This is the story of a kid from the wrong side of Scranton who made it to the Naval Academy, played linebacker for the Navy football team for four years, became a Marine officer, graduated first in his infantry officer class, led his men in two intense combat tours in the Anbar Province, received the Silver Star for gallantry, and now has emerged as one of the most interesting figures on the mixed martial arts (MMA) professional circuit.
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Brian Stann served two tours in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom III and IV. As a Marine platoon leader during Operation Matador, he received the Silver Star for valor after his unit encountered vastly superior enemy forces. Brian is a 2003 Annapolis graduate and was starting linebacker on the Naval Academy football team. A former light-heavyweight champion in the WEC (World Extreme Cagefighting), he now fights in the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), the "big leagues" of mixed martial arts. He is also president of Hired Heroes, an Atlanta-based nonprofit organization that finds employment for America’s veterans.
John R. Bruning has been a professional military historian and writer since 1990. He is the author of Crimson Sky: The Air Battle for Korea, Jungle Ace, Elusive Glory, Ship Strike Pacific, Luck of the Draw, and The Devil’s Sandbox: With the 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry at War in Iraq. He served as an embedded civilian historian with the 2/162 during Operation Southern Comfort, the post–Hurricane Katrina relief operation in New Orleans. Bruning also has numerous articles, documentaries, multimedia CD-ROM programs, flight simulators, and museum displays to his credit. He lives in Independence, Oregon.
“Respect is a quality that is earned over time. Respect is given those who put others in front of themselves, to people who do tasks that others would shy away from, and to those who work tirelessly in order to provide for themselves and their family. After reading his book, Heart for the Fight, the only word that will come to your mind about Brian Stann is respect. This is an autobiography about a man who has been through and seen so much more than the average American citizen...When you finish reading this book, it becomes evident that ‘All-American’ is not just his MMA nickname, it's exactly what he is.” - Bleacher Report, September 7, 2010
Brian Stann knows a thing or two about fighting—he’s been doing it the last 29 years. From fighting off gangs as a kid to serving as a Marine Officer in the Middle East to stepping into the Octagon, Stann has chewed some steel. His new book, Heart for the Fight, documents his trials and tribulations.
Reason to Read: Stann is a badass. There’s just no other way to describe him. If he never wins another fight in the Octagon, he’ll still be a badass. The man led his troops through two intense combat tours and received a Silver Star for gallantry. Now, he fights for the UFC and works as Executive Director of HireHeroes USA, a link to job opportunities for servicemen and women.
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