For my flight back today from Los Angeles to Providence, Rhode Island, I snapped up two books at the WH Smith outlet at LAX. I just finished reading Michael Durant’s book In the Company of Heroes.
As a previous reader of Mark Bowden’s Black Hawk Down, I recognized Durant’s name immediately. He was the pilot of an Army Blackhawk Helicopter shot down over Somalia. He was taken captive and held for several days before being released with serious injuries, including a gunshot wound.
The part about Durant’s story that has always remained with me since reading Black Hawk Down is that he was protected on the ground by two Delta operatives – Randy Shughart and Gary Gordon, who placed themselves into a highly dangerous situation in order to protect Durant and his crew until rescue could arrive.
In the ensuing firefight, both Shughart and Gordon were killed. They were both awared the Congressional Medal of Honor for their sacrifce.
The part of the story that I did not know was what Durant went through during his captivity and the healing process that he went through after being released. The man has incredible character and inner strength.
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? and I said, Here I am. Send me….”Michael Durant went. And no one left him behind.