David Wiseman was the first soldier on the scene of one of the most devastating attacks on British soldiers in Afghanistan, witnessing the horrific aftermath of an attack on unsuspecting troops by a rogue element of the Afghan police, which left five men dead and nine wounded, shaking the British forces in Helmand to the core. Only a few weeks later, and haunted by what he had experienced, David was once again fighting shoulder to shoulder with his Afghan allies, but this time would leave the battlefield with a Taliban bullet lodged deep in his chest, inches from his heart. Helmand to the Himalayas is the dramatic story of his journey in combat, his agonising battle with physical injuries and psychological demons and his life affirming recovery as part of a pioneering mountaineering team. An exhilarating memoir of his gritty tour of Afghanistan, it reveals the day-to-day hardships faced by soldiers in battle, the horrors and absurdities of the conflict and the overwhelming challenges and dangers that have faced British soldiers tasked with mentoring their Afghan allies.
With staggering honesty, David reveals how frustration and chance eventually led him to find salvation, renewed purpose and a sense of pride on the slopes of Mount Everest with Walking With The Wounded and an unlikely band of wounded veterans.
The beginning - introduction to narrator, scene setting, joining the army, early career. Iraq - first active service, description of the conflict and his part in it, Green Zone, disappointment of seeing no action, humorous events with his unit Road to Afghanistan - being picked to lead a mentoring unit in Helmand. Prepping for service, family reaction and goodbyes, thoughts and feelings about leaving wife and child, arriving in Camp Bastion, details of the task Helmand - arriving in Nad e'Ali, forward operating base, introduction to unit and characters within in, explanation of the kit, meeting the ANA, life in the FOB and anecdotes, evacuating first casualties Shin Kalay - introduction to the combat line with Taliban, meeting the ANP, tensions with ANP, first meeting in police station, controversy of ANP custom of having young boys as slaves, commandeering a compound in Shin Kalay, first contact with Taliban Contact - anecdotes about daily firefights, introduction to local characters and customs, dog fights, coming across first IED, colleague looses a leg Police station - as per proposal Aftermath - behaviour becomes increasingly erratic. Incidents including taking risks with own safety when discovering an IED, fighting with an ANA officer and shooting at a motorcyclist at a checkpoint. Premonition about getting killed, killing the enemy, Taliban blow themselves up in a botched attack. Man down - getting shot and extraction from battlefield. Casevac - Camp Bastion medical centre, immediate treatment and life saving operation. In and out of consciousness. Dreams and hallucinations. Speaking to wife. Paralysis and assessment of injury, getting flown back to UK on nighttime 'ghost flight' with other injured servicemen. Recovery - Selly Oaks and Headley court. Characters in the units, coming to terms with injuries, meeting family and friends. Release - trying to adjust to life after injury, signs of PTSD, flashbacks begin, erratic behaviour, drinking issues, admitting to problems, introduced to Walking With The Wounded. Selection - being interviewed for WWTW, thoughts on Everest and mountaineering, introduction to some of the team, selection process, being chosen. Training - Alpine training and antcis, bonding with the team and developing characters, final selection and climbing 8th highest mountain in the world. Prepping for Everest, meeting Prince Harry, leaving for Himalayas. Kathmandu - arriving in the city, adjusting to the altitude and challenges, training climb, hike in to base camp. Base Camp -as per proposal Final ascent - the team make their attempt on the summit. Prologue - returning home a hero, meeting Harry again, getting help with PTSD, adjusting to life outside the army, getting a job with Prince William, finally being discharged.
Series: General Military
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 3rd September 2014
Dimensions (cm): 21.0 x 15.0
Weight (kg): 0.37