They Called Us "Lucky": The Life and Afterlife of the Iraq War's Hardest Hit Unit (Hardcover)

They Called Us
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Description


From the Arizona Congressman, a 21st-century Band of Brothers chronicling the eternal bonds forged between the Marines of Lima Company, the hardest-hit unit of the Iraq War

At first, they were “Lucky Lima.” Infantryman Ruben Gallego and his brothers in Lima Company—3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, young men drawn from blue-collar towns, immigrant households, Navajo reservations—returned unscathed on patrol after patrol through the increasingly violent al Anbar region of Iraq, looking for weapons caches and insurgents trying to destabilize the nascent Iraqi government. After two months in Iraq, Lima didn't have a casualty, not a single Purple Heart, no injury worse than a blister. Lucky Lima.

Then, in May 2005, Lima’s fortunes flipped. Unknown to Ruben and his fellow grunts, al Anbar had recently become a haven for al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. The bin Laden-sponsored group had recruited radicals from all over the world for jihad against the Americans. On one fateful day, they were lured into a death house; the ambush cost the lives of two men, including a platoon sergeant. Two days later, Ruben’s best friend, Jonathon Grant, died in an IED attack, along with several others. Events worsened from there. A disastrous operation in Haditha in August claimed the lives of thirteen Marines when an IED destroyed their amphibious vehicle. It was the worst single-day loss for the Marines since the 1983 Beirut bombings. By the time 3/25 went home in November, it had lost more men than any other single unit in the war. Forty-six Marines and two Navy Corpsmen serving with the battalion in Iraq were killed in action during their roughly nine-month activation.

They Called Us “Lucky” details Ruben Gallego’s journey and includes harrowing accounts of some of the war’s most costly battles. It details the struggles and the successes of Ruben—now a member of Congress—and the rest of Lima Company following Iraq, examining the complicated matter of PTSD. And it serves as a tribute to Ruben’s fallen comrades, who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. 

About the Author


Ruben Gallego (D, AZ) represents the 7th District of Arizona in the U.S. House of Representatives. A son of Hispanic immigrants, Representative Gallego was the first in his family to attend college, graduating from Harvard University with a degree in international relations. While an undergrad, Gallego enlisted as an infantryman in the Marine Corps Reserve. Corporal Gallego deployed to Iraq in 2005, where he and the other members of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, saw some of the fiercest fighting of the war. Elected to Congress in 2014 as a Democrat, Gallego is a member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and the House Armed Services Committee, where he serves as chairman of the Intelligence and Special Operations subcommittee. Gallego lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife and son.



Jim DeFelice is the co-author, with former U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, of the multi-million-copy bestseller American Sniper, the source for Clint Eastwood’s film starring Bradley CooperHis other books include Omar Bradley: General at War; Rangers at Dieppe; and West Like Lightning: The Brief, Legendary Ride of the Pony Express. He lives in upstate New York.

Praise For…


“A deeply felt, swift-moving account of war and its complex aftermath.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"A powerful, grunt’s-eye view of modern combat and the struggle to readjust to life back home. ... This searing autobiography leaves a mark."
Publishers Weekly
Product Details
ISBN: 9780063045811
ISBN-10: 0063045818
Publisher: Custom House
Publication Date: November 9th, 2021
Pages: 336
Language: English