I was interested in this book for two reasons. Number one is that my husband is a Beirut veteran so I was interested in hearing an account of that era. Secondly, the American brother in this book and his sister who wrote it are from my mother's small hometown of Hinton, West Virginia. I purchased the book and quickly began reading it and was transfixed for the entire day until I completed the book. The connection I felt while reading Elisa's story is almost indescribable. The new found memories of Beirut were expected. What was not expected was being transported in time at the recognition and descriptions of Hinton. I am so thankful for Elisa sharing her story of her brother, and American hero, as well as, sharing the love of her own hometown of Hinton in the process. Thank you, Elisa, for your story. I am so sorry for the loss of your brother. He is a symbol of everyone's American Brother.
~ Fitting tribute to an American Marine ~
It must have been difficult yet therapeutic to write this touching story. As a US Marine who served in Beirut, this story hits right at home. My own sister was at home, writing letters and worried about my safety, so I related to Elisa's story, page after page. I had to put it down a few times... to painful for me at times. I knew the ending, all too well. In all it's a fine memorial to a brother by his sister. Her love and desire to be sure we never forget is what it's really about.
~ Wonderful read, important themes ~
Wonderful tribute by a sister to her US Marine brother. Beyond their relationship, American Brother explores the goodness of small town America and the grace of faith & family in the most difficult times. The Camara family is an American success story, a powerful theme quietly found in the background of the book. Mecot Camara could have been anything he wanted in life. He was inspired to serve his country as a US Marine. Today's society provides stark contrast for his selflessness and his passion for service, family, and Country. Such a tremendous loss - we need more passionate Americans like him. Remembering Sgt. Camara and his fellow service members lost in Beirut is more than enough reason to buy and read American Brother. There is much more here to inspire you.
~ Wonderful tribute ~
Beautifully written tribute to her brother! I did not know the family, but became friends with Elisa's mother, Jean some years later. I feel like I knew Mecot because of his monther's conversations with me. I live outside Hinton, WV and can honestly say that this family is still highly regarded by all who had the privilege of knowing them. I consider myself honored to have known Jean and shared her memories. Thank you for American Brother!
~ Moving tribute and touching story ~
Excellent portrait of what makes a true American hero. Written from the perspective of a younger sister, this book tells the story of how the influence and love of family and friends makes a young man into a marine who cares enough to willingly risk, and ultimately sacrifice, his life in the service of his country and to protect those who can't protect themselves. A great read!!!
~ I laughed, cried and had chills up and down my spine. ~
Wow, Thank you Elisa, for sharing your wonderful story about an amazing American Hero. Real hero's don't wear capes, they wear the uniform of our Military. You made me feel like I knew your brother. To anyone who is reading this review to see if you should purchase this book, do yourself a favor and do it. Once you start reading, you will not be able to put it down. Elisa brings you into her most intimate moments with her Brother, Sister and Mother and Father. Elisa, your brother and Father are looking down on you with love and pride. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.