Freedom’s Light: Robert Saniscalchi
The sun comes up and your day begins and you hope that you will come home to see your family after a hard days work. On the other side of the globe there are deadly forces preparing to destroy the world, as we know it hoping to kill innocent people and take away our zest for freedom and burn out the light that keeps us strong. Some people that went to work that fateful morning were hardworking, god fearing and stood in the light as the author states in the preface of the Earth. But, the other side is dark, cloudless and even the moon escapes bringing its shining glow in the night sky as the lurk in the shadows hoping to aim their bombs and missiles at the unsuspecting people that will die at the hand of cruelty and hate. Within the mountains of Afghanistan there are those referred to as radical extremists or Taliban who are as we begin this poignant and powerful novel are planning and finalizing the details of a mission that is no heinous, would be so catastrophic and for years to come the scene that will be described will remain in the hearts, minds and sight each time we visit ground zero: Death, rubble, ash, smoke and destruction and annihilation of so many but for what? Freedom’s Light takes us the NYC the day it all happened and then to the far corners of Afghanistan as we meet many terrorists that gloat in their own glory when they attempt to take down the man of Freedom’s Light! America is strong watch as Rob and his team along with the Navy Seals brings back the war in Afghanistan and relives September 11, 2001. Vividly depicted the events in this book will remain in your vision, heart and mind long after you read the final words and experience the dramatic conclusion.
Within a cold and freezing day three brothers named Rob, Roy and Paul would go on a hunting trip that would change their lives and perspectives forever. Rob fought in Desert Storm, and worked for Uncle Sam, Paul managed a computer systems accounting firm and Roy was a carpenter or journeyman, Three brothers whose lives intersected and one horrific morning changes it all. Deer hunting is the talk of their trip and who would snag the biggest buck. The Marrinos were kindhearted, family oriented and this trip was made every year. Paul and Roy were married and Rob was dating Ashley. Rob lived for the next mission but this upcoming one might change his view on the wars on terror as this veteran of Desert Storm will fight a different kind of war as he became part of a Special Operations Delta Force team that trained him and his elite force to be able to withstand whatever the enemy dished out. Rob and Tex have been a team in many of these novels and it begins with the attack on NYC and the fall of the Towers and the plane headed for the Pentagon.
As the country realizes that mass effect of that fateful day, Rob and Ashley are together for a short time when he’s called in and deployed to One Cen-Com 4 high alert status. Dealing with the fallout from 9/11 was not his team’s mission he and his men known as Light Force would train for a mission that would send them in the heart of Afghanistan and front and center facing some of the most dangerous terrorists. While the terrorists celebrated what they considered a victory blatantly defacing the flag and disrespecting us as a nation, somewhere else an attack was planned. Secretary of Defense, Moreland was present, the President asked him to begin the meeting and then a short video was played as they watched these horrific poor excuses for non-humans and Smithfield the commander of Special Operations whose head would bounce first if they do not succeed. Smithfield would run the show but Moreland would be kept apprised, as the President would just deal with the end result and the updates. Every civilian or commercial flight was cancelled and a new defensive missile was in place and the lives of more than those killed that day would be at stake. Planning took time and the direct location would not be revealed until they learned just where the terrorists would strike. They wanted what they called a Holy War or Jihad. Rob’s unit was sent to the Middle East undercover and the darkness that would cover them would be darker than a moonless night. Jim Moralez was one of his team members who wanted revenge and had no idea if his sister Rita who worked in the towers survived the attack. An image is seen and the location of the mission not confirmed and Special Agent Foster in charge of the locations and Light Force was chosen by the president to attack and get the enemy but where? Foster knows her job and she firmed up the data where the terrorist’s outpost was and where. Flying to team to the airbase in Saudi Arabia and then they would be dropped from a chopper at the location decided using their uplink to keep her informed. Rob knew this would not be easy and the tension in the room was high. Pictures on the television screen of the dead bodies, the burning ashes, woman and children killed and the fact that nothing would ever be the same again as the author in Chapter 7 takes us back to New York City and the rescuers who are trying to go through the rubble and find survivors. The goal will be to stop the terrorists that would not allow attack America but Iraq was their next target too.
Paul, Rob’s brother worked in Secaucus and saw the mountain of black clouds over the bridge and in the sky as he drove home. The reports on the news kept showing the fall of the towers, the people yelling in the streets and wandering in a fog as they could barely see through the flying ash and the flames. When you meet Josh the medic, Rob the head of the unit, Tex, Phil and his team you can feel the tension, the silent vigil within each one as they embark on a mission that not everyone will return from. They land in the Middle East and the place of the attack northern Iraq and the end result using photos, coordinates, mission description and then the worst happens and their uplink goes down and they have no way to communicate with Foster or anyone else. These terrorists have created a long-range missile and are headed our way once again. The Americans wanted to create a huge air strike and take them down fast and get out of there when done but not everything goes according to plan.
The author shifts gears many times between New York, the people left behind, Rita and her fate, Ashley worrying about Rob and trying to get on with her life, Rob thinking about Ashley and then we forge ahead to Iraq, the pilots arrived and the terrorists celebrated those who sacrificed themselves for their cause as martyrs and then Moreland arriving at the Information Center and looking over the images. The President wanted answers, did not seem patient and used Moreland, as a sounding board but neither one would be able to control what happened next. The terrorists had some kind of missile system that they were hiding and planned to target Iraq. When they needed some type of repairs the terrorist leader threw fit or tantrum, wanted things done and the delay made him angrier. As we come back to Rob and his teammates, realizing in his own mind that these fiends as he called them, are housing some type of long-range missile system. The leader of the terrorists Amwa Binfudi angered easily and his comrades ran along the runway for a better look and the dust storm slowed them down even more. When the teams were formed there were eight including Light Force and they waited for transport and this mission would be deadly in some respects. Afghanistan was the new target and the Taliban was going to pay dearly they hoped in this battle. Special Operations teams were placed near what they hoped were the strongholds or spots where these terrorists would be hiding out. The attack was fierce and the terrorists would not give up. Light Force was airborne and New York was trying to recover and the President and his staff working on a list of non-negotiable demands to submit to the Taliban leaders. Justice will we get that? Who would work along with us? In Iraq, radar screens picked up something that led them to believe a stealth bomber flew over their airspace. On that bomber the team soared over their airspace and the team was getting ready to jump.
Battle lines drawn, some down on both sides and just as they thought it was over and that they were going to be extracted, the unthinkable happens when the plane that is supposed to carry them out goes down, another one is needed but not before someone on the team is gone, others are hurt and more rescuers are needed before they can leave. But, things escalate as the leader of the terrorist’s escapes, there are casualties on all sides and the end result is will they make it out alive? The President is irate, he wants answers. Moreland and Smithfield are in the crossfire and Rob has to deal with the tragic results as those back home have no idea if he’ even alive.
An ending filled with tension, suspense and twists that your won’t expect at the Navy Seals come to assist Light Force, their comlink is now working and Lt. Howards is joining them to take out the terrorists heading once more their way as Tex, Rob and the team have to faceoff once more before more lives are lost and their thought of extraction only a dream. Terrorist attacks are not in the past but in the present just recently too in Tribeca and in Manhattan and almost any state in the Union has been hit at one time or another. Author Robert Saniscalchi reminds us of the freedoms we cherish, the land that we love and that no matter what “Freedom’s Light,” will burn on forever. Lady Liberty stands tall, her torch lights the way and we, as Americans will never extinguish our quest for freedom and justice for all of us!