Long Rifle : A Sniper's Story in Iraq and Afghanistan

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-11-25
  • Publisher: Lyons Press
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When fires raged in the ruins of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, Joe LeBleu, a native of Brooklyn and a retired U.S. Army Ranger veteran, was in lower Manhattan. On that day he decided to return to active duty. By the time he received an honorable discharge as a Staff Sergeant, aratrooper, and sniper team leader in the 82nd Airborne Division in 2005, he'd become known as Long Rifle - for shooting an Iraqi insurgent at 1,100 meters in Fallujah in the fall of 2003. That single shot remains the farthest in Iraq by any American or British sniper. This book tells his story. "Long Rifle" is gripping and moving, but most of all, inspiring. As 9/11 altered the terrain of so many lives, it shaped that of Joe LeBleu: "Watching my city burn tore me up inside like nothing else in my life, ever." Joe takes us with him from that haunting day in New York across the world, to the sweltering heat and ambush-rife conditions of desert and urban combat in Iraq. From here we enter a vastly different world: the remote and rugged mountains of Afghanistan. Joe's accounts of sniper missions against the Taliban and Qaeda in this grueling landscape are engaging and intriguing. Finally, Joe trusts his gut and returns to civilian life, settling near Las Vegas and going on to train Mark Wahlberg for his role as a Force Recon Marine scout/sniper in the film, Shooter, Joe had come full circle from 9/11, "a day that changed my life forever." Raw, gritty, passionate, and provocative, Long Rifle is both the first memoir by a U.S. Army sniper from the 9/11 generation and a stirring testament to the core values of American soldiers: integrity, honor, and courage. LeBleu's journey to war and back alsotestifies to the enduring power of love: Joe carried his dream to return to Natalie, his wife, for four long years.

Author Biography

Joe LeBleu is a former U.S. Army Ranger and 82nd Airborne sniper team leader. A Brooklyn, New York, native, he holds the record for the longest kill shoot, 1,100 meters, in Fallujah, Iraq, in the fall of 2003. Now retired, he lives with his wife, Natalie, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Mike Tucker is a counterterrorism expert and Marine infantry veteran—and the author of ten books, including Hell Is Over: Voices of the Kurds After Saddam, Among Warriors in Iraq, and five volumes of poetry. He has led and witnessed counterterrorist raids in Spain, Burma, and Iraq. He divides his time between Annapolis, Maryland, and Penang, Malaysia.

Table of Contents

Outline Title
Page Maps/Photos (Joe has over 200 photos to select from, in Iraq and Afghanistan)
Introduction: A day that changed my life forever
Introduction will cover Joe's youth, growing up in Brooklyn, tour of duty in US
Army Rangers, return to NYC, and of course, September 11th-September
11th is the anchor of the introduction and Joe's thoughts on September 11th weave throughout the book
Book One: "Insurgent at 1100 Meters, Lieutenant."
"Roger that
Take the shot
Joe's combat in Iraq dominates this section, the guts of the book are all here-this is the section that will appeal most to the military reader
His affection for Natalie, which the reader will first get in the introduction, grows here and the general reader will stay hooked on the love groove
Joe saw a ton of action, including "The Shot," and the combat will no doubt draw in many readers
The witnesses to Joe's seemingly-impossible shot will also recount that mission-among them are Captain Adam Bohlen, US Army 10th Mountain Division
You're familiar with Bohlen, of course, fromAmong Warriors in Iraq, a book in which LeBleu appears also
Book Two: Far Afghan Hills Joe was on a lot of dicey, very high-risk sniper missions in Afghanistan, and his thoughts on fighting the Taliban and Al Qaeda are provocative, engaging, and intriguing
The grueling and very challenging nature of sniper missions in the rugged and remote mountains of Afghanistan provide the general reader with real contrast to the desert and urban missions of Book One
Again, Joe's love for Natalie binds the narrative
Book Three: Coming Home The warrior at rest
Joe felt that his debt to America was paid, having served in the Rangers and the paratroopers, and trusted his gut
His transition to civilian life, "back to The World," as grunts like to put it, wasn't easy but Natalie certainly made it far less difficult than it would've been without her
This section will also have Joe's thoughts on training Mark Wahlberg for the film, Shooter, and his last words on the impact of September 11th on his life
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.


An excerpt from Long Rifle


“Night and day, throughout September, I was on more missions than any other sniper. 

I was sweat-soaked and tired and hungry all the time. . . . I remember telling my team, ‘Who gives a shit, we’ll get all the sleep we need when we’re dead and I don’t intend on dying just yet.’


I remember saying that a lot throughout the tour in Fallujah, ‘I’ll get all the sleep I need when I’m dead,’ and my team would smile and Eggleston would say, ‘Roger that.’ They must have really thought that I’d lost it; no doubt, my pearls of wisdom kept them on their toes. . . .


Something that a lot of people don’t understand is that in the middle of hell, the only thing that you’ve got is comedy.”

Excerpted from Long Rifle: A Sniper's Story in Iraq and Afghanistan by Joe LeBleu, Mike Tucker
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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