Modern Warriors | Pete Hegseth

Summary of: Modern Warriors: Real Stories from Real Heroes
By: Pete Hegseth


In ‘Modern Warriors: Real Stories from Real Heroes’, author and former US Army soldier Pete Hegseth brings attention to the often untold stories of US army veterans. As a Fox News contributor, he discovered that Americans do care about the lives of soldiers and are eager to hear their experiences. This book dives into the hardships faced by soldiers, from the physical and psychological wounds they carry to the challenges of transitioning back to civilian life. Through honest conversations about the realities of combat, these veterans seek meaning in their service, healing from their scars, and a path forward into their new lives.

Pete Hegseth: Bringing Soldiers’ Untold Tales to the Fore

Pete Hegseth is a former US Army soldier who has worked for several organizations supporting veterans. He landed a job in Fox News in 2014 and hosted his own shows, Fox & Friends and Modern Warriors. Hegseth aims to share the untold tales of US army veterans who fought for their country. He realized that Americans wanted to hear the soldiers’ stories and experiences, especially those involved in combat since 9/11, which is why he encourages veterans to engage in honest conversations about their experiences. Many soldiers find it hard to transition back to civilian life and struggle with post-traumatic stress. Hegseth believes that sharing their stories is crucial in figuring out what all the fighting meant to them and moving forward in life.

The Determination of Sergeant Walding

During an operation in Afghanistan, Sergeant John Wayne Walding was subjected to enemy gunfire, and his leg was critically wounded. Despite the pain, he continued fighting, later learning that he lost his leg. Walding converted his loss into a reason to inspire excellence in all areas of his life. He came off his pain meds, enrolled in the Special Forces Sniper Course, and became the first amputee to be a sniper in the Green Berets. Losing his leg made Walding realize the value of determination.

Surviving the Battle Within

Jeremiah Workman’s story of PTSD, survivor’s guilt, and healing.

Jeremiah Workman served as a Squad Leader with the US Marine’s 3rd Battalion in Iraq and experienced trauma, survivor’s guilt, and extreme guilt after losing three of his platoon members. After returning home, he battled with post-traumatic stress, which caused severe nightmares, insomnia, and depression. The root of Workman’s PTS issues was survivor’s guilt, and he felt guilty about being alive while others died. Workman was awarded the Navy Cross, but his guilt was so severe that he couldn’t wear it, and he didn’t feel like a hero.

Years of therapy helped him overcome his guilt, and he now believes that people die in war, and sometimes there is nothing you can do to stop it. Although he still struggles with PTS, he knows he’s not alone. For eight out of every 100 veterans, PTS is a reality, and 22 die by suicide every day. Workman found a calling through his struggle and now is a Military Service Coordinator in the Veterans Administration, where he educates veterans on how to cope with PTS.

For Workman, knowing that people are there to listen and guide him gave him strength, and it empowers him to help others. This is a story of trauma, guilt, and a journey towards healing that provides insight and hope to those dealing with similar situations.

Leadership Lessons from War

Mat Best’s experiences in the army taught him the importance of leadership and sacrifice.

When Mat Best joined the army at 17, he had a romantic idea of war and serving his country. However, his deployment to Iraq at 19 shattered this illusion. Best witnessed his hero, Sergeant Dale G. Brehm, get killed by enemy fire, leaving a lasting impression that taught him about the rewards and sacrifices of leadership.

Brehm’s courage and selflessness inspired Best, and he communicated the same message to his team when he became a leader. During his last deployment in Iraq, Best thought he would not make it out alive and promised to do his best to bring his teammates home safely.

But Best survived and now utilizes the leadership skills he learned in service to help run the veteran-owned Black Rifle Coffee Company. The company aims to provide quality coffee and a fresh start for ex-servicepeople.

Best’s experiences taught him the bloody reality of war and the importance of being a selfless leader. His story is a powerful reminder of the lessons that can be learned through difficult circumstances and the positive impact that leadership can have on others.

Sergeant Geressy and His Soldiers’ Heroic Acts in Iraq

In 2007, Sergeant Eric Geressy and his Eagle Company were assigned to defend Combat Outpost Blackfoot, which sat between Al-Qaeda and a militia. On September 4, the COP was attacked relentlessly, but Geressy and his team were victorious. Afterward, they switched focus to clearing houses, during which Staff Sergeant Darryl Card was injured by a bomb. Despite his injuries, Card joined the fight a few days later without boots, showing his selfless devotion to his teammates. Geressy was most proud of his soldiers’ quiet acts of heroism in Iraq, including Card’s.

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