Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Authors of "Brothers Forever" and "My Brother in Arms" to Sign Books at Dreamland in Northport

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Authors of "Brothers Forever" and "My Brother in Arms" to Sign Books at Dreamland in Northport

Article excerpt

The authors of the books "Brothers Forever" and "My Brother in Arms," which chronicle the service and sacrifice of three men killed in action during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, will have a book signing Saturday in Northport.

The event features Tom Sileo, co-author of "Brothers Forever," and Thad Forester, author of "My Brother in Arms." It begins at 5:30 p.m. at Dreamland Bar-B-Que in Northport. Books will be available for purchase at the event.

"Brothers Forever" by Sileo and retired Marine Col. Tom Manion, records the story of Manion's son, Travis Manion, a Marine lieutenant killed in Iraq in 2007; and Brendan Looney, a Navy SEAL lieutenant killed in Afghanistan in 2010. The Naval Academy roommates and friends died three years apart but were eventually buried side by side in Arlington National Cemetery by the request of their families.

The book, published in 2014, is the story of the young men's bond and sacrifice and how their families carried on in their memory.

For Sileo, the theme is exemplified in a comment by Manion to his brother-in-law as he prepared to redeploy to Iraq.

Manion's brother-in-law joked about injuring the Marine to spare him another deployment. Manion replied: "If not me, then who?"

"After Travis was killed, that became a rallying cry for his family," Sileo said.

The family founded the Travis Manion Foundation to inspire others and honor the memory of their son.

Sileo sees parallels between the stories of Looney, Manion and Forester, a 2006 graduate of the University of Alabama who enlisted in the Air Force after college, seeking the elite job of a combat controller, where he coordinated and directed air support as part of a joint team of special operations forces.

"When you look at Mark's story, the 'If not me, then who?' spirit is right there as well," Sileo said.

Forester, the youngest son of a family of six from Haleyville, felt called to serve after the Sept. 11 attacks.

"He felt a calling from God to fight terrorism," said Thad Forester, his older brother who lives in Trussville.

The 29-year-old from Haleyville deployed with the 21st Special Tactics Squadron. …

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