Author(s): David Wiseman
"From the war torn valleys of Afghanistan to the frozen peaks of the Himalayas, David Wiseman's incredible story is an inspiration to us all." Andy McNab 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. In his latest step on the road to recovery, David played a key role as Games Co-Ordinator for the inaugural Invictus Games in September 2014, as well as representing the United Kingdom as part of the swimming team. In a competition which saw more than 400 wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women from 13 nations compete, David went on to complete another momentous achievement, winning gold medals in the Men's 100m Freestyle ISD and in the Mixed 4 x 50m Freestyle relay, and silver medals in the Men's 50m backstroke ISD and Men's 50m Freestyle ISD.
Helmand to the Himalayas takes the reader on a breathtaking ride across the world and details one man's journey from naive rookie, to broken vet, to hero.
From "New Memoir Captures what Soldiers Never Say" by George Vlachonikolis (Posted on War on the Rocks, Sept 2014): It is a raw, heart-breaking and very emotive read. An unforgettable insight into his nightmarish experience. What I find really refreshing about Wiseman's accounts of the horrors of war is they're not loaded with an anti-Ministry of Defence agenda and nor are they being exploited for self publicity. This sets his book apart from many. Its honesty ends up highlighting several issues that can silently eat away at combat veterans. He should be commended. It is about war's hangover and what's left of you once you've left the battlefield.
David Wiseman joined the British Army in 2006 and was commissioned from Sandhurst into The Yorkshire Regiment. In 2009 he commanded a small team of British Soldiers embedded within Afghan Forces deep into the Nad E'Ali District of Central Helmand Province; it was here, during a highly kinetic engagement with the Taliban, that he suffered a gunshot wound to the chest. Following extensive surgery and months of rehab he joined a team of wounded soldiers who, together, took on Mount Everest. Medically discharged from the army in 2013, David continues his charitable work for other wounded personnel on a professional basis. Nick Harding is an author and journalist. He has written several Sunday Times Booklist top ten best-sellers including autobiographies for Paddy Doherty and Gemma Collins. His latest book, the harrowing story of the Oxford child exploitation ring told through the eyes of one of the victims, is published in the Spring. He has worked for Penguin and Random House. He is also an award-winning freelance journalist. He began his career 20 years ago, was a senior features executive at News International and is now a regular contributor to The Independent, The Daily Mail, MF Magazine, Fabulous, The Sun and The Daily Mirror. He covers features, news, comment, interviews, real life, science, technology and showbusiness.
Prologue/ Baghdad Blues/ The Road to Afghanistan/ Helmand/ Shin Kalay/ Contact/: IED/ Damage/ Police Station/ Aftermath/ Grizz/ Man Down/ CASEVAC/ Recovery/ Flashback/ Walking With The Wounded/ The Road to Everest/ Base Camp/ Khumbu Madness/ Epilogue/ Glossary/ Acknowledgements/ Index