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Combat Story

Oct 16, 2021

Today we hear the Combat Story of Tony Brooks, a former Army Ranger with 2nd Ranger Battalion who fought in Afghanistan early in the war and in Ramadi, Iraq.

Tony’s first mission was significant, being tasked with the recovery of downed chinook helicopter, Turbine 33 and The Lone Survivor, Marcus Luttrell in the mountains of Afghanistan.

His book, Leave No Man Behind, is all about this experience as the primary search and rescue element that catalogues the mission from hitting the ground, recovering bodies, and hunting for every last man to bring them home.

In this episode, we also touch on the impact of a legendary man, soldier, Ranger, and American - Pat Tillman - who had a tremendous influence on Tony (and myself for that matter).

After the military, Tony went on to become a licensed chiropractor. He married the woman he refers to in the book as ‘the Unicorn’ who he met as a private while stationed at Fort Lewis.

I hope you enjoy his Combat Story, and the mission to bring everyone home, as much as I did.

#rangers #specialoperations #operationredwings #veteran #veterans #combatstory #tonybrooks #2ndrangerbattalion #rangerbatt #rltw

Find Tony Online:

Book Leave No Man Behind
Instagram @drtonybrooks
Facebook Dr Tony Brooks

Find Ryan Online:

Follow on Instagram @combat_stories
Follow on Facebook @combatstoryofficial
Send us messages at
Learn more about Ryan
Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle

Show Notes

0:00 - Intro
0:53 - Guest bio
1:40 - Interview begins
2:06 - Pat Tillman - One of the greatest Americans of our generation
10:35 - Finding Purpose
13:19 - Why go to the Rangers?
17:00 - The Unicorn and the long play
20:00 - Parents played it neutral
23:50 - First time in Afghanistan
30:33 - Context for Operation Red Wings
37:15 - How did you feel going into your first mission?
40:07 - Fast roping onto target
49:25 - First objective - get to the crash site
58:20 - Recovering body parts
59:22 - Finding a wedding ring that meant so much more
1:06:27 - Next mission post-crash site recovery
1:13:50 - A screech you’ve never heard before
1:17:06 - Next mission is BDA
1:24:04 - My first experience of war was “sh*@”
1:26:28 - Finding Marcus Luttrell
1:32:13 - How close was the movie scenery (Lone Survivor) to reality
1:39:14 - Hilarious story of one of those “guys” in the unit
1:46:15 - What did you carry with you into combat?
1:47:31 - Would you go back and do it all again?
1:48:30 - How does Tony think about recent events in Afghanistan?
1:50:45 - Listener comments