At the high point of a soaring career in the US Army, Lt. Col. Mark Weber was tapped by General David Petraeus to serve in a high profile job within the Afghan Parliament as a military advisor. Within weeks, a routine physical revealed Stage IV intestinal cancer in the thirty-eight-year-old father of three. Over the next two years he would fight a desperate battle he wasn't trained for, with his wife and boys as his reluctant but willing fighting force. When Mark realized that he was not going to survive this final tour of combat, he began to write a letter to his boys, so that as they grew up without him, they would know what his life-and-death story had taught him—about courage and fear, challenge and comfort, words and actions, pride and humility, seriousness and humor, and a never-ending search for new ideas and inspiration. This book is that letter. And it's not just for his sons. It's for everyone who could use the last best advice a dying hero has to offer. Mark's letter and his stories illustrate that the greatest value of a life is to spend it for something that lives after it. That in the end you become what you are through the causes to which you attach yourself—and that you've made your own along the way. Through his example, he teaches how to live an ordinary life in an extraordinary way.
Lieutenant Colonel Mark Weber was born and raised in Minnesota. He has served a total of twenty-three years in the US Army, with five years as an enlisted soldier in the Minnesota National Guard and nineteen years on active duty as a commissioned officer. He has been stationed throughout the US, the Pentagon, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. He is a distinguished alumnus of Minnesota State University, holds master's degrees in history from Jacksonville State University in Alabama and public policy management from Georgetown University in Washington D.C., and has served as a Policy Fellow at the University of Minnesota. His awards include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, and the Combat Action Badge. Mark lives in Rosemount, Minnesota with his wife, Kristin, and their three sons. David Murray is an award-winning journalist and editor of the magazine Vital Speeches of the Day. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Cristie, and their daughter Scout.
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